The world’s ‘most international festival brand,’ Ultra Music Festival, has closed out an elephantine 2017 Asia tour, witnessing more than 400,000 people attend 17 events across a four-month period on the continent. The numbers are evidence of Asia’s classification as a quickly expanding market for the electronic dance music industry, leading the franchise to accordingly host a total of 17 different events in Asia from June to September, designating 2017 as a banner year for international dance music events falling under the UMF umbrella.
As shows in Bali, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Taiwan sold out across the board, those that did not physically attend the live music events still made their presence felt via respective live streams, where more than 25 million people tuned in to watch live streams of the events in China, India, Japan, and Singapore.
Ultra Music Festival developed several new events of international focus this year, adding Ultra China, Road to Ultra India (touching down in Mumbai and New Delhi), and several Resistance shows in Bali to its list of Ultra Worldwide affairs. It has been a year of massive expansion for UMF, with the brand initiating its inaugural visit to India.
Ultra Korea and China performed equally as well, drawing crowds in the thousands for Ultra Korea’s sixth anniversary, and Ultra China’s first.
All eyes may now rest on Ultra’s domestic Miami edition, set to celebrate its 20th anniversary from March 23-25 in 2018.
Dirtybird Campout, Southern California’s wildest adult summer camp, is preparing for its third installment this weekend, October 6-8. As has been established in its past editions, the campout will be packed with childhood nostalgia, scrumptious BBQ, and earth-shaking beats. Furthermore, this year will be its biggest yet, with a move to a larger venue at Lake San Antonio. Adding to the label’s nest of talent, acts like Amtrac, Coyu, and the Desert Hearts crew will be joining the house haven’s music lineup with more special guests still to be announced. Ahead of this weekend’s bonfire debauchery, we’ve teamed up with Dirtybird for an ongoing interview series spotlighting both the imprint’s own stars and the myriad of world-class artists on the concert’s bill.
Brother and sister act Tennyson represent a step outside the status quo when it comes to electronica. Hailing from Canada, the two wield their vast experience as musicians (they began as buskers) into their work with full blinders on toward whatever tropes are taking over the contemporary dance space. What results is rich, fluid bass music whose experimental flair involves everything from jazz to glitch elements. Their eclectic, yet avant-garde take on production has made them a well-loved act in the underground indie realm despite having only gotten started in 2013. The past year in particular has been bountyful for Tennyson, with a remix signed to Fool’s Gold records and collaborations with Mr. Carmack under their belt, in addition to a brand new EP titled Uh Oh!, whose release is on the horizon.
Given Claude VonStroke’s outspoken love of the lower frequencies of music, it makes perfect sense that the fledgling duo were handpicked to appear at this year’s Dirtybird Campout. The two sat down to answer camping-related inquiries, as well as provide us with an inkling of what’s coming down their pipeline.
How long have you been performing for & how did you get your start? Very first Tennyson performance was in 2013 around Christmas time. We had a jazz cover band before that so we had all the instruments we needed.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it? Luke: The release at end of this month will be the first!
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career? Tess: Our first tour with Ryan Hemsworth was a huge step. The exposure from playing those shows got us a ton of new listeners, and we made a lot of great friends as well. Luke: “Like What EP” changed a lot of things for us, it’s probably the reason we had fans in Asia and Europe.
If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick? Tess: Psy (Gangnam Style!) Luke: Yeah, probably Psy too.
What are you looking forward to most about Dirtybird Campout? Tess: I really love playing outdoor music festivals. There’s something nostalgic about sitting on dry grass and smelling trees while listening to music. I think it’s because when we were kids our parents took us to a lot of smaller outdoor music festivals so they will always have really nice warm vibes for me. Luke: Kickball.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick? Luke: Matthew Dear, Deebs, Justin Martin
What are three essential items you wouldn’t go camping without? Tess: Three packs of tiny camping cereals. Luke: Porlex, Aeropess, Coffee
Do you have a favorite (or funny) camping memory? Tess: Our family attended this tiny music festival in Alberta when we kids and Luke and I both brought our best friends. We met all the other kids who were camping and when the sun went down we organized a massive game of hide-and-seek tag. I love the kid feeling of like hiding in the trees somewhere with your friends and catching your breath because you’ve been running and the whole time there’s been a band playing music in the background.
