Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a worldwide phenomenon. There are many that have no idea what EDM is or represents, but those that do are saving money and taking pictures and making treks for their next lifelong highlight experience.
Whether you’re a fan of the music or not, there is no questioning the scope and influence that EDM artists command from country to country. Sold out shows. Massive promotional dollars. Elaborate websites filled with merchandising opportunities… there is gold in them decks!
And, soon, more gold there than anywhere else if things continue. Why?
1. Low cost
Paying a band means paying a sum large enough to sustain two, or three, or more members. It also means paying someone to assist with loading in their equipment or schlepping it yourself. It also means feeding them in the green room. Doing a longer soundcheck so you can check all their instruments. And praying that the lead singer isn’t too ‘exhausted’ (read: hungover) from the last gig so that he or she can belt out those favourites.
On the other hand, you could hire a DJ. The DJ would bring in their laptop and a few other boxes they would set up. The sound guy would plug the DJ into the board. Levels check. Done.
Bands have their upsides, of course, and DJs have their entourages. But if you absolutely, positively want to turn a profit on your night, young promoter, get to know some good DJs.
2. No band drama
There are few things cooler than seeing a full band on stage rocking a crowd of people. All the moving parts, background voices, kinetic energy and passion are difficult to match in a DJ’s set.
But those moving parts come with a cost. A four-member band has four infinite possibilities of drama that could befall them. Arguing over groupies. Family members dying. Creative differences. Any of these and millions of other problems could kill a show date. And those possibilities go up exponentially with every individual band member you add.
One DJ. One potential strand of drama. Easy.
3. The Internet
The light shows. The raver chicks. The wet, sticky fans. Social media gold.
With every festival a new rush of pictures flood Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and any other social media outlets from the phones of fans who can’t get them posted fast enough. You can pay to promote your shows on billboards, websites, radio stations and everything else you can think of. But social media word of mouth is worth more than diamonds.
4. Arena shows
It used to be that if you wanted to see the biggest DJs perform for the biggest crowds you had to go overseas. Now, these massively popular DJs are doing arena tours that penetrate into the US. You don’t have to go to Ibiza or the Netherlands to see your favourite DJ turn a mass of fans into a sweaty, shiny undulating mass of revelry. Just take a road trip. And lots of baby wipes and deodorant.
5. Biggest festivals
Not only are DJs doing arena tours, but they’re also headlining some of the biggest festivals in the world. David Guetta, Tiesto, Avicii and many others are playing to hundreds of thousands of fans at shows in Spain, England and a growing number in the United States.
Until recently band festivals used to command the largest and most consistent crowds. But slowly and steadily EDM festivals are becoming more and more highly attended than any other types of music festivals.
6. Mainstream crossover
Some say it was the R&B sampling and crossovers of the 80’s in EDM’s inception. Some say it was the work of Moby and other DJs working with pop and rock singers in the 90’s. The easy choice for the credit is David Guetta and his rhythmic-pop crossover smashes co written with pop and rap stars. But the pop music explosion that EDM has experienced over the last few years has little to do with radio exposure and pop tunes. It’s been the scene itself that has sold it to the mainstream.
Websites like LastNightsParty.com and KirillWasHere.com take sexually charged nightlife photos from shows around the world and make them available for everyone to see…what party they’re missing.
Social media overflows with the colours and flashes of the latest summer festival to blow through the minds and wallets of EDM fans worldwide.
Radio has been credited over and over again with the explosion of various music scenes into the popular music spectrum. From early rock ‘n’ roll to the SugarHill Gang to New Wave to grunge and gangster music radio was the one to bring them to the masses first and most prominently.
But before radio could make Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ (featuring Aloe Blacc) a #1 hit or play anything from the greatest DJs in the world, the scene was already worldwide. Few outside of Compton knew NWA before radio got a hold of ‘em. Even fewer knew of Nirvana and Pearl Jam when they were tearing up Seattle stages. But the DJs currently gobbling up radio spins and chart positions were worldwide superstars long before they first started to hit radio.
The EDM scene, unlike any other scene in music history, has promoted itself using mainly word of mouth and social media, to grow itself into the dominant musical entity that it is today. And it only seems to grow bigger and bigger with more and more festivals cropping up worldwide.
If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.