Global Dance Festival: Come out west for these five must-see DJs

Bass will be dropped, selfies will be taken and the Whip and Nae Nae will be out in full force when Global Dance Festival hits Rawhide Western Town in Chandler on Friday, bringing with it an assortment of DJ talent that will appeal to trap lovers and techno heads alike.

The event will take place on multiple stages scattered across the landscape of Rawhide’s Main Street, and western saloons complete with mechanical bulls will house the many electronic grooves of the night.

There are too many DJs playing this festival to count on one hand. To prepare you for a night of pure dance perfection, here are the five must-see acts of Global Dance Festival.


This prince of darkness might just be the scariest artist in the electronic world, if not the music industry as a whole. His own songs such as “Pursuit” and “Hate or Glory” take all the ideals of classic techno and turn them into a sonic mess of horror movie magic.

Meanwhile, his image and appearance is reminiscent of a vampire. This style and aesthetic was such a hit that Kanye West brought him on board to produce two tracks off the infamous “Yeezus” album, including “Black Skinhead.”

Look for a set that will stray far from the norm of common dance music tropes. Why are you complaining? This is a good thing.


In a genre that is dominated by bros and testosterone, Mija stands out as one of the biggest and most recognizable female DJs in the world. However, her gender and green hair doesn’t have anything to do with why she is a success.

a/s/l ?

A photo posted by mija (@hi_mija) on

Mija can mix a set better than most DJs (I’m talking to you, Steve Aoki) and is cranking out hits (like her song “Crank It”) that would make any dance floor explode. But don’t take it from me — the electronic god himself, Skrillex, signed her to his label. Also, she’s from Arizona. If you’re one of those “support local music” type of people, don’t miss this set.

RL Grime

It’s hard to classify what type of music RL Grime likes to play. It’s a little bit of trap, a bit of techno, plus some bruising synths that most “heavy” DJs would kill to have. Yet, there is an intense focus on melody and emotion within all of his tracks and mixes.

By simply being unique and crafting well written songs, the guy has become a staple in the electronic scene. Expect songs like “Core” and “Tell Me” to make even the most tired of ravers spring back to life.


The biggest mystery of electronic music is making his or her Arizona debut at Global Dance on Friday. Whether it be Skrillex, Justin Bieber or a mixture of the two, this unidentifiable DJ has become a guilty pleasure for EDM heads that don’t want to admit that the Mello’s music is actually pretty cool.

I got into a fight with @shalizi

A photo posted by marshmello [✖‿✖] (@marshmellomusic) on

No one can figure out the identity of this human with a marshmallow head, yet he has taken over the Internet with a fresh take on trap music, providing cheerful and happy melodies over booming hip-hop beats. Expect this set to be one of the highest-energy performances of the night.

Big Gigantic

Is it a DJ, a band or both? Big Gigantic has been turning heads with its breed of live drumming mixed with dance beats and live saxophone playing.

It sounds like it’d be a mess, but these are world class musicians; saxophone player Dominic Lalli has a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music and drummer Jeremy Salken is a monster behind the kit. Just watch them live and my point will be proven.

For more information and tickets to Global Dance Festival, click here.

Reach the arts editor at or follow @misterjacobgold on Twitter.

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