When you think of music festivals in Texas, you most likely think of the ones in Austin. Regardless of what Dallas' music community would like to believe, where the state's status quo is concerned, that's the way it is. Austin has, just to name a few: Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin City Limits, Levitation and the indomitable SXSW. In fact, SXSW is so huge that it spawned two spin-off fests in DFW -- 35 Denton and Spillover -- which take advantage of the heightened traffic in Texas during March. In recent years, Dallas has established other festivals like Index Fest to help stake its claim as a music power.
However, one fest has risen above the others to claim its place as the premier music event in the city (and really, the whole state): Lights All Night. Not to throw shade at other Dallas festivals, but when you keep the city's place in the national landscape in perspective, the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) festival is clearly the best in Dallas.
The headliners aren't fringe acts on the cusp of breaking out, nor are they acts long past their prime and cashing in on a name. Lights All Night's headliners are the best in the electronic music game right now. This year's lineup, taking over the Dallas Convention Center December 26-27, will be headlined by Skrillex, Armin Van Buuren, Disclosure (DJ set), Zed's Dead and Zedd.
Since the festival began in 2009, it's offered lineups that would sell out in Miami, New York or London. Lights All Night also hosts some of the best up-and-coming acts from the electronic music world. The Chainsmokers (famous for that Selfie song), DJ Mustard and Botnek are among them this year.
It's a giant party. That's the nature of the beast in the EDM genre. For better or worse, the success of a show is not predicated on whether the band plays well or even how it sounds (which is often reliant on the quality of venue and sound guy). It's about how the crowd reacts. Awareness of this symbiotic relationship between crowd reaction and show success is Lights All Night's biggest strength. The festival organizers book the genre's best performers to ensure their shows go off. The music just needs to be loud and the crowd will take care of the rest. To this end, the festival has the Dallas Convention Center, world class EDM acts and the denizens of Dallas to make the vision of the city's biggest party of the year come true.
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While Lights All Night is not the conventional Dallas music festival (it's our only EDM fest), it's definitely in the running for the city's best. Unlike others, the lineup isn't made up of obscure acts. The performances consist of club bangers set against the backdrop of a packed-out convention center. Lights All Night is an annual New Year's Eve warm-up for Dallas residents, and it exists purely to ensure you have a good time.