The Revenge of the Rave: Why 2013 is the Year EDM Goes Mainstream

EDMcrowd The Revenge of the Rave: Why 2013 is the Year EDM Goes Mainstream

EDM: Electronic Dance Music. Surprisingly, the term is said to have been used as early as 1985, but really caught on as a way to describe the electronic sounds that have swept through America over the last few years. In the UK, it’s known as “dance music,” and if you ask any dance music fans about “EDM,” they will hit you with the puzzled face. With so many genres and sub-genres to remember, “EDM” seems to be the term that the American media have latched onto to properly explain the sounds that artists like David Guetta, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, and Afrojack provide to the multitude of fans out there.

What a difference a year makes. While 2012 wasn't the first year that EDM found its way into the mainstream, it's definitely the year that America realized how it could cash in dance music, which is already a global phenomenon. From the Billboard charts to the boardrooms, everyone was checking for EDM as the true "next big thing."

What exactly is EDM's place within the American mainstream, though? Where do the producers, DJs, and label heads see the genre going? What kind of impact will the commodification of dance music have on the music itself? Why are we asking so many questions?

It's hard NOT to ask questions. With the plays being made in Las Vegas, on terrestrial radio, and on the charts, 2013 is set to be a real make-or-break year for dance music on a commercial level in the U.S. We spoke with a number of key figures in the scene to get a grip on the state of EDM, who we should be keeping an ear out for, and, most importantly, where EDM will be going.

Click to start the list
  • Rahul

    Don’t mean to knock this at all, but I feel like it could have been written like three years ago.

  • khal

    i don’t think EDM was this close in 2009… there have been a LOT more inroads made in 2012, just look at Zedd

  • spencer

    EDM is already here, it clearly influenced almost every Top 40 song of the last year or two

    • khal

      clearly influencing and EDM artists standing on their own two feet are two different things though, surely.

  • Felas

    Fuck hipsters!

  • benjamin morpurgo

    When I first started to produce dance music in the 90s (yeah we never called it house or EDM until years later as the sub-genres forced our hand) it was lucky if the best known DJ or producer could get hundreds in the audience, but since 2010 it has grown and continued to grow. Though I would have said 2011 was the year it broke through to mainstream and 2012 was the year it broke through to TV adds and show theme songs. If 2013 is the year, then let it be the year I can finally turn a profit on this passion. (site as proof of what I opine)

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  • Lieutenant Frank Drebin

    The rave scene peaked in the mid to late 90′s these aren’t raves.

    • Martin LeBlanc,

      Yeah, a DJ spinning records in at a stadium is hardly a “rave”. Also, who uses that crappy term anymore?!

      • khal

        Ravers do.

        • Martin LeBlanc,

          The next question: Are there anybody in 2013 who calls themselves ravers! I have heard ‘clubbers’ lately but ravers, raving etc. stopped being used at about 1998.

          • khal

            Go to a rave and ask around…

  • RaYZoR

    I kind of have to agree. I myself got BIG into EDM like very late 2011… 2012 was my first music festival (SummerSet Music Festival, in Wisconsin) and that year itself, I didn’t know many people that I graduated with in high school (2009) and college that were into the EDM scene. And then all of a sudden in 2013 a lot of my old high school/college friends and just people I meet nowadays list a sub-genre of EDM as one of their favorite types of music!! 2013 is the year that more people opened their arms to electronic music than ever before… and with rap in its decline, I feel EDM is now more embraced by the adult community (18+)…. I didn’t read all of this article because of poor writing. but 2013 really was the breakthrough of EDM acts and music

    • Martin LeBlanc,

      We had to wait until 2013 before Americans realized that electronic dance music is great.

      • khal

        Oddly enough, you had to wait until 2014 to comment on this post.

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  • Shards

    What a sad bunch of cunts you are. Worshiping someone who is playing records.

  • Jack

    EDM – Everyone Doing Molly