Throughout the years, the music scene has changed immensely. When we think of our parents, we imagine them dancing to disco at Studio 54. And when our children think of us, instead of dancing to Donna Summers, they will imagine us raging at festivals to electronic dance music, EDM.
EDM is the disco of our generation, and it has taken the world by storm. Even most parents are able to recognize the first chords of Avicii’s “Levels,” one of the most popular songs of the year. Once just an underground phenomenon, it has surged into mainstream awareness. Teenagers and young adults racing through fields in bright neon colors, or waving their arms in the air at clubs, is what everyone envisions when we think of today’s music scene.
When the EDM scene started, no one in the world thought that Swedish House Mafia, an immensely popular DJ group, would sell out Madison Square Garden in a matter of minutes. And no one could have anticipated that they would do the same for their farewell tour, not only selling out Madison Square Garden but also managing to sell out two more nights at the new Barclays Center, while adding yet another night at the venue. Stubhub, a popular online market place owned by eBay, has some people attempting to sell tickets for this event for hundreds of dollars; in some cases, the price is up to $3,000.
Even this past weekend, Sensation White, featuring such DJs as Danny Tenaglia and Mark Knight, occurred at the Barclays Center and transformed the venue into an all-white night club, having the vibe of Cirque Du Soleil. On top of selling out some of the world’s most popular venues, DJs such as Deadmau5 have appeared on the cover of “Rolling Stone.” This is a revolution that looks like it is here to stay; it is the next generation of music.
All one needs to do to see how huge the EDM scene has grown is to look at the astounding figures that some of the worlds major DJs are making. According to Forbes, Tiesto raked in an astonishing 22 million in the past year, while Skrillex pulled in a striking 15 million and Swedish House Mafia an impressive 14 million. When one turns on any major radio station, such as Z100, they can hear these DJs’ hits.
EDM has become so prevalent that popular DJ Calvin Harris has collaborated with acts such as Rihanna and Florence and the Machine, resulting in major hits. Rihanna and Calvin Harris’s hit “We Found Love” reached number one in digital downloads. On top of that, major companies such as Kia have featured EDM in their ads, most recently with Ivan Gough’s “In My Mind.”
This phenomenon is here to stay. Early bird ticket specials for Electric Zoo, a popular three-day festival in New York, already sold out, and the festival is not even until September 2013. One reason the music is here to stay is because of the feeling that one has when listening to it, as though they are transported to another world. The song “Leave the World Behind,” by Swedish House Mafia and DJ Laid Back Luke, illustrates this with lyrics such as, “Just surrender yourself to the rhythm, with your hands up in the sky,” and, “Feel the energy deep inside your system and leave this world behind!” From the moment you are at the festival, surrounded by your best friends and thousands of people all dancing to the DJ on stage while watching epic light shows, you really do feel as though you have left the entire world behind.