Five years ago, if you had asked the average American music lover if they listened to house, techno or trance, only a handful—with the exception of DJs, industry folk and electronica die-hards—would have said no. Of course, rock ’n’ roll has reigned for much longer than scratching or Serato have existed. But with the help of Daft Punk and David Guetta in recent years, the BPM has sped up and electronic music has taken over. And nearly every music festival is jumping on board.
Take, for example, this year’s Coachella Music Festival, held April 15-17 at Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif. In the past, the festival has been headlined by predominantly rock acts such as Oasis in 2002 and Rage Against the Machine in 2007. This was not the case at this year’s festival, where electronic dance music DJ/producer Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia shared top billing with the band Arcade Fire. This year’s overwhelming attendance (sold out at an estimated 60,000) and the quality of turntable talent would suggest that DJs are the new rock stars.
Producers such as Tiesto, Sasha & Digweed and Fatboy Slim have also headlined in years past in the festival’s Sahara Tent. This year’s event increased not only its volume of DJs, but the quality as Axwell, Sasha, Erick Morillo, A-Trak and 2011 Grammy-winner Afrojack were just a few of the top dogs that graced the tent. Heineken Dome featured Dirty Vegas, Bunny and more. The Oasis Dome also featured hip-hop-electro mash-up artists such as Lil’ B and Mary Anne Hobbs; Kanye West and Lauryn Hill also performed on the main Coachella stage cracking the door open just a little wider for hip-hop, perhaps the next genre to sweep through Coachella’s campsites.