It’s like running a marathon, jumping up and down for hours at a time, screaming your face off, only after awhile you don’t even feel the pain in your knees or stinging in your feet. Like a runner’s high, the endorphins take over and the music encompasses all of your senses. It’s Electric Dance Music or EDM for short. A mix of techno, dub step, trap, and radio pop songs remixed with ascending rhythm, pounding bass, and beats that drop making the crowds “F***ING JUMP”. This past weekend a few of our Washington College students attended the electric music festival “Electric Zoo” (Ezoo) in New York City. The Festival lit up all of Randall’s Island, a tiny landmass located in the east river between Manhattan and the Bronx. Artists like Zedd, Benny Benassi, Armin Van Buren, and Knife Party were a few of the big name electric DJ’s that played hour long sets. Fans dressed in bright costumes as a way to express themselves and add to the culture of the concert and parallel the fast paced music. The brightness, adds dimension to the experience when backlights and smoke and emerge from the main stages at night.
EDM is a genre that is really picking up pace as the favorite genre among teens and college students. The music of our youth culture some may even counter. In my opinion, it’s the tiny outfits, loudness, and new technology used to create the sounds that make it enticing to young people. It glorifies being young and free and letting yourself go. Because of this, EDM unfortunately, has been associated with heavy drug use and sexual assault. Even at Ezoo, last year, two attendees died of a Molly overdose. So this year before fans could enter the festival they were required to watch a sort of film on the dangers of Molly use.
I recently interviewed one Washington College Attendee, first year, Stephanie Naranjo:
(conversation has been edited for space and grammar)
Catherine: “Why did you choose to go to Ezoo?”
Stephanie: “You pay to see all of your favorite artist all in one area, it’s really the most economical way to experience EDM.”
Catherine: Why do you like edm?
Stephanie: “The music is something you can definitely feel and dance to, you can physically enjoy it.”
Catherine: “What about all of the drug use associated with EDM?”
Stephanie: “Many people think the only way to enjoy is EDM is to be high and hallucinating, because all of the light and bass, but it’s not true. The music almost gets you high itself, you don’t need drugs. Less people than you think do drugs at the festivals.”