Music Trades November 2013 : Page69

f you’re under 30 years old, you grew up using a personal computer and a mouse. If you’re in your teens, smart phones and tablets have always been a part of your world. These demographic groups that have been steeped in digital technology from birth have embraced the computer as a music making tool, making electronic dance music, or EDM, the fastest growing genre on the planet. EDM is a catch-all header that encompasses a vast array of electronic genres that revolve around manipulating samples, loops, and beats including techno, bass, electro, trance, house, dubstep, and numer-ous others. But whatever you call it, EDM is big. The splintering of commercial radio and the advent of personalized download services has obscured the five-year growth trajectory of EDM: If you’re not seeking it out, it’s easy to overlook it. But, the numbers reflect a musical style that has resonated with millions worldwide. Attendance at the five largest EDM festivals in the U.S. expanded by 41% between 2007 and 2012, while the total concert market for the same period edged up just 3%. A broad-based consumer survey conducted by EMI music found that 29% of U.S. respondents reported a “passion” for EDM, implying a fan base of 74 million. And, accord-ing to Neilsen, EDM had the highest growth rate of all music genres, posting a 36% year-over-year increase in digital downloads in 2012. Electronic dance music has captured the imagination of the “millennial” generation, and nowhere is it more evi-dent than at the Electric Daisy Carnival, a three-day elec-tronic music extravaganza held each year in Las Vegas that features top DJs performing on amazingly complex sets. The fest, held earlier this year, drew a staggering 350,000 attendees, making it close in size to the mythic Woodstock Festival of 1969. But unlike most of the hip-pies who wandered onto Max Yasgur’s farm to hear Hendrix; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; and Sly and the Family Stone, the attendees at Electric Daisy paid between $100 and $1,000 for a three-day ticket. And Electric Daisy is I

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