How EDM is Leading the Dance on Brands, Tech & the Environment
Dance & brands.
Don’t be on it, be in it.
One major player that seems to be successfully capitalizing
on this trend is SFX, the
Clear Channel-owned EDM-focussed entertainment and events behemoth.
But according to SFX CMO Chris Stephenson, it’s not so much the electronic
music that leads this revolution, as it is social media. Stephenson emphasizes
the need for a solid idea, backed up by integrated media channels. He urges
brands to immerse themselves in the culture of their target audience. Don’t be on it, be in it. At SFX’s Mysteryland
festival for example, Brooklyn’s local creative scene curated part of the
festival, increasing relevance for local subcultures.
Another one of SFX’s latest projects is the Corona Sunset partnership: a series
of international beach parties in collaboration with Beatport to find the ultimate
sound of the beach.
Dance & Brands keynote-speaker Eveline Aendekerk, executive director of Dance4Life, called ADE the place to be for every marketeer wanting to know what makes the illusive Millennial tick. With our own music & brands colour sergeant Michiel Cremers in one of the many ADE panels, we had something to say ourselves. And we are proud to say that MassiveMusic has been involved in two of the presented cases: Armin van Buuren and Heineken announced the continuation of their partnership aimed at making moderation cool. And KLM showed their commitment to dance music by partnering up with that very same Armin van Buuren, as well as with the Amsterdam Music festival itself and the DJMag top 100 DJ list.
The show is on.
biggest discussion at this year’s ADE seemed to be about EDM mass culture
uniformity versus artistic credibility. The press, music industry and artists had
strong opinions on the subject and weren’t afraid to put it out there.
Hugo Langras, CEO of
Montana ECI calls his star client Afrojack an artist, not a musician. The hugely
popular Dutch DJ dropped a whopping €
Since the Golden Age,
the Dutch haven’t been the cultural leaders we are once again today, with our
EDM DJs taking the global dance industry by storm.
Creating fans through technology
Festival organizers are constantly looking for ways to better engage
with their audience. RFID lets people connect and increases security as well as
crowd control. But more importantly, it offers the audience a richer user
experience. Furthermore, it improves communication between artists and between organizations
and their audience. Other RFID possibilities are cashless payment systems, interactive
LED shows, loyalty programs connected to wristbands and mobile
d3evices that are turned into real-time backstage interfaces. But there are
still hurdles to be taken, the biggest one being lack of infrastructure
(limited WIFI, automation and energy). This is where the world’s Telco and tech
companies have a potentially huge role to play.
While technology is changing the festival experience in a broad sense, big changes are happening in the visual department as well. BEAMLAB is ADE’s subdivision focusing on the visual developments in EDM. The most striking innovations mostly concern self-written software that gives VJs more real-time control over their shows, seamlessly integrating music and visuals.
- Synk is responsible for the visuals at Sensation. Their concept increases VJ control and features a platform for upcoming and established artists to showcase their creative work.
- Versum lets you control and create real-time music and visuals by flying through a digital space with a joystick.
- ANIMA 1 iki created an interactive planet that studies how people react to digital creatures.
But ADE isn’t just about bigger and better. It’s about being responsible and sustainable, too. As a part of the ADE GREEN subdivision, ID&T launched their Tapwater Project: unlimited fresh water at the Amsterdam Dance Event, as they strongly believe that water belongs to us all.
Michael Lang (founding father of festivals, organizer of Woodstock) spoke
at the ADE University about opportunities for festivals to minimize their
ecological footprint and to make people adopt the notion of being an essential
part of a bigger common goal.
The next generation
Of course, we contributed to the ADE fun ourselves.
Together with CitizenM, R&S Records and BLEND, we hosted our PORTFOLIO
NIGHT. This is where we gave young musical talent the opportunity to present
their portfolios to the 'masters of the trade' and ask for feedback. Let’s say
they inspired us.
Here is the music that surprised us and made us stay up till late.