Introduction: What is EDM?
EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music and is a genre of music that typically features a heavy bassline, using synth-based melodies with quick notes on high octaves, and has been described as “a mix of house music, techno, disco and hip-hop.” (DJ Richard Lee, It’s been called a “full-on blast of dance music,” and is sometimes referred to as Electronic Dance Music (EDM), House Music, Dance Rock or Hip-Hop) EDM is primarily composed by DJs and producers of electronic music.
There are many different subgenres under the genre. “The music varies from artist to artist, but it’s all about putting down a strong groove, with a breakdown in the middle, a catchy melody and snappy beats.” (Irving Pinsky) The EDM scene is said to be booming due to the increase in popularity of festivals such as Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival that focus on EDM.
“At its heart, EDM is the pursuit of pleasure. It’s all about making people feel good. The DJs are part of this; they’re musicians and performers, but they’re also party planners and kids builders.” (Chris Burke)
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Edm Wiki has a great collection of information for both newbies to electronic dance music and veterans alike. If it’s not on the site, you’ll probably find it elsewhere on the web … we don’t pretend to have all the answers.
Demographics of the EDM Industry & How It Has Changed
This figure is a substantial increase on what it was only months before, which led to an increased demand for producers of EDM. However, although 2011 has seen the rise of EDM from strength to strength, its popularity is in a state of constant flux. The sudden rise in EDM has been known as the “EDM bubble” due to its explosive popularity, but it is far from certain how long this fad will last.
In an article for the New Yorker, Alex Ross wrote that “the term ‘electronic dance music’, or E.D.M., arrived in the late eighties, when marketers and journalists tried to distinguish the emergent style from its decades-old parent genres, disco and techno.” This underscores the importance of marketing in the rise of a genre like EDM.
How the Demand for VIPs has Changed in the Dance Music Industry Over Time
As we can see from the graph above, the number of major and minor acts purchasing Vip tickets has fallen over the past 10 years. However, the demand for Vip-level tickets is still sizeable, with an average of 42% of shows selling out. Although this statistic is down from it’s peak value in 2006, it remains to be seen whether or not demand will increase over the next decade as more and more EDM enthusiasts discover new acts. In addition, the number of major Vip level acts purchasing tickets has increased at an extremely fast rate. Over the last two years, the amount of major acts purchasing Vip tickets has increased from 33% to 57%! This has been a huge increase in the number of major acts purchasing tickets to concerts.
Major Acts Purchasing Vip Tickets
Since 2006, the number of major acts purchasing Vip tickets has increased from 33% to 57%!
The most recent cohort of VIP ticket purchases (the orange lines) are the top 5 selling artists. This is a shocking statistic considering that none of these artists are actually selling out venues that this high a level, but rather completely selling out secondary venues (Bars, Clubs, and Festivals).
Only 1 artist purchased Vip tickets from the last cohort, however, the opening acts are still selling out larger venues on their own such as the Pacha Group of venues.
What Factors Lead to the Demand for VIPs or Higher-Level Tickets in EDM?
There are 2 major factors influencing the demand for Vip or higher-level tickets in the EDM industry: the number of accessible venues and the overall accessibility of the genre. As more and more venues spring up in cities across the world adapting to an era where EDM is a popular genre, there are more ways to see these acts as well as stages being erected specifically for these in-demand events.
A secondary factor that influences the demand for Vip or higher-level tickets in EDM is the popularity of the artist. The more popular a certain artist is, the more valuable their ticket will be. This also leads to competition between fans and scalpers who purchase these tickets to resell for a higher price to those who have missed out on their chance to obtain one from a legitimate source. The higher profile of an artist creates demand for seats and access that are not always accessible with reasonable prices for all those who might want them.
EDM Festivals and How They Define VIP vs General Admission Tickets and Generate Huge Profits
In the EDM industry, just as in any other subculture, festivals act as informal cruxes for fans. These gatherings are where the community comes together to celebrate a musical genre or a lifestyle. EDM festivals have been around since the late 1960s, however it wasn’t until the early 2000s that these events became popular and exceedingly profitable for those involved. Although EDM festivals have become a major festival destination in America, they are not the only ones in the world. There are many other festivals worldwide that cater to different music genres and fanbases every year. According to Forbes, “festivals generate $17 billion annually globally” and an overall increase of $2.6 billion in the last 5 years alone. For this article I will be focusing on the most prominent EDM festivals from across the United States and how individuals can get tickets for them.