The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals

As a female artist operating in this field of the music industry, I like to keep abreast of latest research. And a very interesting recent study shows how the land lies for women in the lucrative field of electronic music festivals. International support network and database Female Pressure consists of female DJs, Vjs, electronic musicians, sound artists, sound engineers, academics and other diverse professionals involved in the post club culture industry and vibrant scenes in most cities.

As a collective endeavour, active members of the Female Pressure network submitted statistics for festivals they were aware of. And then, collating all these findings, they produced a report and graphic representation clearly demonstrating their informal research using music faders and ven diagrams. Some countries fared better than others – the UK was not the best for gender representation with women making up ten per cent of the artists performing. And quite surprisingly perhaps, Germany did not fair much better despite the assumption that there are more female DJs and artists active especially in Berlin.

Overall, the study showed over eighty percent of festival artists were male and less than ten per cent were female – the rest were acts made of men and women. So what can be done about this? One solution put forward has been festivals representing only female artists. The aim of this would be to make a statement that there are many female artists out there that can entertain an audience. However there is an argument against this approach as this can still lead to separation and lack of integration in the male dominated rosters. There are wonderful examples of festivals and collectives that strive for a more representative and diverse offer of live and DJ acts – LEM festival in Barcelona was one of these though this sadly no longer exists.

Female Pressure have decided for this year to present an all female line up in Berlin to boldly highlight the quantity and quality of women working in the electronic music industry. Future festivals will however focus on aiming for a 50-50 male female ratio as increased female acts at electronic music festivals seems the most effective way forward. There are many interesting and most capable female live performers and DJs, one only has to use your favourite search engine to find this out. And more importantly audiences deserve a varied and reflective range of performances when they have invested in a ticket for an event.

How to Choose the Best Festivals for You

With 7.4 billion people in over 200 countries it’s no wonder there are more than 6 thousand unique celebrations around the world. But there’s only one lifetime! How can you choose which to attend? Let’s start with the basics. Categories overlap, especially since music, performing arts and dancing (as well as eating & drinking) play a major role in most events, but it’s possible to divide then into 7 groups: Music, Theatre, Cultural, Film, Book, Sports and Food. Now, let’s explore a few of them.

Culture

Many bizarre festivities fall under ‘culture’. For example: Kanamara Matsuri in Japan where a penis is the central theme of the event, and the Monkey Buffet in Thailand where Macaques (macaca monkeys) are served over 2,000 kg of fruity treats, and La Tomatina in Spain where 100 tons of tomatoes are heaved in a gigantic street brawl at the world’s largest food fight.

Sports

Sports festivals offer a few surprises too, like racing stubborn dromedaries Down Under at Camel Cup, and bottomless boat competitions in a water-free regatta on a dry riverbed at Henley-on-Todd in the Australian outback, and dirty mud dancing after running in mudflat marathons at Boryeong Mud Fest along Daecheon Beach in South Korea.

All the quirky, bizarre or madcap celebrations around the globe could fill books, so in this post I’ll focus on the most popular category, the one devoted to music.

Music Festivals

Select a musical genre, a date, and a country and you’ll find headline bands & DJs amidst explosions of light and sound on gargantuan stages in colossal arenas, in eerie remains of abandoned buildings, in fields that were once farms or pastures for cows, in ancient fortresses, along beaches or lakes, at the top of mountains, or on deserts in the middle of nowhere.

