Zeds Dead and their iconic Deadbeats label have just kicked off their 2018 tour.

The second-annual installment features just over 50 artists and covers 17 cities across North America. The highly acclaimed bass duo will be joined by the likes of 12th Planet, Borgore, Ekali, G Jones, K?d, REZZ, Space Jesus, TroyBoi, WHIPPED CREAM and more. 

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The tour kicked off June 9 in Salt Lake City and will hit Red Rocks, Electric Zoo, Aragon Ballroom and more. From household names to up-and-coming talent, the tour offers a wide array of performances and entertainment.

We chatted with Deadbeats Label Manager Harrison Bennett about the ins and outs of this year’s tour, including the planning process, a look into Deadbeats Arcade, which up-and-comers to check out and more. Find more details about the tour and grab tickets here.

How does Deadbeats select which 5-7 artists play each show?

We like to bring in a selection of acts that we genuinely want to see and share with audiences. From acts that share the stage with Zeds Dead at other shows to up and coming label acts that might be playing some of these cities for their first time. We put together a massive wish list when we start planning these shows and work it down from there.

Who proposed Deadbeats Arcade and what will it entail?

That’s 100% a Zeds Dead concept. We get a bunch of old school arcade and pinball games, think anything from Galaga to Pac Man to Cruising USA to Twilight Zone pinball…so we bring a bunch of those to the show and set them up for people to play all night for free. It’s a really fun way to catch your breath between sets or kill some time while your friend grabs a drink. Plus, the artists LOVE it so you never know who you’ll get to go head to head with in a game of Mortal Kombat.

What went into curating the 2nd Annual Deadbeats North American Tour?

We really listened to what Deadbeats fans wanted. Seeing which artists and sounds react well in each market based on our label releases and looking at the lineups we did last year gave us a great amount of information to work with. Last year we tested a bunch of ideas at shows like having merch pop ups and the arcade, and seeing the reaction to those elements was a big inspiration for the ideas we came to the table with this year when we started planning out these dates.

Why did you decide to visit less frequented cities, such as Detroit, Minneapolis and Hawaii, over other locations?

Detroit and Minneapolis are cities that have always shown Zeds Dead and other Deadbeats artists so much love. We would have loved to played there last year but it just didn’t work out so we made those both priorities for this year. Hawaii….that’s pretty self explanatory….who doesn’t want to have a party on a tropical island?

Who are some of the artists you’re really excited about bringing on tour? Any up-and-comers we should check out?

I’m so excited to have three of our newest label signings, LICK, Chuurch, and DNMO, playing their first ever Deadbeats shows this year! Can’t wait for audiences to meet and experience these acts in a live setting. In terms of other artists, you’ll catch me front row during Rusko’s set at Dead Rocks. So happy that guy is back in action!

How will 2018’s ‘We Are Deadbeats’ expedition distinguish itself from last year?

New stage production, new visuals, bigger arcades, more merch pop ups, more surprises, MORE BASS. We want everyone that comes to the shows to feel like they are a part of the experience, because they are the reason we do this. Everyone that comes is part of the Deadbeats world. It’s not just the artists, it’s every single person that’s out there listening to the music, getting down at the shows, and rocks with the Deadbeats vibe.

What would a ‘Deadbeats World’ look like?

Come to one of the stops on the tour and see for yourself!

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