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The best and the worst highlights of the 2017 NDMF lineup


Tuesday morning saw the release the highly anticipated 2017 Neon Desert Music Festival lineup. The lineup for the seventh-annual music festival that is set for Memorial Day weekend (May 27-28) made waves throughout regional social media for better or worse. General Admission, VIP and Platinum VIP passes are available at

If you haven’t seen the lineup yet, or if you have been living under the rock, here it is again:

Now, instead of complaining and crying at the quality of the lineup, as some have been doing, it’s time to prepare for the new jumble of artists coming to the Sun City. No, El Paso could not get the likes of Radiohead, Kanye, Beyonce, Drake or any other farfetched artist or band. But, the lineup overall can’t be undersold for its potential and substance.

Headliners — Hardwell, Foster the People, J Balvin, Alesso and Logic

Coming to the headliner stage for Neon Desert is one of the top electronic dance music artists who also happens to stand among some of the most in demand DJs in the world with Hardwell. He is notorious for his high-energy shows and is sure to cater well to the EDM-driven El Paso scene. Joining Hardwell for the top-tier headlining stage is Grammy-nominated indie-pop band Foster the People. This will mark the first trip the band has made to the Sun City, and the closest being their stop in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The group is also currently working on their highly anticipated album, which will follow up their 2014 record, “Supermodel.”

Last year, Daddy Yankee surprised the 2016 crowd with a crowd-riveting set. This year, NDMF will follow up Yankee’s performance with Colombian R&B singer J Balvin. His hits include “6 AM” and “Ginza,” which broke the record for most views of any Latin music video in 24 hours.

Joining Hardwell for the list of DJ headliners is Alesso. The internationally popular DJ has been continuously on the rise among other DJs in house music throughout this decade.

The sole rap headliner for NDMF is hip-hop artist Logic. Self-labeled as a Young Sinatra, Logic will bring forth his introspective, lyrical style to the scene. It’s also rumored that Logic might finish and release his next studio album, “Africanaryan,” prior to the show.

Second-tier line artists

By far one of the most special additions to the lineup is Migos. Comprised of rappers Quavo, Offset and Takeoff, the group is coming off their sophomore album, “Culture.” They are currently blowing up with their hit single, “Bad and Boujee,” which topped the Billboard 200 for several weeks. Another second-tier fellow rapper on the lineup is Lil Uzi Vert, who actually collaborated on “Bad and Boujee.” Lil Uzi Vert boomed in 2016 with two back-to-back critically acclaimed mixtapes, “Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World” and “The Perfect Luv Tape.” Nelly is also joining the act among the second-tier rappers. The Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist is best known for his stardom in the 2000s’ hip-hop and R&B scene.

A notable addition to the lineup is Texas-based electro-funk duo Ghostland Observatory. If you’ve never heard their music, the duo is what would happen when Daft Punk and Prince ever made a collaborative album. They rose to the high ranks of Texas artistry through the mid-2000s and have continued to make music since.

Other DJs in the second-tier lineup include Baauer, who created the major movement of the “Harlem Shake.” He’s continues to make music since his big hit, but none have seemed to reach the heights of his 2013 major track. Thomas Jack, who mixes his tropical-house style to the EDM stage, will make an appearance during the weekend. DJ Mija, who is also set to take the stage for the first time at NDMF, will bring his genre-bending artistry to El Paso.

Last year, Neon Desert decided to add a unique feature to their festival that not many other music festivals do—add Latin music to their lineup. They showcased the international sensations in 2016, and this year did not fail to disappoint. Latin and Mexican music performers include Chilean singer/songwriter Mon Laferte, Venezuelan-based disco-funk band Los Amigos Invisibes, Mexican rock band DLD, Latin indie pop band and recent nominee for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys, The Chamanas, and more.

Local acts take the stage again

This year, as they have popularized for the past three years, Neon Desert will feature some of the top local acts in a big stage setup.

One of the biggest names is up-and-coming R&B sensation, Khalid. The El Pasoan has toured nationally in anticipation of his freshman album, “American Teen,” which is set to release March 3. While he was on tour, Khalid gained a national following for his hit song, “Location,” and was featured on many famous music publications, such as Fader, Complex and Billboard.

Other local bands include alternative hip-hop artist Stan Z, indie pop group Kilo and the Dew, rap group Rare Individuals, indie rock band The Other Half, indie electronic DJ Frythm and more.

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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The best and the worst highlights of the 2017 NDMF lineup