10 Hardest Working Festival Artists of 2015

10 Hardest Working Festival Artists of 2015

With a combined total of just under 100 headline performances this year, Muse, Florence & the Machine, alt-J, Martin Garrix, David Guetta and Hardwell can lay claim to having dominated the 2015 festival scene so far. But it turns out – who would have guessed? – that it's mostly those artists slightly outside the bright glare of worldwide fame who are working the hardest on tour.

So here's a tip of the hat to the 10 bands, DJs and singers who've played more sets, and travelled more kilometres, than anyone else in 2015.


#10 Adam Beyer

By mid-summer, Adam Beyer was already looking "dog-tired" (Mixmag). Two decades at the sharp end of underground techno are bound to take their toll every now and again, and the Swede's heroic commitment to live performance should be saluted. Get yourself some well-earned rest, Adam.


#9 Jungle

A little less than a year ago Jungle were just one of a whole crowd of names at Barcelona's Primavera Club, the festival that prides itself on finding the Next Big Thing. London's electro-soul collective have turned out to be a very shrewd pick, having claimed coveted spots at Roskilde, Sziget, Snowboxx and an avalanche of festivals around the world over the last 12 months.

#8 Sven Väth

Reaching half a century of years on the planet hasn't slowed Papa Sven down. His journey from "trance" to "techno" probably says more about the continual shifting of the scene around him than his own style; meanwhile Väth just keeps on working away. 

#7 Kate Tempest

A final count of 16 festival shows isn't a mind-blowing stat by any means, but having racked up a whopping 1,500km PER GIG Kate Tempest deserves a medal. Plus, after we tipped her to do something special this year, we're feeling pretty smug that festivals the world over have taken the young poet-rapper to their hearts.

#6 alt-J

Back in January alt-J's single Every Other Freckle ranked in at number 14 on triple j's Hottest 100 of 2014, and Spring seemed to quietly usher them onto the lineup of every major rock festival going. Some transformation for a band whose first record was described as "tentative, overstuffed and messy" by Pitchfork.

#5 Robin Schulz

Pretty much 2014's biggest breakout artist of any genre, Robin Schulz has been absolutely everywhere this year – including 11 nights just in Ibiza. The wave of his second album's release will easily carry him through the winter, too.

#4 Jamie Jones

Warm, melodic, almost soulful dance music is the calling card of Jamie Jones, as he walks the fine lines between techno and house, and underground and mainstream success. He may fly slightly under the radar of full-on popular acclaim, but he can still enthral an audience at Tomorrowland.

#3 Oliver Heldens

Undoubtedly up there in that vague, super in-demand bracket of megastar EDM DJs, Oliver Heldens mixes the tried and tested build-and-drop with a darker, more restrained kind of song production. And he's certainly not afraid to put a shift in, having played more festivals lower down the bill than as an out-and-out headliner.

#2 Dixon

Number 1 for two years running on Resident Advisor's Top DJs polls, Dixon has taken his thoughtful alt-techno to more countries than any of his peers this calendar year. RA tip him to retain his crown again next year, and if popular demand means anything he may just manage it.

#1 Tale Of Us

Dixon's closest rivals, though, edge ahead into pole position when it comes to sets performed and distance covered. Italian duo Tale Of Us took just 6 months to rack up 26 festival shows, covering 27,000km in the process. And they're not even done yet…


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