“Take The Ride” tour, an event series created by Desert Hearts, has been a huge success in 2017. Instead of taking time off as the year winds down, the Desert Hearts crew is finishing the year with a bang, throwing a day-long festival in downtown L.A. branded as City Hearts Festival. The Nov. 12 event goes beyond tour shows to feature activities, performers, a healing village, and much more.
Day for Night has become known for it’s state-of-the-art lighting productions and art installations on par with Coachella and Burning Man, while retaining an underground/indie festival ethos. The Day for Night Summit, a consciousness raising speaker forum, will kick off the weekend festivities on Friday, with prominent activists sharing their thoughts on the relationship between art, technology, and activism, featuring the likes of LGBTQ advocate Chelsea Manning and the political activist musings of Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova.
Joining the well-rounded list of headlining talent, which also includes Thom Yorke, Solange, and St. Vincent, are electronic music heavy weights G Jones, REZZ, Kaytranada, Marcus Marr, and Cashmere Cat, with an eclectic list of indie-rock appearances by Deep Cuts, True American, and spoken word artist Saul Wiliams.
Tickets to Day for Night 2017 range from $215 to $750 with fees. This year, a portion of the festival’s proceeds will help the Greater Houston Community Foundation aid people in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Undoubtedly leading the current revival of French house tastemaking comes two producers who are quite literally writing the trends in deep pulsating, bass forward house music. Today Tchami took to Twitter today to announce to fans the “No Redemption” North American tour alongside enigmatic house producer and fellow CONFESSION confidant, Malaa to cap off 2017.
The 11-city roll out will grace major Canadian markets Toronto and Montreal, while crossing the U.S. with the remainder of stops — with Las Vegas, Brooklyn, Miami and Chicago in the duo’s crosshairs. The “No Redemption” road stretch is pairing the dark, deep, and wildly unpredictable turns of Malaa with the symbolic religious sacraments of Tchami as he takes his constituents to church.
In February 2018, Ultra South Africa will return for a fifth year to Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Though it’s months away, the festival has already started the hype with the announcement of Hardwell and Armin Van Buuren as headliners. The two headlined the festival in 2015 and are bringing their musical mastery back to the iconic event.
The Cape Town event will take place on Friday, Feb. 8 at the Cape Town Stadium, and the Johannesburg event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Expo Centre.
As Ajuna family worldwide ascends onto the Gorge Amphitheater this weekend, Sept. 15-17, those not lucky enough to be inside Central Washington’s picturesque venue can now live vicariously through their computer screens. Above & Beyond has partnered with Live Nation to bring ABGT250 to a live stream on Twitter, featuring line-up support from YOTTO, Lutrell, Seven Lions, Oliver Smith, Moonboots and many more.
The global trance gathering features on-site camping and music from deep within the Ajunabeats and Ajunadeep vault. Saturday’s live stream featured an 8-hour radio broadcast with a tantalizing climactic Group Therapy set c/o Jono, Tony, and Paavo; while Sunday kicks off with a special Above & Beyond yoga set followed by an Ajunadeep stage takeover from 16 Bit Lolitas, Jody Wisternoff & James Grant, and Eli & Fur.
Looking to its fifth year at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park this October, Suwannee Hulaween has followed its initial lineup announcement with a spookily stellar second phase. Spanning a variety of tastes and styles, reggae fixture Damian Marley, Lotus, Goldfish, and Mike Gordon represent only a sample of the diverse artists joining the lineup, headed by The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, and various other heavy hitters.
Suwannee Hulaween is slated stop by Live Oak, Florida for Halloweekend, kicking the costume party off on October 27th, and concluding on October 29th. GA and VIP passes to the festival may be purchased here.
When it comes to live performances, it’s time for Kaskade fans to re-up. The “Nobody Like You” producer is prepared to disarm listeners via a twelve-date Redux tour set to touch down in nine different cities. A follow up to Kaskade’s recently released Redux EP 002, the tour is a more intimate approach to the typical live show structure of dance music events, its smaller scale intended to “pay homage to the stripped-down clubs and deeper house music of his [Kaskade’s] early career.”
