Dance music is declining. Dance music is dead. The bubble is bursting, just look at SFX Entertainment.
These are the headlines that have dominated the music industry as of late, with everyone from Pitchfork, to Billboard, to the Miami New Times, declaring that EDM’s reign at the top of the music world is coming to a screeching end. Dance music’s detractors point towards the festival market’s over-saturation, as well as other evidence of dance music’s decline such as SFX Entertainment’s declaration for bankruptcy, in addition to the company being forced to sell off many of dance music’s most prominent businesses, such as Beatport, TomorrowWorld, and more.
However, what many of these naysayers fail to look at in their examination of dance music’s decline, especially in the festival space, are the smaller, niche festivals that are in it for all the right reasons, rather than the money, the fame, and the namesake. Big festivals like TomorrowWorld eventually crumbled because of SFX’s short-sighted management, but others, like the ID&T-produced Mysteryland have shown incredible staying power by sticking to their founding beliefs and never straying too far away from what they believe in.
Since its inception in the Netherlands in 1993, Mysteryland has cemented itself as one of the world’s premier electronic music festival brands by staying true to the ideals that made it so successful – a focus on music, culture, and arts. This dedication to their beliefs is clear across all three of Mysteryland’s festivals – its original in the Netherlands, its satellite festival in Chile, and lastly, Mysteryland USA, the festival’s American counterpart. Mysteryland USA calls Bethel Woods, NY, the home of the original Woodstock Festival, its home, further playing into the long-standing festival’s dedication to respecting music history, and ID&T has expertly curated nearly every aspect of Mysteryland to ensure that their message of self-expression and love isn’t lost on any festival-goer.
With just months to go until Mysteryland USA touches down in Bethel Woods for its third edition, we’re starting to see the festival slowly take form, as the team has already unveiled the first two phases of the lineup. A quick glance through the nearly 50 artists on the lineup shows that Mysteryland USA isn’t your typical EDM festival, as the big names that typically top the EDC’s and Ultra’s are mysteriously missing, as other, more tasteful artists, like ODESZA and Bassnectar, are in their place. While the headlining talents at Mysteryland USA are clear choices, its the festival’s undercard that truly shines, as ID&T has shown their respect for the roots of dance music, curating a lineup that undeniably pays tribute to the underground culture that modern-day dance music has grown out of.
In its nearly 25 years of existence both abroad and here in America, Mysteryland has proven that the formula for a successful festival isn’t in the money, the bottle service, the big names, the fireworks, or the impressive stages, rather, they’ve become the longest-running festival brand in the world by staying true to what matters – paying respect to music, culture, and art, the things that truly bring all of us together. Mysteryland USA will be returning to Bethel Woods from June 10 – 13th, so move fast and get your tickets here.