Some of the best music festivals around the world (professionally promoted ones featuring rock, alt-pop, metal & electronic genres) that are likely to continue for many years to come, include:

  • Primavera Sound & Sónar in Barcelona Spain (at Fira Gran Via)
  • Benicàssim (FIB) in Spain (along the Costa del Azahar nr. Valencia)
  • Glastonbury in Somerset UK (on fields of Worthy Farm nr. Pilton)
  • Coachella in Indio USA (in a desert valley in Southern California)
  • Burning Man in Nevada USA (in the Black Rock desert nr. nothing)
  • Sziget in Budapest Hungary (on Óbudai-sziget island on the Danube)
  • Ultra in Miami USA & Worldwide (USA, Europe, S. America, & Asia)
  • Lollapalooza in Chicago USA (at a huge park on Lake Michigan)
  • Leeds & Reading – UK (Bramham Park nr. Leeds/a farm nr. Reading)
  • Roskilde in Denmark (on Zealand island not far from Copenhagen)
  • Fuji Rock in Niagata Japan (nr. Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture)
  • Outlook in Pula Croatia (at an abandoned fort along the Adriatic Sea)
  • EXIT in Novi Sad Serbia (at Petrovaradin Fortress on the Danube)
  • DOUR in Dour Belgium (at an eerie ex-industrial mining site)
  • Bazant Pohoda in Trenn Slovakia (at an old airport near Trenn)
  • Tomorrowland in Boom Belgium (between Antwerp & Brussels)

Reggae events are held in places you least expect like Poland, and blues & jazz fests enrapture cities like Montreal & Copenhagen, while classical extravaganzas draw throngs to music citadels like Salzburg Austria (Mozart’s birthplace) where gala concerts have been ongoing since 1920.

What’s the most awesome summer festival?

The best ones for families include Bestival or Camp Bestival in the UK, the best ones for adult debauchery may be EXIT in Serbia, Sea Dance in Montenegro, and Bochum Total in Germany, the most high-tech ones for new music aficionados are perhaps Primavera Sound & Sónar in Spain, the ones most loved by metal heads include Rock am Ring & Amphie in Germany, and for EDM fans there are many choices like Ultra in Miami, Electric Zoo in New York & Tomorrowland in Belgium. There’s no single ‘best’, just resources to help you choose the best one for YOU.

European Awards

The UK Festival Awards is a good resource because nominees are voted for by the general public using an online platform and also by a panel of journalists and industry experts. Categories include Best Special Effects, Best Hospitality and even Best Toilets (which is my personal favourite), Best Line-Up of the Year, Best Newcomer, Best Overseas, Best Dance and Best Family, but the biggest award goes to the Best Major Festival. Winners have included T In The Park (near Perth & Kinross – about 80 km from Edinburgh), and Bestival on the Isle of Wight.

Festinga

Another resource for choosing where to go and what to expect, is Festinga, an online world festival guide with detailed information on each event as well as links to buying tickets and booking travel & accommodation. Fans can rate fests, upload pics and videos, and contribute stories.

One Love Festival That Unites the World

A one love music festival happens in August to coincide with the lunar eclipse. The original concert was held in 1978 and it is the 30th anniversary of the one love festival for peace. The festival took place in the Newton’s observatory in East Sussex in Britain. The Internet will provide you with a collection of colorful photos. This is usually a magical event that takes place in 3 nights and the main commemoration is the concert of Bob Marley that took place 30 years ago. The one love festival sees music lovers from all corners of the region and the world, comes together to have one of a kind event of love. The party is never short of artists and, over 100 artists perform from all over the world. The artist’s plays a blend of music mixtures and among the feature styles include Reggae, Dub, chill out, and Funk and Electronic styles. It is really the greatest event ever and, you will not be disappointed.

Many people from all over the world plan for this event before hand. There are all kinds of concerts and workshops during the three days and, you will not be bored. Some of the things that take place include Maypole dancers, Belly dancers, Mbira workshop, Ethiopian coffee as well as many chills out areas. It is really the biggest event you can think of. For food lovers, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the biggest dishes from all over the world. This is a forum in which cultures mix as they seek to find ways to appreciate each other.

This is an event organized by people for people and, you should not go wrong with this. This is an event that mainly draws young people from all over the world. You can go through the pictures from the concert of 2008 and, you will definitely find something to envy in this regard. For more pictures, you can go to Facebook and, you will not be disappointed. One love festival depicts exactly this and, it is all about spreading the love to the rest of the world. In the beginning, Bob Marley wanted to calm the feuding political temperatures and, this is the reason why the festival has gained a lot of popularity over years.

