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Khalid rocks the Franklin Mountain Stage at Day Two the Neon Desert Music Festival, May 28, 2017 El Paso Texas

Neon Desert Music Fest Draws 40k Music, Art Lovers to Downtown

Neon Desert Music Festival celebrated its seventh year in 2017 with its most successful event to date, which sold out across two days and featured a variety of acclaimed international hip-hop, EDM, Latin, and indie acts. The two-day festival took place this past Memorial Day weekend, May 27 and 28, in El Paso, Texas, and played host to over 40,000 total attendees.

Covering over 15 city blocks in the heart of downtown El Paso and encompassing two city parks, Cleveland Square Park and San Jacinto Plaza, Neon Desert Music Festival proudly welcomed headlining performances from some of the most in-demand acts in the world, including EDM heavyweights Hardwell and Alesso.

Hardwell’s high-energy performance on Sunday kept the party going all night long, along with internationally renowned DJ and producer Alesso, whose stellar performance on Saturday proved that he has earned his title as the forerunner of the next generation of EDM and house music.

Additional 2017 headliners included Colombian R&B singer and international sensation J Balvin, as well as rapper/producer and self-described “Young Sinatra” Logic, who performed in support of his recently released album, Everybody, which just this month hit number one on the Billboard 200 charts. Migos, one of the biggest hip-hop groups in the country, was also onsite over Memorial Day weekend. Their sophomore album, Culture, topped the Billboard 200 for several weeks this spring and was boosted in large part by the smash hit “Bad and Boujee.”

Other music performers at Neon Desert this weekend included Texas-based electro-funk duo Ghostland Observatory; Grammy-winner and beloved St. Louis rapper Nelly; electronic producer and creator of the viral smash hit “Harlem Shake” Baauer; tropical-house DJ Thomas Jack; genre-bending DJ Mija; and more than 30 other talented acts, including a variety of local music performers like El Paso’s own R&B sensation Khalid, whose return to El Paso was a homecoming of sorts for the rising star.

Neon Desert once again proved that it is truly unique to the national festival landscape as it not only showcased national headlining hip-hop, EDM, and indie talent, but it also paid tribute to the Latin heritage of host town El Paso and its diverse residents. For the 2017 event, the festival welcomed a variety of Latin and Mexican music performers from across the globe, including Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte, who proved to be a crowd favorite at the weekend event; Venezuelan-based disco-funk band Los Amigos Invisibles; Mexican rockers DLD; five-piece indie pop band and recent nominee for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys 2016 The Chamanas, and more.

In addition to the music performances throughout the weekend, fans at the 2017 festival experienced an expanded footprint in historic downtown El Paso, which included a new entrance near the Mills Plaza. Other key features at the festival included a dedicated stage for local artists in the San Jacinto Square, as well as a skate ramp, pro wrestling, numerous live art installations, and more. Neon Desert also welcomed a full slate of local merchants, food vendors, and live visual artists at this year’s two-day event.

Now in its seventh year, Neon Desert has cumulatively hosted over 170,000 attendees, as well as a variety of world-renowned talent, with the likes of Tiësto, Future, J. Cole, Kaskade, Daddy Yankee, Passion Pit, Zoé, Ximena Sariñana, Mala Rodríquez, G-Eazy, Zedd, Wiz Khalifa, MGMT, and Moby having previously played at the festival.

Neon Desert would like to thank their 2017 partners who helped make the event possible, including presenting sponsor Southwest University, as well as additional partners like Dos Equis, Whataburger, Malibu Rum, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Red Bull, Tidal, J&K, Electric Sky Wine, Hunt Companies, and El Paso’s Museum and Cultural Affairs Division (MCAD).

To view Herald-Post’s coverage of the event,  click Day One or Day Two, to check out the art of Los Visionaries, click HERE; and to read our feature story about Hardwell, click here.

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