The summer music festival season is just about to be over. And, let’s admit it: we’ve had a blast listening to their headliners. But we’ve had an even better time listening to those who are in the small print of line-ups that always hold surprises for those who know how to look. And we’re about to explain to you who our six favourites have been.

Maybe how most festivals try to call our attention is by using big names as headliners. But those who’ve been playing for years (and even decades) jumping from festival to festival, know that where true legends are shaped is in the small print. Because, in the end, seeing Noel Gallagher for the umpteenth time on top of a stage is not legendary at all… But who doesn’t remember the first time they discovered by surprise the live performance of that group that has continued to follow them for the rest of their life?

There was a time, in fact, in which festivals weren’t as obsessed with the headliners that sell tons of tickets and that were much more acclaimed when it came to their specific field. The usual festival-goer, in fact, would also arrive at the venue with a much more open mind to let themselves be surprised by the unexpected and were much less obsessed with sticking to schedules to not miss any of the most well-known and adored bands and artists.

And, even though those times are already behind us, festivals continue to use their diamonds in the rough to be eventually be discovered by the most adventurous that do not let themselves be blinded (only) by big bands and musical dinosaurs from the past. Now that we’ve almost closed the summer festival season, it is the time to ask ourselves: which are the five biggest discoveries that we’ve uncovered from this year’s festivals?

CHANNEL TRES (seen in Paraíso 2019). Sexy Black Timberlake is one of Channel Tres most recent bangers, on top of being a true mission statement. Is this man trying to be the new (and black), Timberlake? There’s no need for that because he has Justin’s sensuality, and he showed it off on Spanish turntables, but he revisits it with a house touch that is reminiscent to Kaytranada’s very beginnings.

LET’S EAT GRANDMA (seen in Mad Cool 2019) Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth débuted at the age of 17 and, since then, they’ve been going at it non-stop: they  started to become well-known when they associated themselves to SOPHIE, releasing a great album/grower titled I’m All Ears… And this year they’ve confirmed themselves in the festival season like a storm on top of the stage that proves that the newer generations are coming in fresh, hot and empowered.

MASEGO (seen in Sónar 2019). We’ve had enough of traphousejazz. Although Masego himself (aka: Micah Davis) was the one who created the category, the truth is that seeing what he does onstage transcends trap, house and jazz. It’s quite clear that he was born in Jamaica and was raised in a Christian community in Virginia (USA): through that tension that exists in his music in which the 21st-century soul acts as a seductive outlet.

SLOWTHAI (seen in Reading 2019). Nothing Great About Britain is the album with which Tyron Frampton brings up the question of whether “Great” should come before “Britain” through belligerent hip-hop that directly hits the jugular. His songs attack populism at the same time that they precisely direct themselves to popular masses… And, even though at a Spanish festival some of the punch coming from his lyrics might have been lost in translation, the energy ball that is Slowthai has been perceived just as powerfully (and dangerously).

YELLOW DAYS (seen in Coachella 2019). Can pop sound futuristic? Yes, it can! Especially if the sound comes from a privileged voice like George van den Broek’s who uses the alias Yellow Days to move pop closer to other genres and, this way, by showing it from the inside, he builds it again with unexpected and surprising pieces. It’s no surprise then that his anthems in perpetual slow motion shine particularly bright under the festival sun.

AMA LOU (seen in Glastonbury 2019). Not all newcomer artists can brag right after coming into the spotlight about Drake sharing a story on his Instagram declaring himself an absolute fan of them… But, even though Ama Lou can brag about this, instead of relying on just vanity, she prefers to pull out all of the stops with her 21st-century soul that is charged with a social awareness that this year has shone particularly bright in Glastonbury.