It has become a symbol of unity and, this is all the world needs. Festivals have become very popular and, this is for the obvious reason of fun and, a fantastic environment. The real spirit of the festival will be best experienced and, you can watch the highlights of the festival. It is truly a place you will be pleased to be in. For information on the tickets and how the festival is organized, the one love festival website will shed a lot of light. Make a point of marking your calendar and, you will not be disappointed. Make sure you wear the colors that will mark the mood of fun and dance away for 3 nights and days.

The Best Electronic Music at the Klubbers’ Day Festival in Madrid

Are you the greatest lover of electronic music? If so, you should know the Klubbers’ Day Festival that will be held this month in the Spanish capital! This is one of the more established festivals for all those lovers of electronic music: no matter if you prefer techno, trance or house music because there you will find all of them! This will be the fifth consecutive year that this the Klubbers’ Day is celebrated. Madrid awaits all the electronic music enthusiasts with the best proposals.

The Klubbers’ Day has proposed to bet for the sustainability and the ecology with a great initiative called Klubbers’ Green area. In order to cooperate towards preserving the environment a ground capable of generating energy has been installed. With this ground they will save energy and supply power for the DJ cabin. They also will use only recycled materials. Beside all this, the bars have been designed to minimize the energy consumption.

This eagerness aims to search out advantageous solutions for achieving a prolongation in the industry of entertainment as well as building up alertness among people about the great need for the looking after nature along with a rationable growth. They have created a fantastic green proposal: they promote environmentally friendly public transportation, for every sold ticket, a tree will be planted, they have made all the flyers out of recycled paper,; energy is saved using LED lights, water and electricity consumptions are optimized to a minimum, waste is recycled, plastic consumption is reduced, and so on.

More than 100 national and international DJs and bands will play in this edition of the Klubbers’ Day. Some of them are: Faithless, Brian Cross, Armin Van Buuren, Erick Morillo, Egbert y Ilario Alicante, Óscar Murelo, Henry Saiz, Sven Vath, Dubfire Paul Ritch, Umek, Adam Beyer, etc.

But the Klubbers’ Day Festival will offer also a lot of activities for all tastes: there will be held an exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, live acts by cultural pointers bands from the underground scene in Madrid and a meeting point for friends and journalists.

Preparing For a Summer of Electronic Music Festivals

The summer is generally considered the prime season for entertainment, particularly for music. Festivals for all genres are scheduled during this time and, for electronic music, this is no exception. While electronic dance music has evolved from the illegal rave parties of the 1990s into legitimate music events (many even lasting two days), knowing which events to attend depends where you’re located and where you’re willing to travel.

A recent article in the New York Times discussed the phenomenon of techno tourism: the traveling to various music events and festivals for favorite DJs and acts. Although such habits and fandom is seen for many other genres, with the most heightened being fans of jam band music, this appears to be a recent – or perhaps more visible – development in electronic music.

Generally, electronic dance music, to the average person looking from the outside into the genre, is still centered around the clubs and a DJ is still someone who plays records. But, much like jam band music in which the guitarists may play a different solo at every gig, the mixing and production techniques for a good and reputable DJ will vary with each gig, as well. Essentially, this aspect is what fuels the fans to travel from gig to gig – what changes and new production will the DJ add each night?

When it comes to summer music events, many of the major ones start in the spring and go into the summer. Some, even, are scheduled right before fall starts.

In the United States, the schedule of major summer festivals essentially starts in late March – the start of spring – with the Winter Music Conference and the Ultra Music festival that closes the week-long event. The Winter Music Conference, held in Florida, covers all aspects of electronic music through workshops, panel discussions, and performances. DJ production and scratching techniques are both covered through the event. The electronic music festival following reads like a who’s-who of electronic musicians, often with one of the top DJs headlining the event.

