Sensation, the Dutch dance music experience, just came to the United States for the first time ever after traveling to over 20 other countries. For two nights, October 26 and 27, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY was turned in to a massive club for EDM lovers around the US. The event requires all attendees to wear all white and features a mind-blowing production which includes indoor pyrotechnics and fountains. One of the headliners for “Innerspace”, Fedde le Grand, says ”I think the best comparison is Cirque Du Soleil vs. a really good EDM party,”. With a two-day lineup stacked with international talent such as Fedde le Grand, Danny Tenaglia and Mark Knight the turnout was unbelievable. Sensation said that they waited until now because they felt that the United States was finally ready for the experience, but were they really?
The answer is no, they weren’t, at least not yet. The United States culture is based too much on tangible objects. Sensation is about the experience, about the music. Its setup does not cater to a big name DJ being in the spotlight, it’s not designed so that everyone attending can get a view of the headliner. It’s about having a real dance music experience. There appeared to be a handful of people enjoying themselves but it lacked the energy. It wasn’t about the music for these people, they needed something more, something tangible. Also, the blatant Bud Light product placement didn’t help. Friday’s live Youtube coverage was interrupted every few minutes so that two hosts could ask attendees how they were going to make their evening “platinum”. “Platinum” was of course a reference to Bud Light Platinum which had spilled an obscene amount of money in to the event. Sensation itself remained unchanged, or so Duncan Stutterheim (CEO of ID&T, the company that produces Sensation) said in an interview during the Youtube coverage. The show was absolutely phenomenal, I don’t mean to put that part down. The issue simply was that it was held in America. For now events like Sensation should stay on the other side of the pond, we just aren’t ready for it.
This opens up a new question as to dance music as a whole in the US. Are we, the consumers of dance music in America, contributing to the expectation of a DJ being more than someone that plays music? Do we need to create a persona for DJs beyond their music? Maybe in fact there is a new component to dance music on the rise. It’s not necessarily a genre, or even about the music, but an added element. Something that has never been a part of EDM before. Will there in fact be an age when we begin to recognize DJs more by their faces (and even voices) than by there music? And if so, what happens to the music?
I am really interested as to your opinions on Sensation coming to the US and some of the questions I raised at the end. Whether you agree or disagree with my point of view or you have an answer to the questions I brought up I would love to hear from you. You can comment on the article below or feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I mentioned before Sensation was very well executed and you can catch all the theatrics and pyrotechnics in the aftermovie below. Enjoy!