This weekend, dance music massive Electric Daisy Carnival will be going “from dusk ‘till dawn” again at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With the set times now locked in, a few things are guaranteed at EDC: expansive stage design, big-name headliners (think Avicii, Calvin Harris, Bassnectar, Kaskade, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and co.) and eye-popping spectacle in every direction.
While you could spend the full EDC weekend bouncing between the biggest DJs in the world, this is a lineup that runs deep. Taking in the full list of alphabetically-arranged acts might cause your eyes to glaze over, but there are gems to be found in between the household names.
For this feature, we’ve rounded up 15 must-sees for dance fans in the know. From techno heavies to Australian sensations to EDC first-timers, make sure these sets are on your schedule.
[Article photo via Insomniac on Facebook]
There’s something of a UK invasion happening at EDC this year, with highlights including Duke Dumont’s new live show, Disclosure in DJ mode and house head Ben Westbeech, aka Breach. Another player in that mix is Black Butter Records recruit Kidnap Kid.
Kidnap Kid has been getting into practice with sets at the likes of EDC New York and Disclosure’s Wild Life festival, and he recently dropped a house heater “Fall” on Pete Tong’s FFRR Records. If you’re seeking some feel-good vibes at the Las Vegas massive, this is your kid. Get into his atmospheric Jessie Ware remix below.
WHEN: Friday, 4:20am-5:30am
2015 has been a standout year so far for Sydney native Alison Wonderland. After releasing her debut album Run back in March, she’s just completed a run of sold-out warehouse parties around Australia, sealing her place as one of the country’s biggest dance music stars. Expect a party-starting set of hip hop, trap and bass gems when she makes her EDC debut. This 80-minute session from The Mixmag Lab in LA is the primer you need.
WHEN: Sunday, 9:25pm-10:25pm
UK bass head Kove is going to be in firing form by the time he hits the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since May 21, the DJ-producer has been on a Bassrush tour across North America alongside 12th Planet and LOUDPVCK, with EDC as a triumphant finale. After delivering a remix of Ella Eyre’s “Together” that’s had over 500,000 plays in one month, Kove’s also got a new single “Hurts” he’ll be itching to play. Get into his Bassrush mix below to hear how he throws down.
WHEN: Friday, 8:00pm-9:00pm
DJ JAZZY JEFF
Some of the most technically gifted DJs in the game will be present at EDC this year, including Carl Cox, Z-Trip, Andy C and John Digweed. DJ Jazzy Jeff is certainly part of that elite group, too. The celebrated producer and turntablist is famous for his alliance with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and he’s never stopped moving. In the booth, he covers hip hop, soul, funk, house and many shades in-between.
DJ Jazzy Jeff made this mix for Insomniac’s Southern California weekender Beyond Wonderland, where he played Planet Rock’s funkHouse stage alongside Route 94, Z-Trip, Soul Clap and more. Do yourself a favor right about now.
WHEN: Friday, 11:00pm-12:00am
Australian electronic sensation Flume is far from an under-the-radar act, but you might’ve missed him on a lineup this stacked. While the producer has played primetime slots at mixed-genre festivals like Governors Ball and Bestival Toronto this month, it’s rare to see him at a dedicated dance music festival.
As Flume told Billboard recently, he always imagined his tracks being heard in headphones, not on huge stages. All the same, you can expect his new single “Some Minds” to get the goosebumps going under the Vegas night sky.
WHEN: Friday, 12:00am-1:00am
On the last night of EDC, Stage 7 is in for a major history lesson at the hands of DJ EZ. Not only is it the EDC debut of the pioneering garage legend, it’s the first time he’s stepping foot in the big-room bombast of Sin City.
When he steps up to the decks with the Night Bass crew, expect him to drop some classic house, UK bass and of course, the good ol’ garage that will have dancers two-stepping like it’s the ’90s again. His 3.5-hour Boiler Room set makes for a good starting point.
WHERE: Stage 7
WHEN: Sunday, 2:00am-3:30am
If you’re tiring of EDM anthems at EDC and want to hear some forward-thinking bass music, make your way to Kastle’s set. The LA-based producer released his self-titled debut album in 2013, and he’s been on a hot streak ever since. Case in point: the crisp drums and haunting vocals of “Falling Up,” his recent team-up with Xavier.
Before setting out on his Hyperreality Tour back in winter, Kastle made this excellent mix featuring several of his own productions and other on-point selections. Expect some of this heat when he rolls into the Nevada desert.
