With its intimate venues, local charm, and nary a flower crown in sight, Waking Windows is possibly the ultimate festival for live music fans who don’t go for the typical festival scene. But as its seventh installment preps to take over the downtown of Vermont city Winooski this weekend (May 5 to 7), one classic festival dilemma still plagues us: What to do about all of these overlapping sets? And over a three-day slate that features a lot of performances, overlapping is inevitable. But in an effort to simplify, we’ve picked five acts whose live performances promise to be especially mind-blowing. Scan through our “can’t miss” selections below, and if you need more convincing that Waking Windows is the place to be this weekend, check out Ben Stas’ massive photo gallery from last year’s edition.

[Note: All set times are estimates; see the full schedule after the band spotlights and get ticket info here]

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Dan Deacon

Still running strong off the glitchy brilliance of 2015’s Gliss Riffer, Dan Deacon isn’t just an artist; he’s a ringleader. His one-man avant-electronica show would be enough of a spectacle to witness on its own, but it’s the now-famed crowd participation that makes his live performances an entirely unique phenomenon. Expect a frenetic dance party that’ll escalate to flash-mob-esque heights. Not really the dancing type? Trust us: You will be.

Performing Friday at 9 p.m. on the Waking Windows Main Stage.

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