There’s nothing better than finding a great live set to get you in a state of flow, be that for work, gaming or even relaxation. So with that in mind we’ve taken the time to list the best YouTube channels for DJ sets. We’ve even thrown in some extras tips at the end to help you find other channels if our list isn’t enough.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some great channels that offer amazing live sets from the biggest names in dance!
Very few channels can compete with the sets hosted by Cercle. Not only do they have access to some of the biggest performers, they combine this with beautiful setting and expert cinematography. They really are the full package.
To give you some context of their calibre, some of their previous events include; Solomun at Théâtre Antique d’Orange in France, HVOB at Copa del Sol in Careyes Mexico and Amelie Lens at Atomium in Brussels Belgium.
Moreover, quality sets are put on monthly with public tickets available to purchase at an affordable price ahead of time, and Cercle even welcome ideas from their viewers in regards to future location/DJ combinations. However, it’s worth noting that due to the nature of the events, some locations provide more opportunity than others. For example, Boris Brejcha’s set at Grand Palais (exhibition hall and museum) in Paris France offered more tickets than when Einmusik was back-to-back with Jonas Saalbach at Preikestolen (a cliff towering at 604 metres high) in Norway.
2. DJ Sounds
DJ Sounds is a media outlet for the dance music industry that interviews artists, creates documentaries and occasionally hosts DJ sets from their guests. While they sometimes opt for quirky locations, such as Laidback Luke’s boat set below, they normal stick to their traditional studio setup.
Guests range from legends all the way to new talent and the sets cover every variant of dance music and beyond, with Mistajam once performing a vinyl based Grime set. Unfortunately, due to the fairly small size of the channel, sets are often edited or even removed due to copyright infringements with track IDs. Nonetheless, DJ Sounds do have a substantial back catalogue of quality sets dating all the way back to 2012, meaning there is probably something for everyone.
3. DJ Mag
One of, if not, the largest players in the dance music scene is DJ Mag, a global media brand that has a long history of covering all aspects of electronic music. While their sets might not be as artsy as Cercle’s, no one produces as much content as DJ Mag do who often upload multiple sets a day!
Being a big name in the industry also grants them access to pretty much any artist you can think of, from every genre imaginable. As an example, their Top 100 DJs Virtual Festival last year included the likes of Timmy Trumpet, Armin Van Buuren, Oliver Heldens, David Guetta, Steve Aoki and more. If you’re looking for sets from the hottest names around, then it’s a good bet there will be one at DJ Mag.
Similar to DJ Mag, Mixmag are another big player who also offer sets from a long list of high profile names. Their sets are usually held in their intimate “The Lab” venues in global locations such as London and NYC and have featured artists such as Martin Solveig, Eelke Kleijen and Benny Benassi.
Furthermore, having previously partnered with Smirnoff to create the “Sound Collective”, Mixmag have a history of supporting new talent and often showcase up-and-coming acts on their channel. This makes them a great option if you’re looking to find the hidden gems of the industry.
While there are countless electronic music festivals held each year, none hold the same glamour and appeal that Tomorrowland does. With capacity for 400,000 EDM fans, Tomorrowland is probably also the biggest dance music festival around. This means it attracts the largest names in electronic music from Amelie Lens, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, Hi-Lo and Vini Vici to name a handful of past acts.
The other great thing about Tomorrowland, is that all the main sets are recorded and uploaded to their YouTube channel meaning you can listen to your festival favourites whenever and wherever you like. Tomorrowland’s channel also features a radio series called One World Radio where they invite DJs to play a set under their Friendship Mix feature.
6. Boiler Room
Boiler Room sets are renowned for always featuring the world’s most awkward dancers and the more eccentric breed of electronic music aficionado. There is even a dedicated tumblr to awkward Boiler Room moments caught on camera. However, Boiler Room are also known for featuring for some of the best artists from around the world.