WHERE: Stage 7
WHEN: Sunday, 4:30-5:30am
Australia’s buzzing dance music scene will be well represented at EDC this year, with deep house maestro Motez joining the likes of Flume, Hook N Sling and Alison Wonderland on the lineup.
Motez is headed to the US for a series of club and festival shows, and he’s sure to have a stack of new edits and remixes on his USBs. The producer’s SoundCloud has a huge following, with millions of plays tallied. The Motez sound is bright, bouncy and bass-driven: in other words, perfect for making a festival move. You can catch him warming up the main stage on Friday night, before he backs up for a more intimate encore on Sunday. Dive into his recent track “Tryna Shake It” below.
WHERE: kineticFIELD / Stage 7
WHEN: Friday, 8pm-9pm / Sunday, 3:30am-4:30am
NGHTMRE is coming in hot to his EDC debut. On top of monster collaborations with “heaven trap” purveyor Slander and remixes for Major Lazer & DJ Snake and The Prodigy & Flux Pavilion, the LA-based newcomer has the ultimate co-sign from two new-generation heavyweights: Dillon Francis and Bro Safari.
How to properly celebrate a career milestone such as this? With bass – tons and tons of bass. Check his Axis mix for a taste of the heaviness that awaits.
WHEN: Sunday, 7:25pm-8:25pm
As the leader of one of today’s most popular techno labels, CLR, Chris Liebing wins the title of this year’s most surprising (and most overdue) EDC debut.
This weekend, the German powerhouse is raring to give the Neon Garden a hard techno thrashing that will make it difficult for guests to leave – provided they can peel themselves off the dancefloor, that is. Liebing will be coming off his first show as a resident for HYTE’s first summer in Ibiza, too, so you know it’s going to be good.
WHEN: Saturday, 4:00am-5:30am
Like Liebing, Tassilo Ippenberger & Thomas Benedix of Pan-Pot will be spending much of their summer camping out at Amnesia Ibiza for HYTE’s inaugural season, so their EDC set will serve as a testing ground when they step inside the Neon Garden. For their allotted time-slot, the duo are transporting the dancefloor from Vegas to Berlin, where things are going to get deep, dark and twisted very quickly. This Sonar By Night mix will give you a good idea.
Even on a lineup that runs deep with trance talent, GAIA still manages to stand out. Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij’s collaborative project first hit North American shores last year with a set at Ultra Miami, but this year’s EDC Las Vegas marks their West Coast debut.
The anticipation in the air will be palpable once the hooded duo hit the decks, and it’ll find sweet release with uptempo peaktime trance that harks back to its golden days. Get your adrenal glands flowing with their ASOT 650 set.
DIMITRI FROM PARIS
While Dimitri From Paris might be a fresh name for many EDC attendees, he’s actually one of the truly iconic DJs when it comes to house on the funkier side of the spectrum. There was a point around the turn of the millennium when his A Night At The Playboy Mansion mix CD could be found on just about every living-room coffee table in the known world; that’s how ubiquitous its disco-inspired dancefloor sounds proved to be.
Dropping a steady stream of productions, remixes and compilations ever since, you should let his classic house and disco grooves smooth out your rough edges on Sunday night when he hits the funkHouse Stage at 11pm following Soul Clap. Is this the first time Dimitri From Paris has played at a Motor Speedway? Maybe.
WHEN: Sunday, 11:00pm-12:00am
Amongst the dream team of bass music heavies that feature at the Bass Pod stage over the duration of the EDC weekend, Friction represents one of the most formidable, and remains one of the true icons of the super passionate drum ‘n bass world.
Rising to prominence at the end of the ‘90s, it was when he formed his Shogun Audio label just over a decade ago that he cemented his place as one of the scene’s real players. These days he’s still bringing it hard and heavy, and you catch him representing the DnB sound at the Bass Pod stage on Sunday night.
WHEN: Sunday, 9:30pm-10:30pm
After building his profile as a producer for more than a decade, and launching his own Outside The Box Music label, Eelke Kleijn is one of the most recent names to truly establish himself as a maestro in the house and progressive world.
Boasting a dual knack for melody and groove, he has the enviable ability to both produce and DJ across the whole spectrum of house music, in the fashion of the true progressive greats of the scene. You’ll find him warming up the Toolroom Live stage on Friday with a set that’s sure to touch on groovy house, tougher techno and uplifting progressive.
WHERE: Stage 7
WHEN: Friday, 8:00pm-9:30pm