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Paradiso 2016: The Best Major PNW EDM Festival Lineup of 2010-2019

Photo: Kevin Brost

After several weeks of voting, intriguing matchups, and some close calls, we’ve crowned The Best Major PNW EDM Festival Lineup of 2010-2019: Paradiso 2016!

It wasn’t always easy, and many of the matchups were just a handful of votes from going the other way. But now, after all is said and done, Paradiso 2016 can claim its place atop the incredible list of major PNW EDM festival lineups that we enjoyed from 2010-2019.

We’d like to send a special thank you to everyone who took the time to vote and share their thoughts with us during the tournament. Everyone is entitled to their opinions on festival lineups, and discussions around them is often one of our favorite aspects of festival season. Although now there’s more talk about the lineups for live-streams, we had fun going down memory lane, and hope you did too.

So, how’d we get here?

The Paradiso 2016 full lineup flyer

The Journey

Going into the tournament, Paradiso 2016 was considered one of the handful of favorites to win the whole thing. It’s one thing to think that from the start. But the matchups ‘Diso 2016 was faced with made for a trickier road than some might’ve expected.

Bumbershoot may not be solely an EDM festival, but any dance music fan at Bumbershoot 2016 wouldn’t have been complaining. The lineup was loaded with top-notch dance music acts, and likely would’ve moved on to round two were the tournament drawn differently. Instead, Paradiso 2016 showcased its might, advancing from the first round with 78.3% of the vote.

The second round offered similar obstacles, but in different ways. Now, instead of taking on a loaded multi-genre lineup, Paradiso 2016 had to go up against one of its own: Paradiso 2014. With a handful of acts on both lineups, the margins were always going to be thin. Paradiso 2016 continued to take care of business though, earning 60% of the vote.

Then, in the Washington Championship, things got hairy. Taking on FreakNight 2013, another pre-tournament favorite to win it all, led to a tiebreaker. It was the second consecutive week FreakNight 2013 went to a tiebreaker with a Paradiso lineup.

But this time it was a different result for the Halloween-themed festival. In the extended voting period, Paradiso 2016 took control, and the Washington Championship, with 69% of the vote.

It all came down to the final. Shambhala 2015 had rolled through the British Columbia bracket, getting at least 70% of the vote in each of the first three rounds. Although it was one of the closer matchups of the tournament, Paradiso 2016 came out on top with 56.2% of the vote, becoming The Best Major PNW EDM Festival Lineup of 2010-2019.

paradiso 2016 tournament final winner

Why It Stands Out

Lineups that stand out from the crowd have a few common attributes. Whether it’s big names, up and coming artists, legendary locals, or genre-specific stages, there are some boxes to tick if you’re going to put on a festival that belongs in the conversation with the likes of Paradiso 2016. So, it’s no wonder that this lineup easily hits those markers, and more.

The Pacific Northwest loves bass. The regional bassheads show their support in droves, attending a variety of local festivals and shows on a regular basis. Booking the likes of Cookie Monsta b2b Funtcase, Dirtyphonics, Terravita, Caspa b2b Rusko, Illenium, NGHTMRE, Matrix & Futurebound, 12th Planet, and more, is a surefire way to gain the paid support of the bass music community.

We love our trance, too. While Paradiso 2016 may not be overflowing with trance, there aren’t many PNW trance fans who would turn down the chance to see Aly & Fila, Cosmic Gate, Andrew Rayel, Orjan Nilsen, and BT all in the same weekend at a venue as beautiful as The Gorge.

Major festivals are more fun with big names, too. Of course, truly great festivals have more than just that, as does Paradiso 2016. But, they brought some heavy hitters.

There’s Bassnectar, who recently announced he’s ‘stepping back from his career‘ following allegations of sexual misconduct. If we remove him from the ‘Diso 2016 lineup, it’s safe to say the group of artists remaining on the lineup is still likely the winner of the tournament.

With major acts like The Chainsmokers, Hardwell, Dillon Francis, Madeon, Excision, RL Grime, New World Punx, and more, there’s no shortage of big names at Paradiso 2016.

We’ve mentioned the bass, the trance, and the big names. But what sets the Paradiso 2016 lineup, and the other lineups that did well in this tournament, apart is the diverse sounds spread throughout. From house and mainstage to big room and trap, this lineup had it all.

That’s before we mentioned a legendary group of Northwest favorites on the bill, such as Beauflexx, DARRIUS, Johnny Monsoon, and Aaron Jackson.

Paradiso 2016 was a once in a lifetime kind of festival. With a lineup like this, and a venue like The Gorge, it’s no wonder ‘Diso 2016 holds a special place in our hearts.

Let us know what you think of Paradiso 2016 earning the title of “Best Major PNW EDM Festival Lineup of 2010-2019”, and whether or not you think it truly was the best! Share your thoughts with us by commenting below, on Facebook, or over on Twitter!

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Written By

Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.

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