They make beats, rule the main stage and are climbing the charts, even if they aren't yet old enough to order a drink at the bar. As festival season kicks off with Ultra in Miami, meet the (mostly) under-21s who make up dance music's next generation.
Washington has election season, Hollywood has awards season, and dance music has festival season, which unofficially begins with Ultra Music Festival in Miami (March 28-30).
From Ultra to TomorrowWorld in Atlanta (Sept. 26-28), stars will be born, hits will be made, and more than 2 million fans will attend dance-dedicated festivals across the country. Thanks to pesky noncompetes and basic physics, every dance act just can't play every festival. And while some select their bookings carefully, others forgo them entirely. Porter Robinson won't play a big fest this season: With a new album about to arrive -- in a decidedly different style of music -- he's following his artistic bliss down a different path. Disclosure is flying in for Coachella, but the duo is otherwise overseas for the summer, spreading its new gospel of old grooves. Krewella will return to Ultra, the festival that launched the band in 2012, after fronting a successful headlining tour last year.
But in the wake of these accomplished elders -- all under the age of 25 -- several young faces are attempting to climb a festival booth staircase to the next level of dance stardom, some with aspirations of even more. Meet the underage hopefuls of EDM -- and the developing artists lighting very different paths for their potential success.
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