Electric Zoo is just about one day away from opening its gates to the public. Thousands of colorful ravers will descend on New York City's Randall's Island for three days of electronic music over this Labor Day Weekend. While the headliners such as Tiësto, Hardwell, Bassnectar, Joris Voorn, Steve Aoki and Porter Robinson will grab the most attention, there are plenty of other acts earlier in the day that warrant your attention at the festival.
1. Illenium - The festival kicks off at 3 p.m. tomorrow, later than it has in the past, but Illenium will meet right at the start fans with music in the Hilltop tent. In just a few short years, he has gone from blog starlet drawing comparisons to Seven Lions, to someone who has remixed the likes of The Chainsmokers, Oh Wonder and Odesza. He has toured all over the United States and played other major festivals. He released his debut album Ashes earlier this year and brings a hybrid live setup with keyboards and controllers to add an improvisational element to each track. 3 p.m. may be early for some, but it is worth it.
2. Spor - The drum and bass alter ego of Jon Gooch, known to most by his electro-dubstep moniker Feed Me will perform from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Hilltop arena. Gooch released a Spor album last year and has toured more frequently with the moniker over the past twelve months, but he is known to put it on ice for years at a time. If he turns his attention to other projects, you may not be able to see him perform as Spor for a long time. Even if drum and bass isn't your thing - come with an open mind and check it out because that is what festivals are for.
3. Yotto - The Sunday School Tent will the place to be on Friday with Anjunadeep taking over for the day and night. You can't go wrong with any of the artists there like Cubicolor, Way Out West (Live), Lane 8 or AME, but earlier in the day, hotly tipped Yotto will play from 6-7 p.m. The Finish producer and DJ has been releasing some fire recently as part of his Twin Peaks singles series and shows no signs of slowing down. Go and see him before the time slots get later and later.
4. Hermitude - Saturday is probably the worst of the three days in terms of artist lineups. However Australian bass duo Hermitude will bring their enthusiastic music and live production to the early schedule in the Hilltop tent. Playing between 4:10 and 5:10, the duo are still touring on the back of the 2015 album Dark Night Sweet Light, which blends hip-hop, future bass and hints of dubstep. Their sets are fun, engaging and absolutely worth checking out.
5. Valentino Khan - Valentino Khan was practically there at Electric Zoo last year with the most played track of the festival, "Deep Down Low," but this year he will be there in the flesh. Taking over the Hilltop Arena from 2:30 to 4 p.m., an extended set for Electric Zoo, Khan will bring his mix of dubstep, house and electro to the zoo all DJed in at a frenetic pace. The mustache will be in full force and ready to go Sunday.
6. Lil Dicky - It may be hard to call Lil Dicky "one of the rest" given his rising profile, but at an EDM festival and with his time slot, we can put him there. He has a 5 p.m. time slot and will be one of the two rappers at the EDM festival. The novelty of seeing there should be reason enough to go check out Lil Dicky, but also his witty lines and sharp delivery should also get attendees to use him as a break from the constant thudding of bass from the other stages. He will put on a show and one worth seeing.
7. Andrew Bayer - This one may be cheating a little bit, but Bayer at 7 p.m. may be a sleeper pick as the sun goes down. He is up against Juicy J, but Andrew Bayer outdoors at the Riverside Stage overlooking the river the sun goes down is worth the visit. A premiere producer for himself and alongside Above & Beyond, he crafts some of the most intricate trance and eclectic downtempo beats around that will be the perfect platform into the final push that night.