Opinion Article / Please Stop Writing the EDM Scene Off as “Stupid”


When I dig deep into my music roots, I find classic rock. My father played
nothing but hair metal bands while growing up, and I listened to nothing but pop
punk in middle and high school. When I moved down to Tampa for college, I was
introduced to the wonder of the EDM scene. Since then, I have grown to float
between the punk community and EDM community of Tampa. One show you can
easily catch me in Vans and band tee, and the next concert I might be covered in
glitter and rave clothing. Warped Tour and EDC Orlando both offered an escape
and home to me, and many of my best memories rest in those moments of my life.
One thing that I have noticed is the strong opinion about the EDM lifestyle
from people who identify with rock music. Usually they say EDM is “stupid”.
They say it’s just a bunch of sounds and beeps and weird people. Whenever I
mention pop punk to my friends at raves, they usually shrug and say it isn’t their
thing but that they don’t mind it. I guess you could say this post is going to be a
shoutout to my fellow “rave baes” and explanation as to why it isn’t a stupid and
pointless scene.
Whether you like raving or not, you have probably seen a video on
Instagram of some DJ playing a set and the crowd going absolutely insane. One
thing undeniable about EDM is the unity within it. No matter where you come
from or what your background is, you don’t need to understand a certain language
or culture to enjoy electronic music. This overall understanding and connection
through a crowd can make an experience wonderful. I tell many friends skeptical
of electronic music to attend a show. With everyone moving, chanting, and
dancing together with the lights, smoke, heavy bass, and overall euphoria, you
can’t help but to feel free.
No, it isn’t just a bunch of drugs and frat bros. Yes, there may be some of
that involved, but it doesn’t make up the majority. I have been to many raves and
festivals and have never once taken ecstasy, acid, LSD, etc. Some of my friends
have partaken, but it definitely isn’t required to have a good time. Looking at the
people, many people are friendly. Unity and respect is heavily promoted in the
EDM community. People are often excited to meet each other, dance with each
other, pass out water to each other, and overall enhance each other’s experience.

The most important thing to me about an experience at an electronic show is
the immense amount of freedom I find. With everyone losing their mind, there’s no
room to be worried about what is happening outside of the show. The pounding
bass and sky-rocketing energy levels pull me in, and I completely forget who I am
for a couple hours. I dismiss all responsibilities and couldn’t care less about work,
school, or whatever else I must do. I only care about having a good experience. I
usually walk out of an electronic show covered in sweat, glitter, and popped
champagne, and the funny thing is, I love it.
The bottom line of what I am trying to say here is, I don’t mind if you don’t
like electronic music. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What I do mind is someone
writing it off as stupid, pointless, or whatever else. I can confidently say the EDM
community provides a home for many people and has given me some of the best
moments of my life.

Rickie McCanna