“Wait for the Drop” by Sean Hartanto – Podcast Episode 1
To give a brief intro to the topic at hand, I interviewed one of my best friends and my roommate about his/our experience at Life in Color.
So what exactly is so appealing about EDM (Electronic Dance Music)? Well the answer to that question lies in the analysis of the term itself. People show up to live performances of any genre in order to see their favorite artists perform and enjoy the music. During a rock concert, the audience would sway back and forth with emotion while singing along. Same thing would be happening during a rap or hip-hop concert, with more bounce than sway and much more explosiveness. This all changes at an EDM festival, where it will completely just discard the idea of the bounce or sway of a regular concert goer and replaces it with raw energy, power, and, well, dancing (dance music, pretty self explanatory). As a semi-regular EDM festival attendee, I would have to say that being present at an EDM performance is something that is very difficult to put into words and can simply be explained as “feeling it” and letting the music move you. You can’t think about it, just do. As the music courses through your body and mind, it’s impossible to stand still and not move a bone in your body. The music is meant to inspire the audience to want to move and practically entertain themselves as the DJ just plays his set. And we have absolutely no problem with that.
As the popularity of EDM in America grows, so will the attendance at festivals. Even though festivals have been touring the United States for decades, it has only just recently come to the attention of the masses, in result, drastically increasing the attendance at these festivals.
In a tweet by a very avid EDM supporter, he discredits the people who say that EDM is a problem for our society and provides a quick infographic of how EDM festials have stimulated the economy, Chicago’s specifically in this example:
Two prime examples of the huge, resurging EDM culture are the the two biggest festivals in American history that are still touring today – Life in Color and TomorrowWorld.
Let’s start with Life in Color. Originally known as Dayglow, this EDM festival and paint party tradition was started in 2005 as a small college event, with only 3400 people in regular attendance during its first couple years. However, thanks to the entrepreneurship of the creators and owners as well as the huge EDM uprising in America over the past years, this tradition exploded and gained worldwide recognition as the “World’s Largest Paint Party.” Merely 8 years later in 2013, Life in Color has brought the biggest EDM names to its stage – Afrojack, Nicky Romero, Alesso, Tiesto, and Steve Aoki just to name a few – and has more than doubled its attendance at individual shows while booking massive festivals nationwide (31 different cities in 2013). If you thought that rock and rap concerts were crazy, here is a video of their biggest venue (RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.) to show how insane (and even straight up wacky) Life in Color can be.
Next, we have TomorrowWorld. TomorrowWorld is a spin off of TomorrowLand, cited as the world’s largest EDM festival that is only held in Belgium. This world renowned event brings together over 180,000 people for a 3-day festival where attendees camp out and promoters and commercial companies set up their booths to accommodate these people. As a strictly Belgium festival, you could only imagine how much convincing and planning that it took to bring it to the United States – thus creating TomorrowWorld. Shawn Kent, the project director for this extravaganza, has said that it costed “in the millions” to produce the indescribable experience that is TomorrowWorld. This obviously means that the profit earned was significantly larger than whatever amount that Kent has described as “in the millions.” And this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone whatsoever seeing as an estimated 140,000 people attended this festival that was held in Georgia this past September. Even more significant than the attendance numbers is the fact that TomorrowLand signed a 10 year contract with the local county landowners to hold the festival there for many more years to come. This is a huge deal and shows how much the EDM scene here in America is developing and growing into a craze. Atlanta’s NPR Station does an insightful article about TomorrowWorld and Fuse TV does a great insider interview about the biggest festival that the United States has seen to date, shown below.