New York Times goes in-depth on the rise of corporate funding for underground electronic dance music. Fresh off the heels of Ultra Music Festival last month, and the sentiments from PercussionLab last week, and a related post today, sharing this article felt appropriate.
The big dance festivals have built themselves into valuable brands, able to sell tickets on their name alone and the immersive audio-visual spectacle they present. One big company could bring together a handful of promoters and find economies of scale.[*]
A few things I found missing from the New York Times piece, I feel the writers failed to mention the amount of good corporate money fostering valuable contributions to the music industry.
Automobile manufacturer Scion enjoys involvement for several years promoting arts through their Scion A/V portal. The niche dubstep genre owes a major part of its US success to the company’s willingness to provide promoters, such as SMOG and Atlanta Dubstep, the resources to realize their vision and make niche promotion economically viable.
Even more importantly, this week many musicians I respect submitted for the annual Red Bull Music Academy, a self-described “series of music workshops and festivals: a platform for those who shape our musical future.” The role of RBMA cannot be under-estimated; note the comments by US based producer Salva in his recent interview with Live For The Funk.
I could go on about Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) for hours. Not to be emo about it, but it was life changing and really special. We’re all a family now. We all went through an emotional experience. We met living legends of recorded music, played epic parties, and got to sit in the studio for two weeks. All around it was humbling and awesome.[*]
I can appreciate, at a time like now, the reluctance to accepting the backing of major corporations – especially by a group that show the independence and anti-establishment views that many underground music fans posses. Hopefully comments like Salva’s enlighten those to the already existent corporate philanthropy of dance music.