With another chapter of EDC Las Vegas underway, Dancing Astronaut looks back at a watershed moment in the festival’s 20+ years running: Anna Lunoe and Alison Wonderland taking the main stage for ransom in 2016. They were the first solo female acts to do so.
Lunoe, known for her unorthodox—looney, if you will—strain of house and club stylings, isn’t necessarily your run-of-the-mill main stage artist; she herself attested the notion in an interview with EDC organizers at Insomniac shortly following the momentous appearance. Nevertheless, the OWSLA-aligned, Australian-bred Lunoe dug deep into her HYPERHOUSE crates for what proved a scene-altering set under the Electric Sky, despite some minor sound interference from the festival’s audio techs letting the opening ceremony music bleed in. But Lunoe, sleep-deprived and still acclimating herself to brand new CDJs, bulldozed through the accidental interruption like the tireless talent she’s proven herself to be behind the decks for over a decade.
Another culturally disruptive (for the better) Aussie and classically trained cellist, by the name of Alison Wonderland, further solidified the long-time-coming female ferocity sweeping over EDC, taking the main stage under her more-than-adept wing that Sunday. The melodic/experimental trap talent’s indelible legacy amongst women in dance music is still ever-blossoming. In 2018, she took home the highest paycheck in Coachella history to be issued to a female DJ, following her Sahara Tent performance, which amassed over 20,000 awe-stricken spectators. An outspoken advocate for mental health, Wonderland also secured an auspicious cover story this year for Billboard, wherein she traced her often tumultuous rise to EDM superstardom, and accredited music as her most vital vessel for forging human connection.
Here’s to these two torrentially talented tastemakers—as well as all the other convention-confronting women in dance music carving out a path for the often-overlooked female talent across the globe. Though the path is still largely untrodden, as Wonderland this year serves as the only female act on the main stage roster. The EDC Vegas side stages want for naught, however, as some of the most in-demand women in dance music (and acts in general), including REZZ, TOKiMONSTA, and Amelie Lens are effectively offsetting the overwhelmingly male 2019 makeup.