Weekend One of Tomorrowland gets underway this Friday. Let that sink in for a moment. You bought your tickets ages ago, figured out your outfits, and are about to make the pilgrimage to Boom, Belgium.
Hopefully you've already taken a look at the timetable, but of course there are more acts than you could possibly ever see. The festival has the most famous MainStage of any electronic festival in the world and of course it's going to see the world's biggest DJs do what they do best. But the magic of Tomorrowland is that it offers lineups of not just the biggest, but the best DJs of all shapes and sizes.
It's without a doubt worth it to do some exploring and we want to help ensure you check out some of the smaller stages. So with that in mind here are just two artists per day off the MainStage you shouldn't miss.
Friday, 19 July
23:00 - 01:00 @ Fuse & Dave Clarke Present (Atmosphere)
The Prince of Darkness, Rødhåd is, ironically, one of techno's brightest lights. The German DJ really knows how to create an immersive sonic atmosphere, with spaced-out and booming kick drums creating a cerebral experience that turns the listener's gaze inwards.
13:30 - 15:30 @ Diynamic (Garden of Madness)
Pretty much the opposite of what you're going to hear on the MainStage, Moscoman builds beats up from scratch to create something free-flowing and more akin to live music. Tying him to a particular genre isn't easy as he weaves between styles and sounds with ease.
Saturday, 20 July
21:00 - 23:00 @ Nina Kraviz (l'Orangerie)
There are a lot of amazing DJs on this list, but if you're going to choose just one to check out, make it this one. The Queen of Electro, Helena Hauff is able to get the dance floor pulsating like few others. And if you like what you hear, sticking around for Nina Kraviz, who plays right after, is never a bad call.
20:30 - 22:00 @ Glitterbox (Cage)
A throwback to the days when DJing meant mixing things live, Roger Sanchez is an absolute legend. Birthed out of the New York City scene, Sanchez is a straight-up hustler with only one goal in life: making the dance floor shake. You'll hear everything from old school classics and disco hits to techno bangers and you'll come out of it a sweaty mess.
Sunday, 21 July
Charlotte de Witte
21:00 - 23:00 @ KNTXT (Atmosphere)
Part of the new wave of artists leaning towards heavier, darker sounds, Belgian DJ Charlotte de Witte burst onto the scene in 2017. Rising from unknown to headliner in about a year, resisting her unrelenting beats is a futile act. Give in and have a great time.
19:30 - 21:00 @ Cocoon (Core)
Quite possibly Bulgaria's biggest musical export, KiNK is a bonafide musical tech nerd. Getting up close enough to catch a glimpse of his setup would be revelatory, but even if that's not possible, as one of the most respected old heads of the underground electronic scene, laying back and falling into the groove is a must.
Friday, 26 July
Maya Jane Coles
16:30 - 18:00 @ Holosphere (Freedom Stage)
Perhaps the most musically gifted artist on the list, Maya Jane Coles is a writer, producer, mixer, engineer, arranger, and of course DJ. Her understanding of music means she can basically play anything at any point, but for a show of this stature, she'll most likely stay in the house to tech-house range.
15:30 - 17:00 @ Space Ibiza (Atmosphere)
Another member of the new wave of techno, ANNA's music never loses that sense of groove, ensuring that it stays eminently danceable. For those wanting to check out some techno but don't know where to start, this is the set for you.
Saturday, 27 July
20:00 - 21:00 @ Afterlife (Atmosphere)
Creating a distinct sound in techno is not an easy thing to do, but German DJ Recondite has managed to do just that. His delicate yet absorbing approach to music jettisons everything non-essential and draws the listener in for what is quite a personal experience.
18:00 - 19:00 @ Future Sound of Egypt ( Kara Savi)
Ferry Corsten is a trance legend. While you might think the genre is a bit dated, having had its heyday in the 90s, a lot of what draws people to EDM is based in the soaring euphoria of trance music. There's emotion, silvery vocals floating above the beat, and even drops. What else are you looking for at Tomorrowland?
Sunday, 28 July
19:00 - 20:30 @ Drumcode (Atmosphere)
The darker, more techno-influenced alias of Eric Prydz, this is your chance to see an EDM superstar in a more intimate setting. While playing as Cirez D, the Swedish DJ maintains his ability to weave tracks together in an engrossing manner but brings a more industrial and old school vibe.
15:30 - 17:30 @ Cycle Four (Leaf by JBL)
Kiasmos is the minimal electronic outfit of Janus Rasmussen and BAFTA-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds. Drawing from natural and electronic influences, the duo meld piano samples with electronic beats and synths to create the sonic equivalent of a breath of fresh air. Their day time set is the perfect place to recharge your batteries and get ready for another day of raving.