Staff Picks: 15 Epic EDM Festival Performances

Staff Picks: 15 Epic EDM Festival Performances
Porter Robinson performs at HARD Summer 2015 (Photo by: Live Nation)

We’re very reluctant to admit it, but the 2015 festival season is gradually nearing a bittersweet end. As we reminisce on the past year’s amazing festival experiences, we can take comfort in the abundant memories of talented performers, breathtaking production, and memorable surprise appearances. Electronic music festivals, in particular, have had an exponential presence in the festival sphere and continue to grow each year. As we look ahead to the upcoming dance festivities at Nocturnal, Escape, Snowglobe, and beyond, we also wanted to give a shout out to our favorite EDM festival performances thus far. Did your favorite make our list?

Ticketmaster Staff Picks: Best EDM Festival Performances of 2015

Crowd Favorite – Porter Robinson

There are few artists who can fully transform their core musical sound and still retain the same — if not a higher level of fan loyalty. Case in point is Porter Robinson, an outlier of sorts. From his hard-hitting 2011 album Spitfire to the more melodious recent album Worlds, Robinson is a producer who consistently commands respect both on and off the stage. That brings us to his festival performances over the past year—from Coachella and HARD Summer to Ultra, Squamish and Mysteryland, it was readily apparent that all spectators were fully in awe of the young prodigy’s talent.


Best Up & Comer – JAUZ

At HARD Summer, LA-based DJ and producer JAUZ paused his energy-packed set to give a heartwarming speech about his transition from attending the festival with a general admission ticket just last year to performing at it for hundreds of fans this year. He Then, he proceeded to drop his breakout track “Feel The Volume,” officially commencing the party — at 4 pm in the afternoon. A couple weeks later at Summer Set Festival, JAUZ debuted his collaboration with EDM heavyweight Skrillex, which was released a couple weeks later. Can you say potential overload?


Best Family Act – Disclosure

The UK boy wonders known as Disclosure have lit up the house scene like no other, and we can assume that has something to do with their gifted gene pool. This year Howard and Guy Lawrence graced EDC’s Neon Garden Stage with their sweet, rhythmic sound, proving yet again that EDM is so much more than meets the eye (or ear). If you didn’t catch the brothers at EDC, you can still see them on their upcoming US tour through Oct. 24.


Best Production – Eric Prydz @ EDC Main Stage

If you’re a headliner at EDC your set is essentially guaranteed to be accompanied by top notch, mind-blowing production because, well, Insomniac knows how to throw a proper rave. Prydz’ late night EDC Circuit Grounds set embodied just that. Lights, lasers, Co2 — you name it, he had it, and the crowd loved it.


Best Sing-A-Long – Calvin Harris & Disciples “How Deep Is Your Love”

We dare you to try to listen to this song and not to chime in during the “Ah ah ooh, ah ah ooh” part. That’s exactly what festival goers were chanting at Harris’ headlining performances at Electric Daisy Carnival in New York and Las Vegas, as well as his numerous overseas appearances. If this is the first time you’re hearing “How Deep Is Your Love”, we apologize ahead of time for the impending addiction.

Best Pump-Up DJs – Flosstradamus

The Chicago-based duo have made quite the name for themselves in the electronic music sphere. In addition to casually defining the trap genre with their 2012 remix of Major Lazer’s “Original Don,” Flosstradamus is known for having the absolute rowdiest festival crowd (in a good way, of course). Just watch what happened when they dropped their song “Mosh Pit” at EDC Vegas this year. You can only imagine how it went at Coachella, Bestival in Toronto, and Spring Awakening in Chicago.

Best Dance Party – Chromeo

When one of your most famous songs is called “Fancy Footwork”, how could you not incite the best dance party at the festival? The holy Funk Lordz, better known as Chromeo, had the entire audience jumping, two-stepping, and breaking it down at HARD Summer, Governors Ball, and CRSSD Festival this year. If you snoozed through festival season and missed all of their shows, you can still catch P-Thugg and Dave 1 at Boston Calling on Sept. 25.


Best Celebrity Guest – Bryan Cranston

We’ve got to give it up, yet again, for the best surprise of the festival season: Breaking Bad’s Walter White showing up to open Above and Beyond’s EDC set with one of the most heroic button-pushes of all time. Watch the crowd’s reaction in the video below and read about fourteen more unexpected celebrity festival appearances here.


Best Old School Performance – Chemical Brothers

Don’t let the title of this award mislead you…The Chemical Brothers’ performance at HARD Summer was by no means “old school” in terms of production or sound. It was simply a magnificent spectacle of the everlasting power of electronic music, delivered to old and new fans alike by the founding fathers of the big beat genre. The four-time Grammy winning duo brought a whole new meaning to the word “rave,” and for that, we thank them dearly.


Best Mellow Set – Jamie XX

Oh Jamie, will you ever do us wrong? The xx front man unleashed his solo album In Color right in time for festival season, impressing fans with his sets at Coachella, Bestival, Pitchfork Music Festival, HARD Summer, and more. Jamie XX’s groovy, lush sounds were the perfect balance to his hard-hitting festival counterparts and provided a pleasant mental vacation for those of us who made the [right] decision to attend.


Best Drop – Valentino – “Deep Down Low”

Warning: If you are currently in an office, school, or any other setting where you cannot freely shake your a**, we advise you to take caution before pressing play. At 1:01 and 2:17, Valentino Khan kicks things up (or should we say down?) a notch, blowing minds and earning our vote for Best Drop of the 2015 festival season. This track found its way into nearly every EDM DJ’s festival sets, including Steve Aoki, Martin Solveig, Dirty South, Oliver Heldens, Skrillex…the list goes on and on.


Best Vocal Performance – Kiesza

Kiesza’s feature on Jack Ü’s “Take Ü There” is what initially landed her on our radar, but her distinct, captivating vocals are what have guaranteed her a permanent spot in the limelight. The Canadian songstress’ Electric Daisy Carnival performance was a sensational breath of fresh air after an evening filled with never-ending womp womp womp’s. If you were lucky enough to make it out to the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival, we can only hope you caught Kiesza’s set at the Samsung Level stage on Sunday evening.


Best Dynamic Duo – Jack Ü

When Skrillex and Diplo decide to come together as one, we knew there was going to be magic in the air. Dance music lovers around the world rejoiced at the news of this extraordinary dream team, and the pair has been sweeping the nation one festival at a time ever since. At HARD Summer we not only had the honor of seeing Jack Ü stun thousands of fans with their action-packed show, but Justin Bieber happened to show up as well. Dare we say dynamic trio?


Best Female Performance – Tokimonsta

From her eccentric style to her original hip hop-meets-electronica production style, Los Angeles-based Tokimonsta is unique in every sense of the word. This year she stole the show at What The Festival, Splash House, and The BPM Festival, as well as several local shows around the world. This lady is definitely one to watch in the coming year as she continues to expand both her fan base and impressive discography.


Best Male Performance – Flume

Fans swoon over the simple utterance of his name, so you can imagine how wild things become when they get the opportunity to watch Flume perform his magic live. He undoubtedly owned the 2015 dance festival season with epic sets at Electric Daisy Carnival Vegas, Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, Sasquatch, Lightning in a Bottle, AND FYF Fest, where his buddy Lorde happened to show up as well. We had the pleasure of witnessing the Flume effect this year at EDC in Las Vegas, and therefore we can confidently crown him with the Best Male Performance of the year.

Music Festival Tickets, Music Festival Guide