Dance Festivals Suck

Posted: Wed, 05/21/2014 - 9:37am

Originally published on Thump.vice.com, I removed some of the NSFW photos.
Seth Troxler was voted #1 in recent resident advisor polls, I'm personally
a big fan of him
and he seems like a decent humble dude, when some local DJs met him down in
Miami.
I find his opinion pretty much spot on, what can we do about our scene?
-Andrew

*An open letter to the electronic music community, penned by Seth Troxler
himself. This article was originally published on THUMP UK.*

The current state of dance music is crazy. It’s so flooded. Everywhere you
look, there’s a new festival and a new party. I lived in New York City for
four months recently, and there were about 50 Resident Advisor parties on
one weekend. I mean, what the fuck? It’s the same with festivals now, too.
Everyone is going into the boutique festival game and whilst I think it’s
cool that people are going out and enjoying themselves, where do we draw
that line over quality?

In light of this craziness, here’s my take on festivals, clubbing, and not
being a cunt.

*FIRST OFF, GOING TO DANCE FESTIVALS IS NOTHING LIKE GOING CLUBBING*

I was in Switzerland recently, and a promoter complained to me that
there’s a big problem in the country’s club scene because of how many
festivals happen *around* Switzerland. He said that in the summer, it’s
hard to get people to come to your club. People would rather spend their
money going to festivals abroad, than going to clubs in their home cities.

But that dude missed something: dance festivals and dance clubs are not
the same. At all. This new generation care much more for the festival
experience than the club experience. Kids who like dance music now have
grown up with no first hand experience of original club culture; techno,
house, even rave in the 90s. Festivals are their “dance music experience”
now. Festivals are fucking holidays.

*EDM FESTIVALS SPOON-FEED US BULLSHIT —AND WE CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT*

When I get booked to play these massive festivals in the US, I often walk
around them to see what they’re all about—and 90% of the time, it’s fucking
horrible. We’re breeding a generation of impatient, annoying festival kids.
I say impatient because the patience of the clubber is different to the
patience of the festival-goer. At these festivals, you get it all on a
platter up-front.

Lasers! LED screens! Pyrotechnics! DROPS! Boom! Bang! CAKE IN YOUR FUCKING
FACE!”—wait, nah man. That’s not clubbing, that’s a concert of cunts. Just,
go out for a night in a dark room. Be cool.

I was talking to a good friend of mine Craig Richards, and he said that
back when he started going to clubs, there was even more patience: you’d
vibe on the dance floor for hours, with space for your body and everyone
else’s. Now people consider a “good event” something that’s really packed
with bodies and “energy:” energy-packed-extreme! That’s not clubbing, man.

Clubbing is a culture, not a few messy hours in the middle of the night,
but EDM culture doesn't promote that. *I*f you’re Suzie who just graduated
high school in Florida, you go to Ultra and think “Holy shit , Avicii is
about to blow my panties off.”

*LET'S FACE IT, EDM DJS ARE THE WORST PEOPLE EVER*

Speaking of Avicii, Avicii is a cunt. When he went to the hospital during
Ultra in Miami, my tour manager Alex was with the nurse assigned to him.
The fucking cunt wouldn’t even speak to the nurse. She would have to tell
his manager what to tell him, and they were sitting next to each other.
You’re in the fucking hospital. You can’t talk to a nurse who’s trying to
look after you? The insane stardom syndrome of these massive EDM DJs pisses
me off.

It’s not just a personal thing either. Their music is just shit.

I’ve seen Steve Aoki play at these festivals, and he kept turning the
music off, jumping around onstage, saying “This is my new single! Out next
week!” and playing the next song. You are not a fucking DJ. You’re an
overpaid, untalented, cake-throwing cunt. My best friend Frank from high
school is now my PA, and he’s in the Little League Hall of Fame for being a
crazy good pitcher. We’re going to get Aoki with that cake, man. I’m coming
for you, Aoki.

