The Buku Project takes place this weekend at Mardi Gras World. Here are a few of the artists we're looking forward to.

alison wonderland photo
Alison Wonderland

The Buku Project starts Friday at Mardi Gras World with perhaps its most on-time lineup yet. Migos played Saturday Night Live on the weekend, and the band has five songs from Culture II in Billboard's Hot 100 (Little Xan, also playing, has one). Culture II is number three on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, which also includes Buku artists Lil Uzi Vert and SZA. The Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack is in the Top 20, and it includes Buku artist Bishop Briggs' cover of INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart." Here are some of the performances I'm looking forward to:

Alison Wonderland 

Alison Wonderland will release her new album, Awake, later this year, and she's dribbling out the details. Last month, she released the first video, "Churches," and Thursday morning she tweeted, "in less than 24 hrs u will be able to see all the song names on my album and who is featured I can’t sleep." 

Wonderland will play Buku at 9 pm Friday on the Float Deck, and she has earned her spot in the late evening, when her set partially overlaps with SZA and Migos. The 31-year-old Australian DJ has been lighting up the festival circuit for as long the average Buku-goer can remember, and her constant touring has earned her rep for intense and well-crafted sets. Wonderland lacks a monster hit, so she’s not tied to a song or set or even any type of set, and she’s free to work with the energy of the crowd. In interviews in the past, she's worked to be seen not as a “good female DJ” but as a damn good DJ who happens to be a woman. Beyond that she’s a singer--a talent she shows off on “Church.” 

Here's our 2016 interview with Alison Wonderland.

Illenium 

“I LOVE MUSIC FESTIVALSSSS!!” Denver DJ Illenium proclaimed on Twitter earlier this week, and understandably so. Festivals helped to build his reputation. His recordings are associated with names of his collaborators--Gryffin, Daya, or MAX, most recently--but the DJ will be on his own in his element at 6 pm on Saturday. If you follow the producer on twitter, he doesn’t say much but the last thing he did say was on March 3- and music festivals love him back. 

New Thousand

There are few acts that can promise to be wholly unique at an EDM festival, but New Thousand will probably be the only violin you see on stage this weekend. The Ohio-based band toured all over the country before finding a home in New Orleans playing mostly jazz establishments along Frenchmen Street. This makes them a departure for Buku, but their set Friday at 3 pm will also give New Thousand a chance to express its dancier side--its "cinematic booty-shakin’ music”--more than it can on Frenchmen.