As a result of this year’s sharp fall in live music events, 2020 has been the year of the livestream, the year where we reinvented and revamped the virtual DJ set in every way possible. 2020 obliterated the humble YouTube set of the past and in its place gave us full-blown virtual music festivals, daily DJ collaborations and Travis Scott’s Fortnite extravaganza.
Without rambling on any more, here it is: a selection of our favourite virtual sets from the year so far...
1. Yaeji | Boiler Room
In August, Brooklyn icon Yaeji delivered one of the year’s most standout virtual sets, featuring work from her latest album “What We Drew” and even a remix of pop sensation Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now”. Anyone who’s been to a Yaeji show knows how considerate she is, going as far as serving curry to her fans on occasion, and her Boiler Room set was no different. Her music was accompanied by a visual smorgasbord of Pokémon-style animations, superimposed dancers and luscious backdrops.
2. Ben Böhmer | Cercle
When it comes to location, Cercle is leading the field. They’ve found their niche in recording live sets from the most unimaginably breathtaking spots, with music provided by artists at the top of their game. Their most recent edition is the perfect example, as it saw German producer Ben Böhmer and his entire sound system clamber into a hot air balloon and soar up above Turkey’s Cappadocia region.
3. Peggy Gou | Boiler Room
Here’s another one of Boiler Room’s 2020 triumphs. Peggy Gou is a name that needs no introducing (just ask her 2 million Instagram followers), the Berlin based Korean is shaping the underground music scene with powerful mixes and a slew of successful releases. For her Boiler Room ‘Streaming From Isolation’ set, Peggy left house-bound fans envious as she played outside at Seoul’s highest point: Namsan Tower.
4. Madeon | Secret Sky
Back in May, Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky Festival kicked off with an abundance of acts who gave us nothing less than 14 hours of music. Within the mix was Madeon, and the still image alone should give you a good enough idea of what to expect from his trance-inducing visuals
5. Deborah De Luca | Mixmag
In competition with Cercle and Boiler Room, Mixmag pulled out all the stops in July by inviting Deborah De Luca to play for the first time in the Italian suburb where she grew up. A staple in the techno scene, De Luca is riding on the back of her second album “SHE SLEEPS” which was released in August this year.
6. W&W | 20 XX Extended Reality Set
For the bigroom fans, earlier this year W&W brought us their ‘Extended Reality Livestream’ packing the Li-ning Virtual Arena with an audience of digital ravers.
Speaking of the event, CEO of ALDA Events Allan Hardenberg said “The partnership with W&W meant that we could bring the best in music & we succeeded in our goal to bring our fans the best music experience no matter where they are in the world. We’re looking forward to bringing more groundbreaking music experiences to our fans.”
7. ZHU | Virtual Lollapalooza
After Lollapalooza announced the cancellation of their 2020 edition, the festival was replaced with a free weekend-long virtual event that still featured a huge roster of global acts. Among them was ZHU, whose set from the Coral Pink Sand Dunes Park in Utah was a highlight from the weekend. During the 50-minute desert spectacle, the American producer played much of his own material, including his recent collaboration with Bob Moses, ‘Desire’, as well as a few Kanye tracks.
8. Bob Sinclar | Glitterbox
Everyone has had their own escapes during lockdown, for some it’s banana bread, for others it’s Korean whipped coffee. For Bob Sinclar on the other hand, it was a 55 day livestream marathon where he cracked out a few of his 35,000 strong collection of vinyl. Catch a tiny glimpse of his quarantine series here, with his Glitterbox Virtual Festival set.
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