The summer is generally considered the prime season for entertainment, particularly for music. Festivals for all genres are scheduled during this time and, for electronic music, this is no exception. While electronic dance music has evolved from the illegal rave parties of the 1990s into legitimate music events (many even lasting two days), knowing which events to attend depends where you’re located and where you’re willing to travel.
A recent article in the New York Times discussed the phenomenon of techno tourism: the traveling to various music events and festivals for favorite DJs and acts. Although such habits and fandom is seen for many other genres, with the most heightened being fans of jam band music, this appears to be a recent – or perhaps more visible – development in electronic music.
Generally, electronic dance music, to the average person looking from the outside into the genre, is still centered around the clubs and a DJ is still someone who plays records. But, much like jam band music in which the guitarists may play a different solo at every gig, the mixing and production techniques for a good and reputable DJ will vary with each gig, as well. Essentially, this aspect is what fuels the fans to travel from gig to gig – what changes and new production will the DJ add each night?
When it comes to summer music events, many of the major ones start in the spring and go into the summer. Some, even, are scheduled right before fall starts.
In the United States, the schedule of major summer festivals essentially starts in late March – the start of spring – with the Winter Music Conference and the Ultra Music festival that closes the week-long event. The Winter Music Conference, held in Florida, covers all aspects of electronic music through workshops, panel discussions, and performances. DJ production and scratching techniques are both covered through the event. The electronic music festival following reads like a who’s-who of electronic musicians, often with one of the top DJs headlining the event.
Past this point, Coachella, in California, often has many well-known names for instrumental and DJ electronic music added. New Order, La Roux, and Depeche Mode have been acts on the bill in recent years, and a separate DJ tent has an all-day lineup of music. Additionally, the end of the summer brings Electric Zoo in New York, which has been offering two days of electronic music acts from DJs to instrumental music.
England also has its share of electronic music, too. The summer months will have some of the country’s largest festivals, such as Creamfields and Global Gathering. Both festivals attract some of the top names in DJing short of making a trip to Ibiza. But, then again, many wanting a vacation combined with beats from their favorite DJ will make a special trip to the Balearic paradise.