Past this point, Coachella, in California, often has many well-known names for instrumental and DJ electronic music added. New Order, La Roux, and Depeche Mode have been acts on the bill in recent years, and a separate DJ tent has an all-day lineup of music. Additionally, the end of the summer brings Electric Zoo in New York, which has been offering two days of electronic music acts from DJs to instrumental music.

England also has its share of electronic music, too. The summer months will have some of the country’s largest festivals, such as Creamfields and Global Gathering. Both festivals attract some of the top names in DJing short of making a trip to Ibiza. But, then again, many wanting a vacation combined with beats from their favorite DJ will make a special trip to the Balearic paradise.

Summer Music and Arts Festivals Are Just Around the Corner

For many people in the UK, the onset of spring means only one thing – the advent of the music festival season. From Glastonbury in June to the Reading and Leeds Festivals at the end of August, music festivals play a large part in the British summer experience – regardless of the weather.

Traditionally, the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset has been seen simultaneously as the both the kick-off and the highlight of the summer festival season. As famous for the rivers of mud it attracts during periods of rain as the big names it draws, Glastonbury began in 1970 with 1500 people attending. In contrast, last year’s festival – memorably headlined by American rapper Jay-Z – saw over 100,000 people attending, figures that are a testament to how deeply Glastonbury is embedded in the hearts of British music fans.

Other popular festivals featuring rock and electronic acts are spread across the season, with T in the Park in Scotland in July, the V Festival in mid-August and the Reading and Leeds festivals at the end of August. But rock music certainly isn’t the only genre to light a fire under festival-goers in the UK. The Cambridge Folk Festival attracts thousands of folk fans from across the world in the serene and beautiful surroundings of Cherry Hinton in Cambridgeshire. This eclectic festival is even older than Glastonbury, having started in 1964.

What’s more, the UK is home to some of the globe’s most vibrant arts festivals every summer, like the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe in August, and the Brighton Festival and Fringe in May. In fact, the Edinburgh Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world with over two thousand shows last year spanning theatre, comedy, music and many more genres.

However, with the economic downturn looming large over many people’s finances this year, it’s possible that a lot of music fans and arts buffs won’t quite get to make it to their favourite festivals this year. Tickets for music festivals in particular can run into hundreds of pounds for a whole weekend, while tickets at Fringe events often sell out quickly – especially if they’ve been receiving good press.

However, the huge technological advances of the last decade mean that it’s now easier than ever to make sure you don’t miss out on seeing your favourite bands or shows – even if it’s from the comfort of your own living room. Rapid developments in digital television mean that highlights from major music festivals and events are increasingly being shown on TV, both recorded and live.

Digital channels are often among the first to screen footage from music festivals and channels with interactive features usually let you choose from a selection of bands to watch. Detailed programmes on arts festivals are often compiled too and can be seen on specialist channels like Sky Arts. What’s more, with more and more people choosing HD television, the crystal-clear quality of this format means that your favourite musical groups and performers will seem even more unforgettable.

Indulge Your Passion For Music With a Trip to Miami

Miami is a city as diverse as they come. Located in south eastern Florida, it is a veritable hotchpotch of different cultural influences, making it a vibrantly interesting and exciting holiday destination. Indeed, entertainment is always high on the city’s agenda, with a wide range of annual events and fascinating attractions to entice the visitor.

Due to its varied population, which includes people from Central America, Cuba and the Caribbean; Miami offers up an eclectic mixture of sights and experiences. And depending on the area you visit, it is possible to indulge your senses in all that these colourful communities have to offer.

As a result of its many cultural influences, Miami’s music scene provides listeners with a rich and alternative selection of tunes and dances. In fact, both the conga and rumba were introduced to Miami by the Cubans, whilst people from the West Indies and the Caribbean brought with them reggae and soca, among other things. The city is also home to a huge dance and techno scene.

