Tomorrowland 2016 turns up the volume Friday in Boom, Belgium. One definite highlight of this year’s festival is a group of fresh talent: six new faces, each playing a live 60-minute set on the Mazda Sound Of Tomorrow Island stage.

It’s the biggest gig yet for each one of the artists, who earned the right to play the festival after prevailing over more than 1,000 entrants to the “Mazda Drives: The Sound Of Tomorrow” DJ competition. The newcomers unanimously view this opportunity to play alongside and rub shoulders with some of the music scene’s biggest stars as the chance of a lifetime. Bodalia, who hails from the UK, will kick it off on Friday afternoon at 15:30, followed by Switzerland’s Miss Ghyss at 18:00. Spain’s DJ Paula Serra spins her mixes Saturday afternoon, with Pat Farell playing in the evening. Belgium’s own Swift-D then takes the stage Sunday at 15:00 before This Is CROB from the Netherlands closes up the stage as the final act on Sunday evening at 22:00.

Their journey to Tomorrowland 2016 began back in March, when contest organisers invited artists from across Europe to post their best dance music mixes to the #MazdaSounds page on Mixcloud, the music streaming and social media platform. The competition attracted an overwhelming response both from DJs – they entered 520 hours of music– and fans, who listened for around 37,000 hours.

By June, the field had been reduced to 20 candidates. They converged on Barcelona for a series of workshops at Mazda Space before facing off against one-another during the #MazdaSounds Live Showdown at Barcelona’s Marina de Badalona. Six of the finalists were then chosen by a jury of representatives from Mazda and Tomorrowland along with Lost Frequencies (a.k.a. Felix De Laet), a Belgian house DJ who was himself catapulted into the limelight in 2014 with his smash hit “Are You With Me”. De Laet, Mazda’s ambassador to the Mazda Drives: The Sound Of Tomorrow campaign, also mentored the finalists and hosted a mixing techniques workshop.

Mazda is the exclusive automotive partner to the Tomorrowland festival for the second consecutive year. It’s a collaboration the two organisations broadened this year to seek and support new talent. Sharing an open-minded vision and a spirit of innovation, both Mazda and Tomorrowland are known for providing uplifting experiences. While Tomorrowland was the International Dance Music Awards’ best event for each of the past five years, Mazda is dedicated to driving exhilaration with globally acclaimed models like the Mazda MX-5 and Mazda CX-3. The journey to Tomorrowland 2016, dubbed “The Elixir of Life”, is almost complete.

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