Thursday, April 03, 2008

State of the Scene

I'd like to acknowledge some things, if I may... Every place in the world I've ever been to, I've noticed a few things about their Electronic music scenes...

1. Promoters actually stick together and support each other's events. It's not some proverbial dick contest, to see who can throw the biggest parties; who's crew is the best, etc. The promoters actually work TOGETHER -- they don't plan parties on the same night as others (in an attempt to sabotage their rivals). There's plenty of hot spots in Detroit -- it's easy for us to say "MY place on Wednesday... YOUR place on Friday... HIS place on Saturday... etc." But we don't. And it's HURTING us.

2. The DJs/Entertainment are RESPECTED for their craft - by the promoters, that is... None of that "I'll take the bar, you get the door" bullshit. The DJs and entertainment get paid their FEE. (Why would a promoter throw a party when he/she has no budget PLANNED AHEAD and SAVED UP for the expenses?) There's none of that drama where the DJ works his ass off, totally rips it on the decks, but comes home with $20 and some damn drink tickets -- because the night was "slow...") If you are gonna hire 10 DJs -- especially the more famous/heavy hitters, your budget should be big enough to accommodate them. It's a fucking shame that some of Detroit's LEGENDARY DJs and artists can't even make a decent living from their music. Superstar by night, meat carver by day. The same one who rocked it out @ the club last night is the same one you're cursing out at the local drive-thru... What kind of shit is that??? Only here in Detroit, have I witnessed such antics. Back in the day, things weren't like this. But sadly today, they are. ...and it's HURTING US.

3. The PATRONS are used to paying $20 dollars just to even ENTER the club -- to support their scene. (In Europe, most club entrance fees are 25 to 30 EUROS -- and that's for the LOCAL talent!) Why the fuck are WE (in Detroit) running around, acting like we deserve top notch talent, but we bitch about having to pay more than $5 dollars for a cover charge? The festival is coming, and it's approaching fast. We are CATERING to the Europeans (and others) for 3 days. During these THREE DAYS, shit's gonna be the way it's supposed to be. Clubs will make more money. Businesses will thrive. (Hopefully) DJs will finally get paid what they're WORTH... But come on, people... THREE DAYS? Then once the spotlight's off of us, we'll return to the same whiny bitches who can't treat EACH OTHER with respect?

Let me tell you something... DETROIT has the potential to be the Electronic Music capital of the WORLD. You already know that some of the world's best talent comes from Detroit. ...and that's in EVERY category of music, by the way... (but I'll stick to Electronic music for the purposes of this conversation...) Other cities (and countries) are supporting our scene better than WE are! They're buying our records. THEY pay to see OUR DJs. And truth be told, they're laughing at US. They're wondering why the hell WE can't seem to "get it together..."

And I'll tell you what they're doing. They're LURING our talent away. Quite a few of our biggest producers don't even LIVE in Detroit anymore. They've moved overseas somewhere -- where they're respected for what they do. They can make a decent living. They can avoid all of the "hateration" (as Mary J. Blige would call it)...

Now I realize that this post won't save the world. But I HOPE it serves as a wakeup call -- for everyone in the scene... The world is watching us. Can we at least get it together???

In closing, I'd also like to offer a solution... If the DEMF isn't free, and doesn't support the talent WE think it should, why don't WE (the promoters, patrons, producers, etc) band together and create another event? A FREE event? There's enough of us to make this happen. Regular donations throughout the year -- yeah, it's free for the public, but the expenses STILL need to be paid. I say let's do it! Let's create a fund so that this time next year, we can prepare for a "movement" of our own. We could raise enough money to have it somewhere like Chene park, or Belle Isle, or something... We could raise enough money to afford the talent that WE want to support. Have enough stages to showcase ALL of our styles of EDM... D&B, House, Techno, Ghettotech, etc. This isn't impossible, y'all.. WE CAN DO THIS. All it takes is for someone to get the ball rolling... I'm willing. Are you?

In solidarity,

1 comment:

A.J. said...

Hey AC,

Your thoughts have inspired me to share these sentiments with more people. I wrote about your post on my blog at

Keep on pushing!
If we don't do it, nobody will.