Dance Music Grooves to the Fore

A scene that started in illegal warehouse parties in the ’90s is taking over airwaves, stadiums and public parks this summer.

May 30, 2010|By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times

On a recent afternoon, Gary Richards was standing in his Hollywood office in front of a detailed map of the Los Angeles State Historic Park, the 36-acre plot just east of Chinatown. Richards, who has promoted dozens of gatherings under the moniker Hard Events, is planning his first parties on public land, and, as he’s learned by now, a new venue requires extra attention.

FOR THE RECORD: An article in Sunday’s Calendar section about the summer’s dance music events said that the Electric Daisy Carnival and Love Festival would take place at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Both will take place at Exposition Park & Memorial Coliseum.

Where will the thousands enter? How much electricity will be needed? Through which hidden corners will the gate-crashers try to sneak?

He pointed to a rendering of the main stage grounds, where, on the first of two summer dates he has slated for the site, on July 17, superstar singer/rapper M.I.A. will perform as part of an event called Hard LA. “This holds about 20,000 people,” he said, “and right here is the second stage, which holds about 7,000 people.”

Since he started promoting dance music events after 15 years spent in the record business, Richards, 39, has booked shows at, among others, the Hollywood Palladium, the Orion Theatre and the Shrine. But as the masses flock to the dance floor in increasing numbers, he and other promoters are looking for bigger venues to contain the crowds, and are expanding beyond Southern California. Hard Events has done events in L.A., New York, Miami and San Francisco.

Last year, over two days, Insomniac Events’ party Electric Daisy Carnival, now in its 14th year, drew a reported 135,000 people to the Los Angeles Coliseum for a rave that featured carnival rides, a sculpture park and dozens of the world’s most popular DJs. This summer’s installment, which takes place on June 25 and June 26 at the Coliseum, promises to be just as big, and will feature, among others, Moby, MSTRKRFT, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5 and Z-Trip. Another annual rave, the Love Festival, will take over the Coliseum on Aug. 21.

While Coachella, Bonnaroo and other massive rock and pop festivals have higher public profiles, the electronic dance music scene has been exploding. Fueled by a roster of parties and an inclusive philosophy that absorbs the sounds of rock, hip hop and pop music and transforms them via remixes into beat-heavy dance floor fodder, electronic dance music is virtually inescapable this summer.

Source: LA Times

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