Music / Review

Festival X: Our must-see acts

Take a peek past the headliners and you will find an absolute stack of incredible artists ready to be discovered at this year's inaugural Festival X celebrations.

If you aren’t yet acquainted with this year’s Festival X lineup, where have you been living? Bringing together headliners Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren, and Lil Pump is no easy feat, but that is what you can expect when the tour kicks off for the first time ever this November.

But the heads behind Stereosonic wouldn’t leave us with a dessert tray that’s all icing and no cake. Festival X has well and truly stacked their lineup from bottom to top, ensuring that your day will be brimming with good times from the minute the event kicks off. There is a whole stack to discover, so we’ve hand-selected some of our ultimate favourites to get you well and truly prepared.

Alison Wonderland

Sydney-born and Los Angeles-based singer, producer, songwriter, and DJ Alison Wonderland is one of our absolute favourites, and for good reason. Since emerging on the scene in 2009, she has taken the world by storm, headlining sold out arenas around the world and taking over stages at the biggest international festivals. Starting out as a classically trained pianist and playing guitar in local bands around Sydney, it was in 2008 that Wonderland turned her attention to production. From grinding out international club sets around Australia to becoming the highest billed female DJ ever at Coachella 2017 following the success of her 2015 album Run. Her 2018 follow-up Awake took things further, scoring Wonderland her second straight #1 on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums Chart. Next month she’ll headline the famous Red Rocks – a show that sold out in five minutes.

Anna Lunoe

It seems Sydney is the breeding ground for dance music powerhouses and Sydney-born, Los Angeles-based DJ, vocalist, songwriter, and producer Anna Lunoe is a testament to that. Starting out songwriting on her acoustic guitar, she soon found a love for music behind the decks and she hasn’t slowed down since. Continuously breaking boundaries as an artist, Lunoe quickly cemented herself as one of Australia’s best DJs, but it was the global stage that she had her eye on. She’s performed at music festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, Ultra, and TomorrowWorld, becoming the first solo female act to perform on the mainstage of Electric Daisy Carnival and the first female artists to head Australia’s Ministry of Sound Clubbers Guide. After nearly a decade of extensive touring, producing and remix EP curation, Lunoe helped launch Apple’s Beats1 radio show, where she hosts Hyperhouse, solidifying herself as the voice of new dance music.

Godlands

Adelaide’s top purveyor of all things bass related, Godlands, knows a thing or two about getting a festival crowd moving. She’s taken the stage at the likes of Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, Listen Out, and Party In The Paddock, just to name a few, releasing an onslaught of incredible singles and mixes along the way, and cementing herself as one of the most promising acts at the forefront of Australia’s next generation of electronic music. 2019 has been a huge year for Godlands. As well as releasing her debut EP 4 U Only and taking it to stages right around Australia and New Zealand, she also played her first-ever show stateside in LA. Known for her unpredictability as a producer and her raucous, dynamic live sets, Godlands is an act not to miss at this year’s Festival X.

MK (Marc Kinchen)

Detroit DJ, producer, and remixer Marc Kinchen probably needs little introduction, but this list would definitely be missing a vital piece if we didn’t include him here. Scoring two number one singles on the Billboard Dance Music charts in the early ’90s, as well as a top 100 single on the UK Singles Chart, really kicked things off for MK but it wasn’t until he made the move to Los Angeles in the early 2000s that he really started getting the global recognition he deserves. Since then he’s worked with the likes of Will Smith, Pitbull, Beyonce, and Mary J Blige, while also remixing some of the biggest artists in the world across every possible genre. His house-piano style has made him an icon of the dance music world, pushing the boundaries of musical genres in a way that has also earned him acclaim in the worlds of R&B and pop, and has seen him become one of the most in-demand house DJs.

Sophiegrophy

Nigerian-born, New Zealand-raised, Australian-based rapper Sophiegrophy first gained attention back in 2016 thanks to her independent debut mixtape PURPULARITY. Since then, she’s joined the WVS camp and scored herself a legion of dedicated fans thanks to her fierce attitude, undeniable charm, catchy hooks and cut-throat 16s. She’s right at the forefront of the next wave of Australian rappers and hip hop artists – including the likes of Arno Faraji, Miss Blanks, Tkay Maidza, Kwame, Sampa The Great – whose sound is ready to break into the international market. But she doesn’t just stop at hip hop. Thanks to punchy verses on tracks with the likes of Walker & Royce, Strict Face, and Milwaukee Banks, Sophiegrophy has also crossed into the electronic club scene. Get her on your Festival X set list.

Steve Aoki

With Grammy nominations, Billboard-charting records, and collaborations with artists including will.i.am, LMFAO, Linkin Park, Iggy Azalea, BTS, Louis Tomlinson, Rise Against, and Fall Out Boy under his belt, we know we don’t need to sell Steve Aoki to you – heck, he could probably very well be a Festival X headliner in his own right. So, of course, the legendary DJ has to be on our list. With more than 200 shows under his belt in the last year, this is sure to be a huge Australian return.

Thandi Phoenix

Injecting a huge dose of soulful-pop into the Festival X lineup is Sydney singer-songwriter Thandi Phoenix. From busking on King St in Newtown to tearing up the stage at Splendour In The Grass, it has been a phenomenal and much-deserved rise. As well as her infectious, soulful, R&B-meets-pop tunes, we’ve also recently seen Phoenix inject a different flavour into her sound – teaming up with drum and bass acts Rudimental and Sigma for a dancefloor-worthy pair of tracks. After wrapping up her first national headline tour, Phoenix will be in fire form.

Festival X 2019 Lineup:

Calvin Harris | Armin Van Buuren | Lil Pump | Alison Wonderland | Anna Lunoe | Badrapper | Camelphat | Cosmic Gate* | Futurecode* | Generik | Giuseppe Ottaviani* | Godlands | Marlo* | MK (Marc Kinchen) | Murda Beatz | Nic Fanciullo | Paul Kalkbrenner | Ruben De Ronde* | Steve Aoki | Sunset Brothers* | Thandi Phoenix | Tchami | Vini Vici* | More to be announced
*Appearing in Sydney & Melbourne only

Festival X 2019 Tour Dates:

  • Friday 29 November – Brisbane Showgrounds
  • Saturday 30 November – Sydney Showgrounds
  • Sunday 1 December – Melbourne Showgrounds

Festival X will kick-off summer festival season with their inaugural event coming to Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne this November. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com.au.

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