Today I’m playing a track from Chris Erassi enjoy
In the 1980s, electronic dance music was often played at illegal underground rave parties held in secret locations, for example, warehouses, abandoned aircraft hangars, fields and any other large, open areas. In the 1990s and 2000s, aspects of the underground rave culture of the 1980s and early 1990s began to evolve into legitimate, organized EDM concerts and festivals. Major festivals often feature a large number of acts representing various EDM genres spread across multiple stages. Festivals have placed a larger emphasis on visual spectacles as part of their overall experiences, including elaborate stage designs with underlying thematics, complex lighting systems, laser shows, and pyrotechnics. Rave fashion also evolved among attendees, which The Guardian described as having progressed from the 1990s “kandi raver” to “[a] slick and sexified yet also kitschy-surreal image midway between Venice Beach and Cirque du Soleil, Willy Wonka and a gay pride parade“. These events differed from underground raves by their organized nature, often taking place at major venues, and with measures to ensure the health and safety of attendees. MTV‘s Rawley Bornstein described electronic music as “the new rock and roll”, as has Lollapalooza organizer Perry Ferrell.
Ray Waddell of Billboard noted that festival promoters have done an excellent job at branding. Larger festivals have been shown to have positive economic impacts on their host cities the 2014 Ultra Music Festival brought 165,000 attendees—and over $223 million—to the Miami/South Florida region’s economy. The inaugural edition of TomorrowWorld—a U.S.-based version of Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival, brought $85.1 million to the Atlanta area—as much revenue as its hosting of the NCAA Final Four (the semi-final and national championship games of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament) earlier in the year. EDC Las Vegas boosted the Clark County economy by $350.3 million in 2015 alone, with over 405,000 attendees across three days (June 19–21).
The popularity of EDM and festivals also led some multi-genre festivals not strongly associated with electronic music, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, to add more electronic acts to their lineup. They often play EDM-specific stages, but major acts such as Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris have made overall headlining appearances on the main stages of Lollapalooza and Coachella respectively—placements that are typically associated with rock and alternative acts. Russell Smith of The Globe and Mail felt that the commercial festival industry was an antithesis to the original principles of the rave subculture, citing “the expensive tickets, the giant corporate sponsors, the crass bro culture—shirtless muscle boys who cruise the stadiums, tiny popular girls in bikinis who ride on their shoulders – not to mention the sappy music itself.” Drug-related incidents, as well as other complaints surrounding the behaviour of their attendees, have contributed to negative perceptions and opposition to electronic music events by local authorities.
After Ultra Music Festival 2014, where a crowd of gatecrashers trampled a security guard on its first day, Miami’s city commissioners considered banning the festival from being held in the city, citing the trampling incident, lewd behavior, and complaints by downtown residents of being harassed by attendees. The commissioners voted to allow Ultra to continue being held in Miami due to its positive economic effects, under the condition that its organizers address security, drug usage and lewd behavior by attendees. In 2018, after continued concerns, the commissioners voted to bar the festival from being held in Bayfront Park and downtown Miami, but subsequently approved a proposal to move the event to one of Miami’s barrier islands, Virginia Key. Following the festival, which was impacted by transportation issues (as there is only one vehicular link between Virginia Key and mainland Miami) and other problems, Ultra pulled out of the agreement, and negotiated an agreement to return to Bayfront Park.