Every year, tens of thousands of self-proclaimed Burners descend unto the Nevada desert to get down and dirty at Burning Man. A multidimensional event, Burning Man is part music festival, part art project and part social experiment, which means all sorts of artsy folks can be found dancing in the dust — including some of dance fans’ favorite DJs.
This year’s Burning Man, which ran from Aug. 26 through Sept. 3, welcomed all sorts of electronic artists, who threw down epic performances and back-to-back sets.
Billboard Dance has gathered 9 of the best sets from Burning Man 2018. Relive the Playa magic below.
No stranger to Burning Man, Diplo had a stacked schedule at this year’s festival, which included multiple performances on various art cars and a massive, FOMO-inducing back-to-back set with Flume. He even threw down genre-specific sets throughout the weekend, including an Afro-house set at the Robot Heart art car and a deep house set on the Solriser art car.
In a heartfelt message posted to his Instagram page, Diplo wrote about the freedom and creative spirit he experiences performing at Burning Man that allows him a break from the monotony of the DJ booth.
If you have time to swipe – here are a couple of sets I played at Burning Man. My job is usually make songs that you hope people can dance too and to go out and play lot of sets every weekend . As you can imagine even that gets tiring . I’m guilty of getting lazy and keeping some of the same routine and playing same songs .. but at BM I get to play records for the first time bring back old records . Improvise .. connect with old friends find new energy .. do amazing back to back sets .. find random art cars to pull up get lost in some lights and find songs I never heard before . Just creating a vibe w friends and random people riding bikes around you is some of the moments that make me feel like DJing is still one of the greatest jobs in the world . And I’m so lucky .. thank you to robot heart .. the church . No name camp . Camp question mark . Camp jou jou. Bounce art car . The 747. Bunk bed . The Christina The sol riser and everyone else .. especially to @flumemusic and @simihaze and @richmedina for rocking with me also @gene.vi.eve —
?Skrillex b2b TOKiMONSTA?
Skrillex jumped on a b2b set with Los Angeles producer TOKiMONSTA at Camp Questionmark Wednesday night, and it became one of the most talked-about performances all weekend long.
While Skrillex is a true Burner, having attended the event multiple times, TOKiMONSTA admitted she wasn’t a fan of the festival until recently. “Way back, [people] used to go on and on to me [about] Burning Man, I got annoyed, and I didn’t want to go,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I was too rap, too cool, too cynical, and I didn’t want to lose myself to this rabid culture of [self-indulgence] and hippie cornballism.” She’s since become a dedicated Burner after attending her first Burn several years ago.
In addition to her performance with Skrilly, TOKiMONSTA also went b2b with Zhu on the “Sanctuary” Church art car.
You could tell how much Skrillex loves Burning Man by the amount of times he was posting about it on Instagram and by the amount of sets he threw down throughout the week. Among them was this mega set at the massive Opulent Temple, one of the biggest musical attractions at the festival. In this clip, you can hear him dropping a trapped-out version of his global hit “Where Are Ü Now” as Jack Ü, his collab project with fellow Burning Man lover Diplo.
Tycho’s brand of downtempo synth music and ambient electronic is the perfect soundtrack for any sunrise. But when you mix it with a Burning Man morning, you get something quite special. His sunrise sets have become somewhat of a yearly tradition, with installments running as early as 2014. For his 2018 edition, Tycho set fans on a dreamlike journey of soothing synths and relaxing melodies atop the Dusty Rhino art car early Thursday (Aug. 30) morning.
Simi and Haze Khadra, the identical twin sisters behind DJ duo SimiHaze, were spotted all over Burning Man. The daughters of an interior designer mother and an art collector father, the Khadra twins moonlight as fashion icons and models, which means these “it” girls were slaying the desert in flashy outfits all week long. They played a few sets throughout Burning Man, including a performance on the Church art car following the much-hyped Diplo back-to-back Flume set.
U.K. jungle and drum & bass DJ/producer Aphrodite delivered some bass bombs at the Burner favorite Duck Pond camp, which has hosted Diplo back-to-back with Skrillex multiple times. A legend in the global bass scene since the ’90s, Aphrodite dropped a drum and bass master class during his set at Duck Pond, which was just one of eight shows he had during this year’s Burning Man.
Los Angeles producer N2N is your long-lost funk soul brother. Specializing in what he dubs cosmic funk, N2N’s style of funk house is groovy in all the right places. He’s been dropping funky sunrise sets at Burning Man since 2015, and this year’s show at the Celtic Chaos camp was extra special as it fell on his birthday.
Born in Chicago, Black Velveteen is a rising DJ based in San Francisco. She’s become one of the city’s promising voices via her monthly Integrated show on Proton Radio, where she spins the best in deep house. Her set on the Airpusher art car is all house and deep house goodness.
Madrid-born, Los Angeles-based newcomer Luis Miranda serves up house and techno “mixed with love.” For his second Burning Man ever, Miranda spread the love atop the Thor art car in a set filled with “lots of exploration and magical moments,” according to a post he wrote on his Facebook page. This set is a full representation of his sentiments toward the Burning Man experience.