When it comes to biggest cities in the U.S. for DJ culture, Phoenix has (sadly) played second fiddle to the likes of Las Vegas, NYC, Chicago, and L.A. That's not to say that our town hasn't produced loads of world-class artist or hosted some phenomenal gigs, its just that those bigger 'bergs have hogged more of the spotlight in the DJ world over the years.
Come early April, however, that's gonna change, at least for a few nights, when the national finals of the Red Bull Thre3style take place in the Valley.
Phoenix will get the spotlight when 12 of the best DJs from around the U.S. duke it out on the decks at local venues during the three-night competition, which will take place from Thursday, April 2, to Satuday, April 4, and crown a national champion in the Red Bull-sponsored worldwide DJ battle.
And if you've not familiar with the Thre3style, its a global competition put on every few years that attempts to find the best DJs on the planet.
Regional qualifying battles are held in cities around the world - from Munich to Miami - with the winners getting to go to the national finals in each country. The best of the best then move on to the Thre3style world finals in Tokyo later this summer.
The Valley gets the honor of hosting two different Thre3style events during this year's competition, as one of the regional qualifiers took place earlier this month at the Monarch Theatre, which was won by Phoenix's DJ Akshen. He's one of a dozen U.S. finalists that will vie for the national crown and a chance to represent 'Murica and (obviously) won't have to drive very far to participate.
His competition includes New Jersey's DJ Reed Streets, Boi Jeanius from Chicago, Philadelphia's DJ Bonics, DJ B Stee of Kansas City, Indianapolis winner DJ Spare Change, California's J. Espinosa, and DJ Trayze from Maryland.
According to Red Bull, which announced specific details about the Thre3style national finals earlier today, each night of the competition take place at a different local venue and will feature different heats to whittle the field down. And just like in Highlander, there can be only one winner.
To wit: the first two heats of six DJs each will take place on Thursday, April 2, at Monarch Theatre, and on Friday, April 3, at Club Red in Mesa. The top two competitors from either night will then square off in a final four showdown on Saturday, April 4, at The Pressroom.
Each evening will also feature a headlining performance from a big-name DJ, such as Grandtheft on April 2, Jazzy Jeff on April 3, and Valley native and mash-up legend Z-Trip on April 4.
Akshen told New Times that he'd pretty jazzed to perform in from of a hometown crowd.
"I'm hoping to get as much local support as possible and represent Phoenix well," he says. "There are so many great DJ's in this city and I'm hoping to put Phoenix on the map."
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