It was Plato who said that necessity is the mother of invention, and the dance community has put that adage into action by responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with a flurry of online music festivals and streaming events.
One of the biggest of these shows to happen in the dance world thus far was Digital Mirage, a three-day online event that happened April 3-5 and featured more than four dozen artists, including Seven Lions, Kaskade and Sofi Tukker. Artists performed from their living rooms, office spaces and — in Tokimonsta‘s case — desert getaways.
Organized by YouTube platform Proximity, artist management firm Keel and tastemaking collective Brownies & Lemonade, Digital Mirage had more than a million unique attendees and raised $300,000 for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial support for members of the music industry.
Here, festival organizers share five of their favorite sets from the show.
“Watching A-Trak spin vinyl up close and personal was such a cool experience. His set was really unique with amazing turntablism throughout. I’ve seen A-Trak festival sets, hip-hop sets, club sets, etc., and his Digital Mirage set was a completely different vibe. He’s a master of his craft and kills it in any live situation.” — Joey Papoutsis, co-founder of artist management company Keel
“For me, 17-year-old producer Jaron Steele had probably the most fantastic set of the weekend. He made his B&L debut with us two years ago and has since gone on to do bigger shows — including a b2b with San Holo at our Lollapalooza after-party last year. The overall production quality of his set rivaled any of our headliners, and he was the No. 5 trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter during his performance. It was a testament to the wonderful platform Digital Mirage can provide young, emerging artists. — Chad Kenney, creative director of Brownies & Lemonade
“She really put on a DJ circuit, not only dropping her classics and hits, but she also delivered a set with a ton of variety, IDs, and skilled edits that reminded me why Alison Wonderland is one of the best in the business.” — Kush Fernando, founder of Brownies & Lemonade
Dab the Sky
“This one was really special to me, because Dabin was rehearsing incredibly hard for his tour, which he had to unfortunately cancel. The story of him being roommates with Said the Sky and coming together to create a multi-instrumental set, and the seamlessness of them integrating each other’s tracks live for an hour gave me chills. They also created a donation campaign by giving away vinyl and merch to help further raise donations to an accumulative total of $17,000 during their hour-long set.” — Blake Coppelson, founder of Proximity
“What else can you say about TOKi’s set? It’s a magnificent and immersive journey that literally takes place in the middle of the Joshua Tree desert. We were blessed with a unique blend of dreamy pop that transitions into hard hitting 808s and catchy rap ballads. Truly a soundtrack for the scenery.” — Kush Fernando