In a recent article posted on Thump, Seth Troxler shares his personal thoughts about dance music, EDM festivals, and the club scene. He goes in depth on how there is a huge shift in dance music, as us party goers can easily find the hottest spots every day of the week. Stating the fact how he was recently in New York and saw that there were 50 Resident Advisor parties in just one weekend.
We are constantly showered with these festivals and the toxic EDM growing scene that people are craving more of. Where do we draw the line of when enough is enough?
1.) “First off, going to dance festivals is nothing like going clubbing.”
The festival world and the clubbing world are very different environments indeed. We see and experience clubs in a more classy way than festivals; hence you don’t show up in your fuzzy legwarmers, thong-like bikini, and kandi bracelets around your wrists as jewelry. Aside from the dress code, the atmosphere of both worlds opposes the other. Where clubs are smaller and cater more towards a top-dollar crowd only for the evenings, festivals bring in more and cater to a larger crowd for an all-day adventure.
“This new generation care much more for the festival experience than the club experience. Kids who like dance music now have grown up with no first hand experience of original club culture; techno, house, even rave in the 90s. Festivals are their ‘dance music experience’ now. Festivals are fucking holidays.”
Many festival goers are relatively young because the clubbing life is designated only for those at least ages 18 and over. Before clubs gave a sense of originality and quality to the club attendee’s. That was the ultimate experience for them. It was divergent from today’s festival, which filled with thousands of half-naked people listening to relatively similar or even same tracks from one stage to the next and the oh so popular genre of “big room” house music.
2.) “EDM Festivals spoon-feed us bullshit – and we can’t get enough of it.”
As I read this, I kept on nodding my head agreeing. It really is feeding us bull and we are getting sucked into it, causing the masses to crave more of it. These festivals have turned into toxic environments due to the ridiculous behaviors that come from them. Sometimes it may be hard for people to realize that the lines have been crossed because we are so focused on the here-and-now of the festival fun that we never take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Do you remember EDC 2010 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, when festival attendee’s were trying to jump over the gate? Even this past year at Ultra, a woman security guard was nearly crushed to death by rowdy festival goers, without any regard for her nearly depleted health (not to mention the terrible things that have happened at that festival alone).
“We’re breeding a generation of impatient, annoying festival kids. I say impatient because the patience of the clubber is different to the patience of the festival-goer.”
Do you remember those grueling long water lines, as some people shove one another to get ahead in line, waving dollar bills in the air? It’s hectic; it’s sweaty, and crowded with millions of people surrounding you as you try to dance but with no room to move. Some like to call this the best festival experience simply from the shear, overflowing number of attendees. People arrive to the campgrounds and run straight to the stage with this me-me-me mentality and more often then not are part of the younger demographic. Coincidently, we are seeing younger demographics going to these events. Hence, majority of clubs are 21+ that have older attendee’s and is an atmosphere that minimizes the chaos.
3.) “Lets Face It, EDM DJ’s are the worst people ever”
Seth throws in some artists that he is not so fond of. Let’s see, getting cake thrown at your face and DJ’s ending up in the hospital. Sound familiar to you? Well, we do see these DJ’s providing more of a party environment rather than shifting the focus on the quality of music. As these over paid DJ’s come to show up and party, rather than bringing quality music.
4.) “EDM is not a culture because it gives nothing back”
This is a powerful statement that we need to consider. Lets question, what is really EDM to you and what value is EDM providing you? If there is no positive value how can we consider EDM a culture, as millions of attendee’s claim it is a culture. Culture is an ability and practice for ones experience. On the other hand, I do see the lack of culture being bought into this EDM scene. As these EDM festivals are a fabricated image, which has blurred our realization that this EDM culture of ours is not giving back anything worthwhile.
Yes, you may meet awesome people and create lasting memories. On the other hand, “EDM plays host to a profound delusion about what electronic music and dance culture are. It’s ridiculous music, made by ridiculous, un-credible people.” Well, to some extent this is a valid point. It has turned into a worldwide mainstream profit driven circus. Seth says how he finds this sad, as EDM is continuously wiping the cultural depth of dance music.
Seth quoting a man who wore the original Paradise Garage shirt:
“The major difference with dance music now and back then, is real diversity. You had social, class, race, sexual diversity – and that’s cool. That’s what dance music culture is about. Everyone under one roof, exploring their own and each others identities. A celebration of something more, something outside of received norms. Not having a giant glow stick and getting on it.”
Before there was a community that respects all values and differences not some image of waving glow sticks. Now we can simply correlate these EDM festivals to the sexualizing image the dance music scene brings. As most girls goals for an EDM show is to dress in their best raver outfit, with fuzzies and thongs walking around. EDM has locked itself in this image of sexual content and maintaining this status for all festival goers to stand by. Moreover, lets even talk about the music per se. We go to these EDM festivals all the artists play relevantly the same classic big room sound and tracks you may hear over and over again. There is not quality only quantity.
5.) “EDM is not about music, it’s about money”
This quote takes me back to my media journalism presentation about maintaining a status quo of a culture and who is in control of maintaining this status quo. This statement is very true. Hence, EDM is a generic term; moreover, a brand that is run by companies who retrieve back loads of profit for every EDM festivals and high priced ticket purchases. Lets take a step back, the bigger the festival and the more famous the artist may be; we are drawing in more wide spread attendee’s. Thus, this will have ticket vendors easily bump up the price. As this EDM industry may be focusing too much on the profit but not the quality of ones music. As Seth first stated in his article, there is more demand for this EDM craze, people would rather pay to go to a festival further away than go to a local club in their city. This is because everyone wants to experience that festival experience or be that pro-festival goer.
Despite all of these pros and cons about EDM festivals, Seth sees hope and so do I. The hope that this image will subside and the real culture of music and diversity will come back to life. As this real culture of unity will live on from one generation to the next.
Read more about Seth Troxler’s personal thoughts about dance music festivals here, via: m.thump.vice.com