In recognition of its great selection of sounds, the city plays host to a number of annual music events and festivals, which are designed to celebrate the great history Miami and music have shared together.

March, for instance, is the biggest month for the city in terms of music, with the Winter Music Conference opening its doors. A celebration of electronic music, it is the biggest event of its kind in the world and was established back in 1985. The conference lasts for a week and attracts thousands of industry professionals keen to network. Although the main event is primarily open to the music experts – such as DJs and record label representatives – it also attracts thousands of clubbers who come to experience the new music on offer.

Held alongside the Winter Music Conference is the Ultra Music Festival. Attracting around 70,000 electronic music fans, it is a two-day event held at the city’s Bicentennial Park and features a number of world-class acts.

Also held in March is the Jazz in the Gardens festival. Having just entered its fourth year, it has grown exponentially and now attracts around 25,000 people. Featuring a host of top artists, including Erykah Badu and Will Downing, it is a great two-day event to attend and one that should not be missed.

Hosted in December, the Mantra International World Music Festival is another brilliant event to experience. Established in 2004, it sees famous musicians, bands and musical acts perform a selection of different music across the city. It also includes art exhibitions and music workshops that work to involve the community.

Summer Music Festivals in London

London is a great location to be if you love going to music festivals. If you live or study in London, then experiencing some of the best music festivals that this city has to offer can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend the summer months. With such as variety of festivals to choose from, there’s sure to be more than a few that those who lucky enough to be spending their summer in London won’t want to miss out on.

Lovebox

This three-day festival takes place in London’s Victoria Park during July, which organisers have become renowned for filling with giant art installations and creative stage décor. Lovebox was originally founded by DJs Groove Armada and whilst it might have started life as a dance festival, there are now an impressively eclectic range of music acts featuring on the line-up, as well as a number of fringe performances. As with many London music festivals, there’s no camping, but cheap accommodation is a great alternative to staying in a tent – plus there’s more chance of you getting a shower each morning, too!

Wireless

Previously held in Hyde Park, this music festival has recently moved to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, and features some of the biggest music acts playing in London each summer. This three-day festival draws huge and diverse crowds of music fans, with pop and hip-hop acts dominating the main stages. Tickets to this one tend to sell out, so make sure you book them fast!

Field Day

Another festival located in East London’s Victoria Park, Field Day takes the unique approach of merging its musical line-up and entertainment acts with a ‘Village Mentality’, featuring activities from traditional country fetes. Drawing every kind of Hackney hipster, this is a festival which prides itself on being ahead of the trend, especially when it comes to indie bands and cutting-edge DJs. If you want to party with cool kids, then Field Day is certainly the place to be.

Hard Rock Calling

If you’re determined to rock out in London this summer, then you won’t want to miss this festival. Despite also making the move from Hyde Park to the Olympic Park, Hard Rock Calling couldn’t be more different from the aforementioned Wireless. With a line-up of rockers from across recent decades, there’s something for everyone – as long as you like your music loud and guitar-heavy, you’re sure to have a good time.

South West Four

Also known as SW4, this two-day festival takes places on South London’s Clapham Common and specialises in dance and electronic music acts, as well as in encouraging festival goers to throw more than a few shapes. Taking place over the August bank holiday weekend (when you might be lucky enough to get some sunshine!), SW4 continues to boast a particularly impressive line-up of DJs and musicians and has becoming something of a highlight of the clubbing calendar within the capital.

Inescapable Music Festivals of Los Angeles

Los Angeles or the Entertainment Capital of the World has nothing to dismay the high spirits of holidaymakers. Besides a world of unusual travel attractions by way of natural splendour and other tourist trappings, the Californian city is popular for spell-binding music scene.

LA’s music culture has got it all. Be it jazz, folk, reggae or blues, music freaks are sure to get something of their taste. Holidays to Los Angeles become all the more pleasant when the mind-blowing musical performances, lively atmosphere and loud noises of music aficionados fill the heart with immense joy. Here is the sampling of some of the enthralling music festivals which tempt even the most discerning music buff.