Fancy a 3 hour Fatboy Slim set in their hometown of Brighton? You’ve got it. What about Disclosure at their peak in Shanghai? Sure thing. If there is one thing Boiler Room can do, it’s put on a good show. Check out their channel for more great sets such as our personal favourite – Solomun in Tulum.
Beatport is the leading seller of electronic music and resources that can be used for remixes, so it comes as no surprise that they also host DJ sets over on their YouTube channel. Featuring names both big and small, the Beatport channel is a great place to find up-and-coming DJs.
Their channel is a mixed bag of content and includes virtual festivals, a residency series, charity events and the odd promotional set thrown in for good measure. While Beatport may not be consistent in quality, it more than makes up for it in diversity.
SLAM! is a Dutch digital radio station that specialises in EDM and can be listened to online. More importantly however, due to the long relationship between electronic music and the Netherlands, they have access to some big names in the industry who they often invite for short sets. Notable past guests include Sam Feldt, Lost Frequencies, Oliver Heldens and Nicky Romero among others. The nature of the short sets make them perfect taster sessions for discovering artists you may not have experienced previously.
9. 1001 Tracklists
1001 Tracklists is a DJ tracklist database that allows users to find song IDs from their favourite sets. This data is then used to provide access to which songs are commonly used, allowing you to find the top trending songs of the day, week and year.
While they’ve successfully gathered a popular following for their website, they are still playing catch up with their YouTube channel. This means that while don’t quite have access to the household names you may be familiar with, they do have access to some of the rising stars of the EDM scene such as Miss Monique.
Claiming to be the “world’s largest dance music and experience company”, Insomniac put on events around the world that aim to share their passion for electronic music. InsomniacTV is their official YouTube channel where they frequently upload live sets. You never quite know what you’re gonna get with InsomniacTV though as popular names are often scattered amongst b-list producers.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as this makes them another great channel to stumble upon acts you probably haven’t heard of before. Making them a great choice for any of you EDM hipsters out there looking to get ahead of the curve.
11. Defected Records
Defected Records are one of the most coveted record labels in the electronic music arena, having released singles from the likes of Camelphat, Purple Disco Machine and Bob Sinclair. Nowadays though, Defected are much more than just a record label. They now have their own six day festival in Croatia and their own online radio show.
With such a standing in the industry, they are able to offer some great sets from some great acts including the likes of Gorgon City, John Summit and Idris Elba. Unfortunately however, the sets can be quite hard to find amongst the mix of shorts, singles, interviews and radio shows they upload to their channel. If you do manage to seek them out though, the reward is more than worth the hassle.
Bonus Channels & Tips
Our list of the best YouTube channels for DJ sets, is in no way an exhaustive collection of channels. There are many more out there releasing quality sets ripe for discovery if you know how and where to look! Hopefully this section gives you a couple of pointers to help you find your favourite source of live music.
We find that categorising channels is the easiest approach to finding the best YouTube channels for DJ sets. The categories that we commonly utilise are:
- Promotion Companies (e.g. Cercle and Insomniac)
- Record Labels (e.g. Defected Records)
- Radio Stations and Podcasts (e.g. SLAM! and DJ Sounds)
- Media Companies (e.g. DJ Mag, Mixmag and Boiler Room)
- Festivals (e.g. Tomorrowland)
- Industry Tools (e.g. Beatport and 1001 Tracklists)
- Personal Channels (e.g. Hot Since 82)*
We carefully chose our list of the 11 Best YouTube Channels for DJ Sets to represent the wide variety of different types of channels that exist, such as event companies, record labels, festivals and radio shows/podcasts, to demonstrate this rule in action.
As an example, other record labels may include channels such as Toolroom Records, other radio stations could include the likes of A State of Trance and other festivals could include other leading EDM festivals such as Ultra or Transmission.
By taking a category above and using your own knowledge or researching associated brands, you should easily be able to find sets on YouTube. If you do happen to find any particular sets that you fall in love with, feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
*We decided not to include any of this type of channel in our list because everyone’s tastes are unique and personal YouTube channels are often sporadic in content. For example, Hot Since 82 only uploads a handful of sets each year.