Kaskade will debut his Redux tour in Boston on September 27th, stopping by Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, Vancouver, Sacramento, Huntington Beach, Austin, Dallas, and of course, New York City. Those interested in attending a Redux show must sign up to receive a code to purchase tickets to the tour. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, September 18th at 1 PM EST. View the complete list of tour dates and locations, and sign up a the ticket purchase code here.
IVY, the world’s first “Social University,” held an event last week that featured world-renowned DJ and Producer Kaskade. While he did not hop on the 1’s and 2’s this time around, he did talk about the future of global music and how to command a global audience, giving his personal perspective on the topics with over a decade of knowledge and experience in the industry.
For those who may not know what IVY is, it’s a University that specializes in Arts, Entrepreneurship, Policy, Social Impact and more. Essentially, they are breeding the next generation of self-starters, bringing in featured speakers every month that are Industry leaders and entrepreneurs alike. In the past, they’ve had Hugh Jackman, Daniel Radcliffe, and Jack Welch (former CEO of GE) among others. This time around, they decided to bring in Ryan Raddon, who has arguably become one of the most successful curators and performers of dance music in history. He’s been DJing since the 90s and started making music in the early 2000s, which was before the EDM phenomenon (as we know it) began.
At this event, he talks about everything from family, collaborations, performing, utilizing social media, making it in the industry and more. We’ve got the full summary of his talk right here on Dancing Astronaut, however be sure to check out the live feed on IVY’s Facebook page here:
The talk was mostly a Q&A, however the mediator does a great job at honing into the key elements of Kaskade’s career and getting his two-cents on where dance music is headed. He starts off by talking about collaborating with big name artists and how he’s mostly worked with A-listers during the remix process. “The big people that I have worked with is typically on remix stuff…Early on in dance music, people were trying to take singles that didn’t have a lot of traction on the radio [and saying] hey, it’s a good song, let’s have this guy reproduce or remix it and then it can be played in the nightclubs…cool people hanging out nightclubs.” Raddon has remixed everyone from Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Imagine Dragons (more recently), adding in that his dream collaboration right now would be Lana Del Ray. His remixing ability has definitely proven to be one of his best attributes, as those compositions are what usually gets the crowd moving when he’s playing the festival mainstage.
He also talked about the future of the industry, and how it’s moving in an exciting direction with the addition of streaming services as a way to consume music. He mentions that for most of his career, labels were broke, but now with Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services, labels have the funds to get behind the creativity of artists to help things flourish. “Very hard to create when your stone cold broke and nobody believes in you.” Now that money is finally trickling down to the artists, he says that “over the next 10 years, we will see streaming platforms work and flow money into the artists…there will be a lot more people out there making great music.”
When asked about the current state of dance music, he thinks that it is still in its infancy and wants to see the next wave. He said that any new music that is breaking, is more of the surface level stuff. “There is a whole other tier of dance music that might not fit pop radio, but is awesome. From Martin Garrix to Louis the Child, they are doing incredible stuff.”
He is asked about touring the world as a full-time DJ and whether or not it’s been hard for him at times. “None of it ever seems like a chore.” Towards the beginning, when he played his first small show overseas in the 90s, he was sleeping on the promoter’s floor and was questioning whether or not he wanted to stick to that career path. However, he’s been fortunate enough to have a steady progression over the past 20 years, making it to bigger and better shows (and more comfy sleeping conditions). This is coming from the guy who is arguably one of the happiest-looking DJs when it comes to getting behind the decks. He thinks he’s played around 5,000 shows. At 46 years old, he’s probably still having more fun than anyone in the crowd.
On the topic of social media, he mentioned that while it has allowed him to have a direct and more personal connection with his fans on a global scale, it has also had a major impact on the industry in general. “It has been bridging the gap and has changed things, where you have a lot of kind-of famous people instead of just a small amount of famous people.”
When asked about the most important thing to focus on if you’re looking to make it big as a DJ/producer, he said just “the music.”
Lastly, he talks about how through all the craziness of touring and what the gig requires, he’s been able to stay grounded and start a family. With a wife and three kids, family is the most important thing to him. “My rise was very steady and slow and not overnight…so I really appreciate where I am now.”
He may be 46, but expect to see a lot more from Ryan Raddon moving forward. In a genre that is constantly changing, Kaskade seems to be right at the forefront.