The Swedish DJ, who died on April 20, received a loving tribute from Kygo.
Avicii received a loving tribute from the stage thanks to Norwegian DJ Kygo. Towards the end of his set, an image of Avicii appeared in triplicate on the giant video screens while the 2017 song “Without You” played. The screens then flashed to Avicii’s name and the words: “Rest in peace. We will miss you.”
Fans, too, felt the loss. “A bunch of people texted me and were like,’Did you hear about Avicii?’” said Brooke Brush, 23, outside the Sahara tent at the beginning of the day. “It’s crazy because, honestly, he’s the reason I got into electronic music. All his music totally turned me on to EDM.”
The Boston native is confident that the DJ will get his dues on the field this weekend. “I hope a lot of people do tributes this weekend,” she said.
Shylo Taylor, 26, was also outside the Sahara tent. “It’s really sad,” she said. “It sucks.”
Alexandra Greenberg, an executive at MSO Public Relations, represents several electronic musicians, and though Avicii was never a client, they ran in the same circles; Greenberg was a publicist for Ultra, where the Swedish DJ performed many times. “It’s a really sad day, because he’s the first icon of EDM to pass away,” she said. “There are so many people around the world who cherish his music deeply, and its so sad we will not get more of him.”
Jeremy Hulsh, of Oleh Records, was backstage when he heard the news, and was visibly shocked. “It’s obvious his passing is going to have ripple effects,” he said. “I place him in the same realm as when Kurt Cobain passed away [for my generation.] There are a lot of kids probably hurting right now.”
Avicii’s death hit the music industry hard, particularly those who worked with the DJ, like Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson, who spoke to Variety hours after the news broke.