Mad Decent Block Party- A Celebration of What Exactly?

By: Kaia Femenías

Mad Decent Block Party graced the Colorado Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene for the third time in the last three years, returning for a second year to Red Rocks Amphitheater.  Mad Decent is a Los Angeles record label initiated by world renowned DJ Diplo, with many other accomplished artists such as Dillon Francis, Keys n Krates, Zeds Dead, as well as artists like Ke$ha, proving that Mad Decent is not a strictly electronic label.

However, based on Mad Decent’s more prominent signees, the label features a subgenre of electronic dance music known as “trap”, which according to listeners has a “grimy,” or “basey” sound that undeniably makes you want to move. This year, the show was headlined by Galantis, Diplo, Jauz, as well as two female DJs known as Mija and the much anticipated Alison Wonderland.

After speaking to various members of the crowd, it was apparent that many were mostly excited to see Alison Wonderland, who’s set began to pack in the increasing crowd.  “In my opinion, it’s a huge accomplishment to play at Red Rocks,” said one attendee. This can only be held with greater gravity when considering DJs, Mija, as well as, Alison Wonderland, who are performing (and might I say- killing it) in a predominantly male professionWhile the evening was certainly enjoyable, there was a widespread feeling that something has become foreign to the ever-evolving scene of dance music. “It’s shifted from a rave scene to a festival scene, and the crowd is less focused on music and more on tripping balls while doing it. The girls dress a lot more provocatively,” said concert-goer who fondly refers to himself as “Mr. Universe.”  Another noted that “This isn’t really a rave feel, it’s more of a basic crowd.  I’ve noticed that these people aren’t as nice, there’s less of a PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect- rave culture’s motto) community.”

This could be attributed to electronic music entering the mainstream, creating a more judgemental atmosphere at concerts. New members are not accustomed to what the rave culture symbolizes for many, something far more profound than getting high to music.  When the same woman was asked what rave culture means to her, she replied by saying,“PLUR really is the definition of rave culture. It is a wonderful way to live. It’s all about the feel good music, dancing all night and just having fun. We all make sure everyone is having a good time, making new friends, and spreading the love.”

While the crowd frequenting this EDM event may be shifting to the mainstream, if you appreciate the music, it would be difficult not to have a good time in such a beautiful setting.  

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