Be thankful for San Diego’s EDM scene

Jay L. Clendenin

by Alek Sanchez

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There’s a certain allure of the beach, beauty and beats that has made San Diego the premiere destination for EDM artists to showcase their talents. Throughout the years, San Diego’s electronic music scene has grown to become a top contender as one of the best cities for EDM in California.

Much of this growth can be attributed to the booming presence of promotional company My Life Every Day. It’s devotion to pumping out consistent, high-quality shows has set the bar high for electronic dance music acts, not only here, but all throughout California. It’s easy to see that San Diego will always be home for LED. LED’s two biggest shows, OMFG! New Year’s Eve and LED USA have established themselves as annual, must-see festivals, as concertgoers travel from all across the state to take part and enjoy two days of festivities with the biggest artists in EDM. Even its go-to venue, Valley View Casino Center, has become known as the “LEDome.” Through their commitment to excellence, love for the music, and determination to bring the biggest and baddest parties to wherever it goes the exceptionally low-priced tickets (while available) are the cherry on top of an EDM sundae for San Diego.

In an LED-dominated town, there are still other companies out here trying to make their mark. Insomniac has an established history of festivals throughout California, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and is looking to make a splash in San Diego with its upcoming “Armin Only: Intense” show in May. Eventvibe has also been bringing the EDM love to San Diego for quite some time and is making waves with the announcement of April’s paint-tastic “Life In Color” show, featuring headliners Borgore and DVBBS.

Outside the festivals and concerts, San Diego has always had a booming nightlife that has drawn top-tier DJs from across the globe to come out and play an intimate show. If clubs are more your scene, San Diego has some of the best to offer. Fluxx and Bassmnt are always full of resident LED and Insomniac DJs ready to liven up your night. And if the club scene isn’t exactly for you, Downtown’s Bang Bang has grown to become the alternative, one-stop shop for budding electronic and dance music. Unfortunately, there are rarely any shows for those younger than 21, unlike clubs in L.A. and San Francisco, which typically have at least one 18 and up night. It might be rough missing out on some of your favorite DJs as they come to town. But don’t fret, EDM will still be around by the time you hit 21.

With this explosion of dance music mania, there will always be those longtime fans up in arms fighting against “the mainstream.” Some fans have been holding onto the sentiment that their beloved music culture has digressed during the past couple years. One of the most recent stories is Billboard’s latest EDM chart topper, “#SELFIE,” by the Chainsmokers. Ask around and it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t succumbed to the “selfie” fever. If you haven’t heard it yourself, it’s hard to believe a song such as this hasn’t already been made. A satirical track, quite openly mocking the 20-somethings; obsession with self-portraits and garnering attention on social media, is all broken down into the short phrase, “But first, let me take a selfie.”

Dance music aficionados from coast to coast voiced their thoughts, dismissing the pop-crossover song for appealing to the masses and bastardizing “their” genre. To those fans, I say learn to take a joke. The sentiment is understandable, though. EDM has grown during the past 10 to 20 years. Starting out in basements and warehouse raves, EDM now commands hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers worldwide, with constant radio play to boot. With every music genre, sport or anything else you can be a fan of, there will always be the “die-hards” and the “fair-weathers.” But as the music changes, so do the fans. If we really do love the music for what it is, we should be happy for its success and focus on sharing that same passion with those around us. The EDM culture has grown and found a nice home in sunny San Diego. What a time to be alive in a city that loves music just as much as we do.

Also read: Celebrating three years with EDM

Courtesy of Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/MCT

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