*EDM IS NOT A CULTURE, BECAUSE IT GIVES NOTHING BACK*

Look, I’m generally really happy for everyone. I try to keep positive
about all this craziness. But if you’re not critical of the culture you
live in, and love, then you’re doing yourself and everyone around you a
disservice. EDM plays host to a profound delusion about what electronic
music and dance culture are. It’s ridiculous music, made by ridiculous,
un-credible people.

In all honesty, I find it profoundly sad. We’re trying to move on and be a
real force of culture and conversation—a wider genre recognised as having
real cultural depth—but EDM is wiping that slate. For being taken seriously
in a musical sense, that’s frustrating. A lot of my work— especially with
my label Tuskegee—is a revolt of that, and an attempt to historically
legitimise our culture. That’s my passion. The rave changed me, and I want
kids to be able to experience that tomorrow.

*WHAT WE NEED IS PLUR—NO, REALLY*

In the US, there’s this term PLUR. It’s got a crappy reputation now, but
it stems from the values of original club culture: respect, being positive,
communal unity. Once you have those values, they spread in how you conduct
yourself and view the world.

I was in a club recently and there was this guy there with one of the
original Paradise Garage tee shirts on. We got talking, and he said the
major difference with dance music now and back then, is back then there was
real diversity. You had social, class, race, sexual diversity—and that’s
cool. That’s what dance music culture is about. Everyone under one roof,
exploring their own and each others identities. A celebration of something
more, something outside of received norms. Not having a giant glow stick
and getting on it.

The Red Bull Music Academy street party for Paradise Garage and Larry
Levan Way last weekend was beautiful for that exact reason. You have a huge
block party in a huge city, full of white, black and Asian people, young
and old. Nobody looked wasted, and hardly anyone was on their damn phones.
They were just dancing and singing together to beautiful music, for hours
and hours. *That* is club culture.

*THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN FREEDOM AND IDIOCY*

*Straight from Eric Prydz's Twitter, during Ultra. Sorry.*

I see some fucking crazy shit in clubs, and some fucking sad shit at
festivals. It’s such a fine line. Like, that photo Eric Prdyz tweeted from
Ultra? Of a girl doing lines of coke off another girls naked vagina? At a
festival, that’s gross. At Berghain, it would be kind of hot. In Berghain,
that shit stands for freedom. At Ultra, it stands for excess and trash.

The first time I ever played at Berghain, there was this big bear of a
dude in assless leather chaps and a leather harness on the dance floor. I
was playing "Yellow" and when he bent over, this other guy came over and
starts eating his ass. Everyone around them was just dancing and being all
cool. I was like “……..that’s interesting”. But that’s a revolt against the
world. That’s the freedom of the club. Falling in mud and getting cake
thrown at you? That’s not freedom. You’re an idiot listening to shitty
music. Just, stay classy kids.

*EDM IS NOT ABOUT MUSIC, IT'S ABOUT MONEY*

If you’re a band, a DJ, whatever, you’re only as big as how many people
you can bring to a club or a festival. EDM has really changed what
commercial music consumption is. These purpose built clubs inside massive
Las Vegas hotels? The music is shit, but they’re selling thousands of
bottles of alcohol a night to rich idiots. Kids today would rather go out
on a night out, listening to whatever music, and getting on it, than pay
$40 to going to a rock show that ends at midnight. Everyone wants more, all
the time.

You can produce a huge festival and not be shitty, though. Look at
TomorrowLand in Belgium. It’s a huge festival, with almost the same acts at
somewhere like Electric Daisy Carnival, yet so much quality and care is put
into creating an experience. Electric Daisy Carnival? It’s a stage in a
parking lot, full of loads of kids with fucking suckers in their mouths and
gas masks on, listening to horrible music.

To me, the perfect festival is a Burning Man, or Shangri-La at
Glastonbury. There’s music, but it’s not just about the music. It’s about
experimentation, and the environment in which you experience music.

