It seems that just about every dance music blog out there has done a piece on how the EDM bubble is going to burst, that EDM is just a fad, and no one will care about this music in a few years. It’s safe to say that we’ve finally reached that bursting point. With a massive company like SFX declaring bankruptcy and trying to sell off its assets, several festivals stating that they won’t return this year, Vegas club owners saying they’re sick of the DJs, and one of New York’s favorite clubs Verboten being seized by the government for failure to pay taxes, it would seem as if we’re headed down a slippery slope. But like all things in life, when one door closes, another one opens and life goes on.
We could try to make a million predictions as to what to expect in the dance music world for the coming years, but the truth is that we have no idea what’s going to happen. One thing that is for sure is that the dedicated dance music fans are not just going to disappear, and there is still going to be a demand for events and culture surrounding those fans. As we transition into this new phase of EDM/Dance Music/whatever you want to call it, keep these tips in mind:
1. Support your local scene
I really can’t stress this one enough. Your local artists and performers put just as much, if not more work into preparing for their performances as the national headliners. Get to concerts early. Have you ever been to a nationally touring concert and thought “Wow, this opener is really killin’ it!” There’s a very good chance that that person was from your city. Follow their social media page the second you can find them and keep up with their local show schedule. You never know which local artist is going to turn into the next major US touring act.
2. Embrace the live sets
Live sets are about to become relevant again. With oversaturation of DJs, it’s really hard for a new, unestablished artist to differentiate themselves. But the new guy who can sing and play real instruments? We’re all beginning to remember that true musicians, as opposed to sample stealing Pryda snare clones, add a lot more depth and soul to music. The artist who can perform live will always strike that chord with you that makes you appreciate their work. This isn’t to say that the true art of classic turntablists is to be frowned upon (that still takes massive talent cc DJ Craze), or that great electronic producers are not great musicians as well, but there’s just something about real instruments that is somehow more authentic than the SYNC star DJ.
A fun prediction: don’t be surprised when indie infused dance music becomes popular again.
3. Don’t be a snob
We’re all guilty of it, and there are snobs in every single genre, but to be honest it’s so unnecessary and really doesn’t get us anywhere. A lot of people are making fun of Avicii’s retirement, but don’t even kid yourself and pretend you didn’t love “Levels” in 2012. You don’t need to knock your old tastes to acquire new ones. Keeping an open mind and a good attitude are the things that drew us into dance culture in the first place, let’s keep it mostly positive!
Side note: can we stop fighting about the term “EDM?” If it’s primarily electronic, and you can dance to it, there’s a good chance is falls under the blanket term “EDM.” EDM does not equal Big Room House.
4. Welcome and help the newcomers
Believe it or not, there are still newer people being drawn to dance music every single day. There’s always going to be that young adult who just turned 18 or 21 who is finally able to attend events that they’ve been eyeing for years. Sure, they still might not know their limits, but if they are in visible need of medical help at an event, please get them help. As for the newcomers that are just high on music, go ahead and vibe with them! The worst thing that could happen is that you end up being really good friends.
5. Diversity your playlists
It’s easy to get sucked into the obsessive culture of dedicating five months of your life to one genre and then subsequently chewing it and spitting it out to move onto the next. Don’t be that guy. Give that random song on your SoundCloud feed a listen, and if you dig it, share it with friends.
6. Be humble
Not everyone has the same experiences as you. Not everyone comes from the same place as you. Not everyone is in the same phase of their life as you. Not everyone knows the same music as you. Don’t develop an elitist attitude about anything. Guiding the rookies, and learning from the veterans are the best ways to unite the scene and create mutual respect between the generations.
Magnetic Mag said, “Don’t believe the hype, that’s what got us here in the first place.” Let’s consider that statement for a second. A good majority of us bandwagoned on the new EDM hype at the turn of this decade. Most people look at that as a bad thing. However, if it wasn’t for the mainstream surge in EDM a few years back, you might not have ever developed your tastes enough to discover some of your favorite underground acts. We can hate on the hype all we want, but where would most of us be without it? The hype inadvertently helped shape a better underground scene. As we move forward into a new normal, don’t forget where we came from.
Let’s cheers to a great year full of changes.