World Festival of Sacred Music

World Festival of Sacred Music (WFSM) is celebrated once in every three years. The sixteen-day celebration of the largest citywide festival feasts the world with delightful sacred music performances from the artists that come to LA from across the world. The festival began in 1999 when the Dalai Lama suggested the world to mark the celebrations of the new millennium with peace by way of music. WFSM is a big hit among music lovers and prompts them to book air tickets to Los Angeles much in advance.

L.A. Acoustic Music Festival

L.A. Acoustic Music Festival in celebrated for honouring the life of legendary troubadour Woody Guthrie. It takes place in May at amazing Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica. Millions of folk music fanatics grab airline tickets to Los Angeles for revelling into the remarkable performances of folk music. Apart from this, one can shop, eat and enjoy to the full extent. The year 2009 was thrilled with brilliant performances of David Lindley Richard Thompson and Natalie MacMaste.

Coachella Music Festival

Coachella is a three-day festival celebrated in the month of April. It livens up the fields of Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The breathtaking three-day Coachella experience pays off for the time and money invested in travelling to the venue. Delight the ears with great performances of rock, indie, hip-hop and electronic music at Coachella. Besides a great souvenir shopping at the art and craft shops as well as the lip-smacking delicacies satiate the temptation of shoppers and gourmets alike. Many fans save up their money and often buy air tickets to Los Angeles in advance to be a part of the festival.

Sunset Strip Music Festival

Sunset Strip Festival has always remain a fad and has for long prompted many music enthusiasts to rummage through airlines’ websites looking for tickets to Los Angeles. The three-day Sunset Strip Music Festival or SSMF rejoices the fans with live performances of rock music, pool-parties, and photo exhibits. The festival takes place at different venues including clubs and other outdoor stages on the Sunset Strip through West Hollywood.

Looking Beyond Mainstream Electronic Music

Electronic music has finally reached the point where you cannot escape it. Listen to the songs on iTunes top singles chart and I guarantee at least one will be dance music. Katy Perry, Kesha and other pop stars like Lady Gaga utilize the 4-on-the-floor beat. But what’s beyond this? What lies underneath this or, better yet, where did this music originate from?

Dance music is much more vibrant and varied in its home realm – underground. From the minimal scene to the deep house scene, there is an almost constant source of fresh new music and new artists are popping up every week. I’ve been told many times that my iPod playlists contain artists and DJs my friends have never heard of. This isn’t because I’m extremely good at picking out new music, in fact, it’s quite the contrary. It’s because I’m involved in the deep world of EDM and all it has to offer.

We’ve come a long way since the days of early 90’s raves blasting hard techno or jungle beats. True, those were some good times, but we’ve progressed to something nicer, almost fancy. Detroit techno and Chicago house have evolved into tech house, techno, deep house, house, progressive house, trance, breaks, downtempo, drum n’ bass, dubstep, indie dance, nudisco and much more. Subgenres upon subgenres. There’s practically a genre for every individual’s taste. There is a word known to most electronic music enthusiasts – Beatport. We have our very own places and websites to buy this niche music we love.

And it has become an obsession. I recall reading some study years ago saying that dance music actually releases endorphins in the brain; a fancy way of saying it keeps me coming back. I get my daily fix, my regular dose. It’s a thrill too, to look for new albums, artists and labels.

So why am I writing all this? It’s because I want you, the reader, to know there’s a whole universe of music out there waiting to be discovered. Once you look beyond David Guetta’s most recent hit, you’ll see he was once playing right alongside underground DJs at underground clubs and festivals. The top levels are playing in stadiums and major festivals. The next tier of artists are playing at large festivals and major night clubs. Under that, you have the DJs playing in the smaller clubs and festivals, and beyond even that, you have small local producers playing at the local bars and clubs. Some of them have had releases, others are playing their favorite tracks made by bigger names. Regardless, they all are playing what they love.