*BUT, WHEN THE BUBBLE BURSTS, WE'LL HAVE A NEW GENERATION OF DANCE FANS*

Not everyone’s a lifer in this world, but what separates the wheat from
the chaff is intellect. Intellect is a true indication of taste. Some smart
kids are standing in these EDM festivals, in the mud and heat and sick, and
they’re thinking, “Yeah, this is fine for now, but this can’t be it
forever.” There’s got to be something better—but they have to find it for
themselves. That’s the next generation right there.

Written by: Seth Troxler
May 20 2014

Dance Festivals Suck

  • Wed, 05/21/2014 - 10:24am

I have to say I find the timing of such a "profound" statement/article just after SNL makes worldwide fun of the EDM scene, cheesy itself. A friend's response on facebook really nailed it for me...

"Its nice how Seth Troxler can point out some of the crap that we already know, we really needed that...how about instead of pointing out the obvious, you become part of the solution?! Its sad how easy it is to just make fun of a trend yet you dont do anything yourself to alleviate the lack of support your own scene has. Hey, here's an idea, how about instead of raising your djing fees every year you cut them half way, instead of 20k, how about you make it more affordable for true underground spots to actually book you, how about you stop getting booked at the same festivals you seem to hate. Its sad how people get all hyped when some of these djs voice their opinion, yet they dont do absolute shit to fix the problem. You think having a label is helping the scene? im sure the other 20,000 labels on beatport feel the same entitlement......EDM has turned itself into a monster because the djs that are part of it feel the need to live a ridiculous and overprice lifestyle, they love the vip shit, the bottles, the jets, the drugs....but when you're in this business and you see who you thought were your heroes ask for the same kind of ridiculous shit, bottles, drugs, private jets, vip dressing rooms, etc, thats when you know they are no different from each other."

Same goes for the other side of the decks (fans). Everywhere tons of armchair generals are bemoaning a lack of an underground/support when they themselves rarely support what's actually around them. Too divisive of an "underground" to see any specific genre but their own "succeed."

Dance Festivals Suck

  • Wed, 05/21/2014 - 6:50pm

This article makes me feel old. Just reading threw all of  the complaints and realizing now I am the person critiquing the younger generation. And I bet the generation before me had the same concerns this culture when I was raving in 2000.

It has been my experience that it is only a small few of the hard core electronica lovers that keep the culture alive.  Most of the people that go to Fraser festivals are only into the music for the wrong reasons. The anti-crack house law all but killed the rave culture as an example.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Androids

Dance Festivals Suck

  • Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:50pm

I honestly believe that, in the famous words of Anabolic Frolic at the last
of the Hulabaloo parties, all good things come to an end. The "rave" scene
that we knew as kids is long gone. Culture will always evolve as we all
know; however, we can dwell on how much we hate it, or we can accept it and
enjoy our culture in our own way. I never started raving for anyone but
myself. I loved to dance and be friendly with others. Now I play all my
old Jungle Music/DNB tracks on 4 turntables for myself. As far as
festivals vs clubs go, I've been to Ultra a hand full of times and every
time I go the experience is worse (haven't gone back since 2010). I would
love to find a cozy club with a good vibe, a hand full of good dancers, and
some great music. The kids can have there festivals.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, lundygoround75@yahoo.com <
lundygoround75@yahoo.com> wrote:

