Why the Corporate Takeover of EDM Was Inevitable: The Straight Bros are On Board

Categories: Business
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Ian Witlen
Skrillex and Boys Noize
You're not likely to hear many heavy-handed conversations about business at Ultra Music Festival this weekend, but if you do, it will more than likely be about billionaire Robert F.X. Sillerman's plans to buy up just about everything related to electronic dance music and consolidate it all under SFX Entertainment. Our sister blog Crossfade has chronicled his hostile takeover of the scene. His possessions now include nightclubs (like Miami's LIV), a string of well known EDM promotion companies, and Beatport, the EDM scene's answer to iTunes.

While Sillerman's business strategy might strike some as odd (what is it they say about putting all of your eggs in a single basket?), the formal corporate takeover and consolidation of EDM has been a long time coming.

Anyone present at Chicago's infamous Disco Demolition Night in 1979 would surely be surprised to see the current state of dance music in America. Over the half decade leading up that night, disco music -- which was once almost exclusively the soundtrack to underground clubs that catered primarily to gay, black and Latin audiences -- had gone mainstream even without masking its gay and minority roots (hello, Village People and Sylvester).

Of course, this didn't tend to sit well with your basic straight white guy. So, desperate to sell tickets, the Chicago White Socks arranged for local shock jock Steve Dahl to promote an anti-disco night which would feature him burning disco records. What followed was a testosterone-fueled display of violent aggression that Chicago police in full-riot gear had to break up.

"It was your most paranoid fantasy about where the ethnic cleansing of the rock radio could ultimately lead," wrote music critic Dave Marsh in a column following the events in Rolling Stone. "White males, eighteen to thirty-four are the most likely to see disco as the product of homosexuals, blacks, and Latins, and therefore they're the most likely to respond to appeals to wipe out such threats to their security."

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10 comments
jerrynewman99
jerrynewman99

Worse article on EDM I've ever read. Sounds like an angry black gay guy writing this using the typical stereotypes of people and music.

Patti Cole
Patti Cole

uhm, it's become white and straight.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

i knew this information on this report years ago..."history of house music" is a good documentary on house music

Alex Prieto
Alex Prieto

SMART Gays want nothing to do with the likes of commercial EDM....We could care less about David Guetta, Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia... We will fly half way around the world for our version of music gods, ABEL, Peter Rauhofer, Paulo, ROSABEL, Calderone, Chus and Ceballos & a slew of other dj's the Straight EDM scene will never know about. Give us beats that last till the morning hours with a dj who knows what to spin next for the elusive "journey" we all love to go on...not some loser from europe jumping up and down to a pre recorded set with children wearing neon clothes thinking they are in heaven.

Yaser Castro
Yaser Castro

The gays have always been ahead of the times.

Edoardo Edo Vanzini
Edoardo Edo Vanzini

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