America’s Best DJ: Post-B’More, On to Chi-Town

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B’More Bass: MiMOSA smokes ’em at Starscape. Photo by Ashley Suszczynski

B’More Bass: MiMOSA smokes ’em at Starscape. Photo by Ashley Suszczynski

Chicago—After a quick trip down I-95 this past weekend for Baltimore’s always-manic Starscape festival, we now return to the vast Midwest for Chicago’s inaugural Spring Awakening event. So, as it does all season long, America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times rolls on.

Set for June 16-17 at massive Soldier Field, Spring Awakening will present 15 America’s Best DJ nominees. (In all the years we’ve conducted the tour, that’s easily the record for one event.)

So, playing Saturday, we’ll have A-Trak, Claude Von Stroke, Designer Drugs, Dillon Francis, Gabriel & Dresden, Kill the Noise, Markus Schulz, Morgan Page, Tommie Sunshine, and Skrillex.

Then, playing Sunday, it’s Derrick Carter, Diplo, Green Velvet, Moby, and Wolfgang Gartner. Whew!

Of course, we’ll see plenty of other heavy hitters at Spring Awakening, as well. On Saturday, we’ll see Ferry Corsten, Benny Benassi, Joachim Garraud and Chicago’s own Big Once (Red Bull’s 2011 U.S. Thre3style champ, a turntablist we followed around Vancouver this past winter during the world championships.)

On Sunday, we’ll see Afrojack, Laidback Luke, Carl Cox, Flux Pavilion, Hardwell, Arty and Datsik. By festival’s close, we should be ready for a bottle of Heileman’s Old Style, plus a fat slice of Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza—or maybe… just room service.

Of course, DJ Times will be at Soldier Field with a dedicated exhibit booth, taking votes for the ABDJ nominees, handing out the latest issues, and talking up DJ Expo (Aug. 13-16 in Atlantic City).

And, as you may know by now, fans who vote for an America’s Best DJ nominee, fans who Like us on Facebook, and fans who Follow us on Twitter all are automatically entered to win plenty of prizes—including subscriptions to DJ Times, ultra-hot gear from Pioneer DJ and (as grand prize) a trip for 2 to Las Vegas for the America’s Best DJ Closing Party/Award Ceremony at Marquee Nightclub on Oct. 7.

Fans go wild at Starscape. Photo by Ashley Suszczynski

Fans go wild at Starscape. Photo by Ashley Suszczynski

A look back at B’more’s Starscape on June 9: It was hot as blazes all day, but that didn’t seem to diminish the enthusiasm for the barrage of beats in the heat. No, a sold-out crowd of over 9,000 wild fans descended on Ft. Armistead Park’s five stages for 16 hours of grooves, drops and wobbles. As always, the setting by the Francis Scott Key Bridge arcing over the tidal portion of the Patapsco River was spectacular.

ABDJ nominees Wolfgang Gartner, Tittsworth, Dieselboy, Dillon Francis, DJ Dan, Donald Glaude, Kill the Noise, MiMOSA and Paper Diamond pushed the blissed-out Starscapers to their limits, and nobody seemed to mind that they were missing the desert windstorms outside Vegas at Electric Daisy Carnival.

No, Starscape didn’t get the international coverage, but it’s a party that’s been successfully running its own way for 14 years now. Event organizers Ultraworld and Steez Promo still have their fingers on the pulse of the Mid-Atlantic dancefloor and—despite some hiccups on securing a date, costing them some top talent—East Coast fans still showed up in full force making Starscape 2012 another memorable party. No wonder EDM remains America’s hottest musical attraction.

For the latest on America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times, including its 20-plus events and all the exciting prizes that fans can win, please visit