> This article makes me feel old. Just reading threw all of the complaints
> and realizing now I am the person critiquing the younger generation. And I
> bet the generation before me had the same concerns this culture when I was
> raving in 2000.
>
> It has been my experience that it is only a small few of the hard core
> electronica lovers that keep the culture alive. Most of the people that go
> to Fraser festivals are only into the music for the wrong reasons. The
> anti-crack house law all but killed the rave culture as an example.
>
> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Androids
>
> ------------------------------
> * From: * Aviation Parkway ;
> * To: * community ;
> * Subject: * [TriBeats] Dance Festivals Suck
> * Sent: * Wed, May 21, 2014 2:37:40 PM
>
> Originally published on Thump.vice.com, I removed some of the NSFW
> photos.
> Seth Troxler was voted #1 in recent resident advisor polls, I'm personally
> a big fan of him
> and he seems like a decent humble dude, when some local DJs met him down
> in Miami.
> I find his opinion pretty much spot on, what can we do about our scene?
> -Andrew
>
>
> *An open letter to the electronic music community, penned by Seth
> Troxler himself. This article was originally published on THUMP UK.*
>
> The current state of dance music is crazy. It’s so flooded. Everywhere
> you look, there’s a new festival and a new party. I lived in New York City
> for four months recently, and there were about 50 Resident Advisor parties
> on one weekend. I mean, what the fuck? It’s the same with festivals now,
> too. Everyone is going into the boutique festival game and whilst I think
> it’s cool that people are going out and enjoying themselves, where do we
> draw that line over quality?
>
> In light of this craziness, here’s my take on festivals, clubbing, and
> not being a cunt.
>
> *FIRST OFF, GOING TO DANCE FESTIVALS IS NOTHING LIKE GOING CLUBBING*
>
>
> I was in Switzerland recently, and a promoter complained to me that
> there’s a big problem in the country’s club scene because of how many
> festivals happen *around* Switzerland. He said that in the summer, it’s
> hard to get people to come to your club. People would rather spend their
> money going to festivals abroad, than going to clubs in their home cities.
>
> But that dude missed something: dance festivals and dance clubs are not
> the same. At all. This new generation care much more for the festival
> experience than the club experience. Kids who like dance music now have
> grown up with no first hand experience of original club culture; techno,
> house, even rave in the 90s. Festivals are their “dance music experience”
> now. Festivals are fucking holidays.
>
> *EDM FESTIVALS SPOON-FEED US BULLSHIT —AND WE CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT*
>
>
> When I get booked to play these massive festivals in the US, I often walk
> around them to see what they’re all about—and 90% of the time, it’s fucking
> horrible. We’re breeding a generation of impatient, annoying festival kids.
> I say impatient because the patience of the clubber is different to the
> patience of the festival-goer. At these festivals, you get it all on a
> platter up-front.
>
> Lasers! LED screens! Pyrotechnics! DROPS! Boom! Bang! CAKE IN YOUR
> FUCKING FACE!”—wait, nah man. That’s not clubbing, that’s a concert of
> cunts. Just, go out for a night in a dark room. Be cool.
>
> I was talking to a good friend of mine Craig Richards, and he said that
> back when he started going to clubs, there was even more patience: you’d
> vibe on the dance floor for hours, with space for your body and everyone
> else’s. Now people consider a “good event” something that’s really packed
> with bodies and “energy:” energy-packed-extreme! That’s not clubbing, man.
>
> Clubbing is a culture, not a few messy hours in the middle of the night,
> but EDM culture doesn't promote that. *I*f you’re Suzie who just
> graduated high school in Florida, you go to Ultra and think “Holy shit ,
> Avicii is about to blow my panties off.”
>
> *LET'S FACE IT, EDM DJS ARE THE WORST PEOPLE EVER*
>
>
> Speaking of Avicii, Avicii is a cunt. When he went to the hospital during
> Ultra in Miami, my tour manager Alex was with the nurse assigned to him.
> The fucking cunt wouldn’t even speak to the nurse. She would have to tell
> his manager what to tell him, and they were sitting next to each other.
> You’re in the fucking hospital. You can’t talk to a nurse who’s trying to
> look after you? The insane stardom syndrome of these massive EDM DJs pisses
> me off.
>
> It’s not just a personal thing either. Their music is just shit.
>
> I’ve seen Steve Aoki play at these festivals, and he kept turning the
> music off, jumping around onstage, saying “This is my new single! Out next
> week!” and playing the next song. You are not a fucking DJ. You’re an
> overpaid, untalented, cake-throwing cunt. My best friend Frank from high
> school is now my PA, and he’s in the Little League Hall of Fame for being a
> crazy good pitcher. We’re going to get Aoki with that cake, man. I’m coming
> for
>