Seriously, why don't I "get" dance festivals?!?

Jaguar's picture

Submitted by Jaguar on 2011, October 24 - 1:38pm

Why don't I "get" dance festivals, guys???

I am not a HUGE fan of dance music, so I guess that is one obvious reason... But honestly, I have been surprised how many of you on this forum seem to jump between more rock orientated festivals and more dance based festivals...and it has got me thinking, maybe I'm missing out on something here...

Another thing that has surprised me is how many of you have stated that certain dance festivals are actually your favourite ones to attend! I have seen Creamfields mentioned quite a lot in particular.

So why is it I am never attracted to these events? Am I wrong and foolish for viewing them as drug-fuelled rave ups? Ha ha!

What am I missing? Why do you all enjoy dance festivals so much???? Please do enlighten me! I feel like a complete 'newbie' here!

2011, October 25 - 12:11pm

Jaguar, for some reason I feel the same. I am not quite sure why and I know that rock festivals are just the same but to me dance festivals equal drug fuelled, pill popping events.

I am not being at all judgmental to those who wish to get high but my only ever experience of a dance festival was awful.

I was quite young (and impressionable) and I live in the area where Homelands used to be...it has now since gone!

The music was amazing...the good old days of Pete Tong, Cassius etc...The real Ministry of Sound days back in the late nineties, early noughties. But what took away from the festival was all the drugs. There were sniffer dogs, police, guards everywhere. Maybe festivals are like that now and I was too young to get it but it seems that the music, for most, could only be enjoyed by popping some pills or acid.

I remember friends coming home and being on a medicated high for days.

It was like an old fashioned rave. Granted that was about ten years ago now so I am sure things are different these days, but I have never ventured back to one.

I too am interested to hear what they are like...is it all about the drugs or is the music the main event?

Creamfields has always appealed to me...although it is quite far away from me. What is it like? Please do enlighten us!

2011, October 27 - 4:15pm

DRUGS: A large majority of music genres have drug preconceptions attached to them.

With marijuana its assumed that everyone at reggae festivals or at metal festivals are potheads, whereas drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy are associated with dance festivals. Although this may be true to a certain extent It's not entirely fair to judge a whole festival, just on the drug sub-culture that is pinned to the music.

I've attended dance festivals with large groups of people who have chosen not to take drugs and have still had a good time. I do dabble myself but I was happy not to so I could be on the same natural (or drunk) high as my friends, drugs are a choice, nobody is forcing you to do them. So I really don't get this fear people have that if they bump into people who are on drugs, they are suddenly going to be strapped down and fed drugs.

THE CULTURE OF DANCE MUSIC: As a dance music fan, I love the drops, the bass, the loudness, some dance music can send you into quite a europhic state if you choose something that is suited to your frequency. I love the childish joy of being caked in UV paint, I love the horrendous dancing that can only be fitted to dance music, I like mixture of crowds who have listened to dance in its old form partying with new generation and showing them how its done. I love the salt of the earth people that attend dance music festivals.

Please bare in mind that this coming from something who is a big fan of other music genres such as metal, hiphop and blues.

A REQUIRED TASTE: Back on that point of me liking a range of music, unlike rock I actually think Dance isn't a very accessible music genre, I'd argue that everyone can name a rock act they like, yet dance is something that you either love or don't.

So in all I get that you're curious to know what the appeal is, but hey each to their own :-)

2011, October 31 - 12:57pm

Wow, guys, thank you so much for all of your responses. It has opened by eyes somewhat and also taught me to not necessarily label them as "drug-fuelled raves".

I am a total dance n00b so am probably incorrect here but is it me or is the genre having a recent surge in popularity? I say "dance" but I more mean, dubstep and those sort of off-shoot genres. People like Skrillex and Nero seem to reinventing this whole genre. And that suggests to me that dance festivals may be more popular than ever next Summer - do you all agree?

2011, October 31 - 3:00pm

I feel that the dance scene is split really. There is the old school Creamfield type festivals for all those who are chasing after a mis-spent youth. Many of my friends who now have kids, are married etc tend to save all their 'hall passes' to go to something like Creamfields where music from their dance days, Ministry days, whatever you want to call it, is playing. Here they can dabble in their choice drug from the 90's and pretend that they no longer have any responsibility.

They then have to return home, on a come-down and feed and change their kids...do the dishes, the laundry, the usual routine.

There are then the younger kids who are more into dub...like my 19 year old sister for example. They go to big events in old derelict houses. Or to random festivals that I have never heard of with DJ's that I have never heard of.

They dance in a weird way, take modern day drugs (not my sister she is really against it - training to be a midwife and all that!) and wear really odd clothes. That is a totally different scene than the 'dance' scene I know of.

Not massively into dance festivals myself but I can see what you mean Jaguar about the whole resurgence from the likes of Nero.

I think it all depends on your age as to what kind of 'dance' festival you attend.

What do other people think?

2011, November 8 - 5:52pm

Interesting post, Kizza. So is Creamfields yet to be overtaken by this nu wave of dance, or indeed, dance fans? For example, this whole dub step stuff. Is this yet to touch down in Creamfields? Does that festival attract an 'older' crowd that long for the days of Ministry of Sound and Kevin and Perry? Ha ha! Is that whole scene at risk of dieing out soon? :(. As like you said, the fans of this whole dance era are getting older and soon will stop attending festivals (well, I expect! Good on them if they keep on raving it up every year ha ha!). So therefore, Creamfields etc might have to start attracting this younger scene and altering its general ambiance?

Like I said I am a total dance newb, so really have no right to comment on this but. I am interested, I really am, as I am genuinely into most music so it frustrates me in a way I do not "get" this dance end of the musical spectrum.

You know how with rock and indie festivals you get a whole plethora of fests which attract different types of people and music? Like, for example, Glasto, this event tends to attract 'big name' rock and indie artists, who have also managed to perhaps lean towards a 'mainstream' audience. And then, on the other hand, you get a rock festival like Download which books more uncommercial metal acts and stuff. Two very different types of rock festivals - two very different types of music. I would not jump at going Download but I would go to Glasto. Anyway, enough of this analogy, what I am trying to say is, is it the same for dance festivals? Like, within the 'dance festival' umbrella, is there lots of separate types of festivals which attract different sub-genres, or sub-fans, or is dance quite a universal thing?

2012, June 1 - 9:29pm

To be honest I think dance festivals are marmite kind of festivals, you really do love or hate them! Obviously it is a major plus if you actually like electronic music and I would suggest that this is probably a must!

I wouldn’t be too bothered about not liking these kind of festivals because it is all about personal taste!