An overdose death or a major security incident is any concert promoter’s nightmare, marring what should be a joyous communal event. But one major festival is choosing an unusual way to respond to tragedy: essentially blaming teenagers for their security issues and banning anyone under 18 from attending their event.
About 60,000 people annually attend each day of the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami every March; at this year’s event a security guard was trampled by gatecrashers, and a 21-year old man died of an accidental overdose, the second such incident in the event’s 16 year history. Organizers announced this week that no one under 18 would be allowed at the 2015 festival, saying in a statement “This decision has been made to reinforce and promote the safety of all Ultra Music Festival fans and to ensure the overall enjoyment of all future attendees.”
You might think a two-time Grammy-nominee more than once named America’s Best DJ by DJ Times would be immune to label pressures. But as DJ and producer Kaskade explained in a series of tweets last month, that’s not the case. The frequent festival headliner (real name: Ryan Raddon) announced he is “in between labels,” leaving behind former label/publisher/mangement company Ultra Music (part owned by major label Sony): read more
[This post authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
We’ve seen this movie before: large media company enters growing, now profitable music scene. Large media company buys up all the smaller regional operations it can get its hands on. Now that smaller companies are together in one happy music pool, large media company presents pool to advertisers and marketers. Large media company soon cashes out of the conglomerate it created at handsome profit, walking off into the sunset.
Dear electronic dance music community: this is the situation at your breakbeat, bass-filled, trancy, dubstep-doorstep. Your community, your music, your culture — one that has been dismissed by corporate America for over twenty years and relegated to underground basements, clubs, and warehouses — has suddenly become, popular. Really, really popular.
Of course, this is not news to you. You already know that superstar DJs Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Afrojack and the like now command million dollar fees and fuel an increasingly lucrative dance festival scene that spans from Brooklyn to Berlin. You’ve even heard the influence of the awkwardly-termed genre “EDM” creeping into top-40 playlists. What is news is who is suddenly paying attention: Wall Street.