EDM Infiltrates Music Festivals, Airwaves & … Forbes?!?

“Today, rather than traditional rock bands, the names highest on festival bills are more likely to be DJs whose appearance fees are easily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The message of this quote shouldn’t shock you considering the explosive growth of electronic dance music (EDM) over the last few years. What may surprise you is that this quote isn’t from an EDM fanboy’s dance music blog but rather from an August article in Forbes Magazine. The article, which highlights the 22 million dollars earned by DJ Tiesto last year and his inauguration into Forbes’ rankings of the worlds highest paid DJ’s — a ranking system that was unnecessary just 15 years ago.

EDM ‘Bangers’ Supplant Hip Hop Collaborators

Need more proof that EDM is dominant in mainstream music? Just turn on a top 40 radio station, walk past almost any nightclub or stop into a bar on a weekend night. You’ll hear rappers and pop singers vocalizing over slamming four-to-the-floor electro beats. No more Scott Storch beats, Timbaland hip hop swagger or fiery Swizz Beats.

Instead, top acts like Britney Spears, B.O.B. and Justin Bieber are working with producers like Avicii, David Guetta, and Calvin Harris. Pop artists are experimenting with dark, futuristic glitchy house and dubstep — relying on styles and techniques that used to be reserved for the underground techno world — to make Billboard charting hits.

Coachella’s Expanded Horizons

Indie music festivals headliners are no longer limited to 90’s Brit-pop revival, alternative bands of yesteryear, rising indie sensations and hip hop legends. Coachella 2012 boasted a lineup including David Guetta, Avicii, Kascade and Swedish House Mafia. Hardcore fans also got their groove on rocking out in the lesser known Modeselektor and Martin Sloveig tents.

Fan favorites like Radiohead, Pulp and The Shins were crowd pleasers as well. EDM acts, however, seemed to draw the biggest crowd. Techno and rave culture was back in full effect, with neon glowsticks, LED lights, and colorful rave gear resulting in an electric spectacle on the festival grounds under dark lit skies.

Odd Dance: Hot Chip, Aphex Twin and Underworld Get Mainstream Love

Top billed DJs are dominating the live arena but there’s plenty of room at the top for other acts. The quirky disco pop ensemble Hot Chip just made a live appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, according to Pitchfork News. Up next for Hot Chip? Headlining on the  Coachella Cruise — the latest evolution and extension of the indie music festival.

EDM legends previously considered underrated by hardcore fans have also been gaining traction in the mainstream. Aphex Twin directed orchestral music for the European Culture Congress and Underworld provided the score for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. Over the last few years, the success of superstar EDM DJs has made it possible for underground electronica acts, as quirky as they may be, to break out of obscurity.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled as EDM is sure to continue dominating festival grounds, airwaves, and clubs. Don’t be surprised if you hear the trend of sub-genres shifting from Euro-techno and trance to soulful minimal house, tribal or even jungle. If it’s dance music, if it’s bangin’ and if it’s got a poppy, catchy hook the masses will be grooving to it.

Tell the Truth

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: