EDM or Electronic Dance Music is known for it’s pounding beats, big production laser light shows, and exceptionally loyal following of massive crowds. It’s rising popularity throughout the years, led to the development of all sorts of dance music festivals, a celebration of the music, artists and the people. It is where the fans can enjoy fresh and unreleased music, light shows, food, drinks, and even interactive artistic exhibitions.
“The global economic value of the EDM Industry is currently estimated at $7.1 Billion.”
EDM has made a huge impact in the past few years toward their target market and listeners all over the world. In 2018, Billboard released a market statistic showing a 12-percent growth within one year where many changes took place with this musical revolution. In addition to that, the annual festival season continues to remain strong, huge festival brands keep expanding and developing their productions over the course of several years.
The biggest EDM Festival in the world is Tomorrowland. It grew from an attendance of 9000 people in 2005 to 400,000 people in 2019.
Located in Boom, Belgium, Tomorrowland was first held in the summer of 2005. The festival now stretches over two weekends and usually sells out in minutes. For its fifteenth anniversary, the festival took place on the 19 to 21 and 26 to 28 July 2019. The festival features massive dance music names like Eric Prydz, Armin van Buuren, Ummet Ozca, The Chainsmokers, Infected Mushroom, Carl Cox, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Sam Feldt, Robin Schulz, Dannic, Axwell, Adam Beyer & many many others. The massive edition of 2019, featured over 1000 artists in 18 stages spread over the massive 38 hectares area.
Tomorrowland In Numbers
Over 2 million people registered for tickets from every single country around the world (those include North Korea, Afghanistan, and Syria!) and “only” 400,000 people were lucky to attend. The attendees’ had an average age of 27 and oldest being the local resident aged 83 who has visited the festival since its beginning. This edition of the festival was sold out in just 45 minutes (Only Glastonbury sold out quicker, in 36 minutes, but that festival hosted “only” 267,000 attendees). The festival is rumored to make consistently over €20 million ($22 million) in profit, however the production costs are closely kept secret, but one can imagine they are very high.
It is also important to note as well that the festival employs 15,000 people. Those salaries are added to the massive production cost of course. The festival is incredibly popular online and on social media. It became popular for the incredible 20-minute long aftermovies it put out throughout the years. In addition to that, they’re famous for their Facebook live broadcasts. Their 2019 version had over 210.000 live viewers at its peak with over 718 million impressions.
According to several insiders, all the DJ’s brought to the festival earn the exact same amount. Making things quite interesting, when taking into consideration that global superstars such as Armin van Buuren and Tiesto would earn the same as the upcoming first time DJ playing on the smallest stage.
When talking about the stages at Tomorrowland, the festival is known for it’s massive mainstage production, which includes its mind-blowing audio visuals accompanied with floating dancers and fireworks. All of these elements come together to link the design to a theme and story for each year. Each of the stages in the festival has their own crazy theme as well. From the fire spewing Dragon stage to the Mushroom stage and waterfall stage (not official names). There aren’t really enough words to describe the level of production at the stages, one must simply experience them in person. In the last couple of years, Tomorrowland started producing “Unite” a series of stages and broadcast that link directly to the main stage live from Belgium, while also hosting local talent and A-list stars in different countries at the same time. These smaller versions of the main stage follow the top-level production standards and look of the main event. The satellite connection with the main stage, brings the event to a lot more fans who are unable to travel to the festival grounds. The majestic production of every stage and the detailed-oriented approach to everything (even the garbage bins were custom made), health and safety, information and logistics were done to the T. Logistically, Tomorrowland is a well-honed machine that leaves nothing to chance and you can feel it. Just imaging the number of teams, technology, budget, resources and work being put to deliver the Tomorrowland experience to the world!
Tomorrowland is an astronomical event in every sense of the word.
Here Are Some Of The Biggest Festivals In The World
Electric Daisy Carnival
The flagship event takes place originally in the Nevada desert, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in Orlando. Electronic Daisy Carnival, or EDC as it has come to be known, is a music festival held in spring, summer, and fall months in the United States. It is considered the largest electronic music festival in North America. The festival features a variety of electronic music styles and sub-genres including house, techno, drum and bass, and dubstep. World’s top Djs perform there – Afrojack, Kaskade, Tiesto, David Guetta and Steve Aoki, and you get a 2-day extravaganza. EDC sees more than 3,00,000 attendees on an average.
EDC was created with the purpose of utilizing music and art to inspire individuals. In addition to the music, festival attendees experience three-dimensional superstructures, colorful glow-in-the-dark environments, and LED-infused flora and fauna. In 2017, EDC won the Festival of the Year award at the Electronic Music Awards. Recent versions of the festival have featured 8 stages, each with a unique set and specific genre of EDM. In addition to the music stage production, the festival included 18 carnival rides, 4 ferris wheels, and a staff of more than 5,000 people.
Ultra Music Festival (Miami)
The festival was founded in 1999 and was named after the Depeche Mode album Ultra. It has primarily been held at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami and was a one-day festival from 1998 to 2006. Since 2011, the festival expanded and became a 3-day festival. In 2012, it had a record attendance, of 155,000 people. In 2013, the festival took place across 2 consecutive weekends to celebrate its 15th anniversary, with a combined attendance of 330,000 people. According to the city of Miami, the festival has generated approximately $995 million dollars of economic impact.
Ultra Music Festival (Japan)
This version of the festival is part of Ultra Music Festival’s worldwide expansion (which now spans 20 countries!). The festival started in 2014, taking place at the Tokyo Odaiba Ultra Park and featured three stages drew an attendance of over 42,000 people. The festival was founded on the same successful recipe that has been perfected over twenty years in Miami, combining the most diverse electronic talent with the a technologically advanced, large-scale festival production.
Creamfields is an EDM festival that takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend in the UK. It was founded and organised by the British club promoter Cream. In 1998, the festival was started in Winchester in Southern England attracting 25,000 people and featuring live performances from Run DMC, Primal Scream and DJ sets from over 100 DJs including the likes of Daft Punk, Paul van Dyk and Sasha.
In 2016, the Steel Yard stage was introduced and later resulted in a spinoff mini-festival with events held in Liverpool and London. In 2018, Steel Yard Liverpool partnered with Tomorrowland and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike to bring “Garden of Madness” to the UK for a special one-off event. The festival also grew to become a four-day event with site expansion in 2017 allowing for a maximum attendance of 280,000 people in 2019.
Being the first of its kind in the country when it was established in 1993, its organizers have named the event as the oldest dance music festival in the Netherlands. Traditionally held on the final weekend of august, each year, more than 100.000 visitors from over 100 nationalities are welcomed at the festival grounds. Since 2015, the festival grew from a one-day to a three-day event to also include camping.
This is the largest electronic music festival in Romania and one of the largest in Europe, Untold was named “Best Major Festival” during the European Festival Awards in 2015. The first edition of the festival took place in 2015, with performances from Armin van Buuren, Avicii, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and ATB. The festival offers over 100 hours of music every summer, and of course features world-famous DJ’s. The festival setup has been described as “ritzy” and features lots of visual effects.
In 2019, the first two rounds of ticket sales sold out within respectively 3 and 10 minutes, each having 15,000 festival tickets available. This edition gathered a crowd of 370,000 over four days, making it the most successful chapter in it’s history.
The Sunburn festival is the largest dance music festival in India, and is traditionally hosted on the beach of Goa. It offers multiple stages featuring different genres of electronic music. There are also a number of music-related and art project workshops available during the daytime hours leading up to each musical evening. The festival has now has been moved to Pune in Maharashtra and became Asia’s largest music festival.
Sunburn Goa started in 2007 and included performances from Carl Cox, Above & Beyond and Axwell as headline acts. In 2019, the festival had hosted 200,000 fans.
Held over Labor Day weekend in New York City on Randall’s Island, the festival featured EDM legends such as David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. New York’s longest-running electronic music festival welcomed in 2019 more than 107,000 fans. In it’s first year in 2009, the festival welcomed 26,000 people. It later expanded to a three-day festival in 2011 with 85,000 people attending.
Stereosonic is an annual music festival held in Australia in November and early December. Started in 2007, it is held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne. The festival was a collaboration of two major Australia promoters Totem Industries and Onelove Music Group and showcases leading and emerging electronic artists such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Armin van Buuren with over 40 other international artists such as Alesso, The Bloody Beetroots, Doctor P, R.L Grime, Andrew Rayel and Breach playing to elated music lovers across the country. The festival attracted around 200,000 people.
Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP)
As the name reveals, the EDM festival is held in Jackarta, Indonesia. The festival originated from a nightclub event in 2008 called Blowfish Warehouse Project at Jakarta’s renowned night club called Blowfish. After a fight broke out in 2010 damaging parts of the venue, the festival was moved to Pantai Carnaval in Ancol and rebranded to become Djakarta Warehouse Project.
The 2019 edition saw its return to Jakarta. It was held on 13 to 15 December 2019 at Jakarta International Expo. The capacity of attendance ranging somewhere between 90,000 and 100,000 people.
O.Z.O.R.A. Festival is a world renowned Trans psychedelic festival which takes place in Hungary. The festival is held in start-mid August of every year since 2004. The events take place in an estate in Ozora. It’s not only the home to constant psy, progressive and dark trance music but also conducts week-long artistic workshops, activities and exhibitions thereby making it as one of the biggest platform of cultural dissemination.
The festival is similar to the Boom Festival in Portugal, Burning Man in United States, Fusion Festival in Germany and is considered one of the “leading festivals” around the world. The French-language daily newspaper La Dernière Heure compared Ozora to an “ecological Tomorrowland with the Peace & Love atmosphere of a 21st-century Woodstock”
The first ever Ozora festival took place in 1999 on Ozora farm in the village of Ozora, near Dádpuszta. The festival was organized to celebrate an eclipse. At this time, the festival was not known as Ozora but was called Solipse. Ozora Festival has continued to grow each year and has now blossomed into a 30,000 strong temporary town with a weird and wonderful population drawn from all across the world. Every year the festival attracts around up to 60,000 ravers who camp and dance for 24 hours straight around different stages. The festival not only features Psytrance music, there are other styles playing on different stages. You can enjoy Techno, Chill and World music for example.
All the festivals mentioned above are not the only major ones around. While these are leading the way on a global scale, every country is now becoming famous for a selection of dance music events and festivals it’s promoters are putting on. The world of dance music is huge and welcomes everyone and every style imaginable. We can only expect the festival scene to keep on growing, the production and events getting even more extraordinary and the fans flocking from all corners of the world to their favorite destinations.