This year will forever be marked by the rise of Trump and the fall of American democracy. It was, indeed, a trying year on many cultural and political fronts. For electronic music culture, 2016 was also a year marred by tragedies: club shootings, closures, fires, hateful voices online, and many music legends shedding their mortal coils.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom; there were some bright patches along the way, too. It was a banner year for Insomniac festivals and events, old and new, and we’re optimistic about dance music’s future.

Here is a look back at key events—the good, the bad, and the ugly—from 2016.


  • 1: The Chainsmokers reach #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic songs with “Roses.” Source
  • 2: Evolvefest promotes hatred and bigotry in the EDM community. Source
  • 2: Ladies, now your unborn baby can feel the bass. Source
  • 4: Krewella & DJ Snake featured on Forbes’ “30 under 30” list in music. Source
  • 10: New class of sound wave could revolutionize stem cell treatment. Source
  • 11: RIP David Bowie. Source
  • 11: SoundCloud secures $35m in debt funding. Source
  • 11: Swedish police fail to inform public of sexual assault reports at a 2015 music festival; sources suggest cover-up. Source
  • 12: The new Technics turntable costs $4,000. Source
  • 12: Pioneer unveils new CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2. Source
  • 12: Disney takes aim at deadmau5, makes their own LED mouse head. Source
  • 14: NGHTMRE teams up with the Truth to fight teen smoking. Source
  • 16: Shazam reveals music-based finder for your city’s twin. Source
  • 20: Heathcliff Berru, music publicist accused of sexual harassment, breaks his silence. Source
  • 25: Calvin Harris receives platinum certification for “How Deep Is Your Love.” Source
  • 28: Police want to ruin Philly’s music scene. Source
  • 29: Spotify’s videos and podcasts are finally here. Source


  • 1: Tomorrowland will go on as planned, but Tomorrowworld isn’t so safe. Source
  • 1: RIAA says streaming will now count toward platinum and gold certifications. Source
  • 3: Electric Forest 2016 lineup unveiled with the help of fans. Source
  • 4: SoundCloud introduces “Stations.” Source
  • 4: Ableton introduces “Link” and promises to revolutionize mobile/standard production. Source
  • 8: Julian Jordan & Mike Hawkins break up with Spinnin’ Records. Source
  • 15: Jack Ü wins Grammy for best dance recording and album. Source
  • 19: SFX declares bankruptcy. Source
  • 23. Report reveals EDC Vegas’ $1.3B+ impact on local economy. Source


  • 1: Raves will not be banned. Source
  • 1: Zeds Dead announces new label and drops first single for debut album. Source
  • 2: Tomorrowworld 2016 officially cancelled; organizers may look toward 2017 instead. Source
  • 13: Obama becomes first sitting president to visit SXSW festival. Source
  • 22: Spotify cracks 30 million paid subscribers. Source
  • 18: SoundCloud officially announces partnership with Sony. Source
  • 22. Artists show support for the victims of the terror attack in Brussels. Source
  • 26: Los Angeles County institutes new rave rules, age limits, drink limits, and more to be enforced on rave-by-rave basis. Source
  • 25: RIP Pumpkin: Beloved L.A. DJ dies tragically on the way to a festival. Source
  • 29: Avicii announces retirement. Source
  • 29: SoundCloud launches paid service, SoundCloud Go. Source
  • 30: The Journey Ahead: A message from Pasquale Rotella. Source
  • 30: Moby condemns Donald Trump over recent abortion-related statement. Source


  • 3: Verboten files for chapter 11 bankruptcy and remains open during negotiations. Source
  • 4: DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs list comes out. Source
  • 8: Insomniac announces Factory 93 underground warehouse series. Source
  • 8: RIP Bisbetic’s Riccardo Puglisi: Renowned Italian DJ dies from cancer. Source
  • 11: Sasha & John Digweed announce first reunion appearance. Source
  • 11: First-ever Electronic Dance Awards on Fox postponed. Source
  • 15: Jean-Michel Jarre collaborates with Ed Snowden. Source
  • 22: RIP Prince: The dance music community remembers the Purple One. Source
  • 26: Hundreds of Spotify accounts hacked, user information leaked online. Source


  • 3: Flosstradamus unveils new record label. Source
  • 6: Bear Grillz is revealed on Jerry Springer and… wait, who is that? Source
  • 9: RIP Isao Tomita: Japanese synthesizer music pioneer passes away at 84. Source
  • 10: Daft Punk reveals the story behind their helmets. Source
  • 10: Kaskade makes history in Los Angeles with performance at LACC. Source
  • 16: 70-year-old Polish couple goes deep at Fabric. Source
  • 23: Deadmau5 SoundCloud hacked, held for ransom. Source
  • 24: The Black Madonna speaks out on sexual assault. Source
  • 27: Detroit Mayor declares Detroit Techno Week. Source
  • 30: Techno is now the biggest-selling genre on Beatport. Source


  • 1: Paul van Dyk will return for Dreamstate at EDC Vegas. Source
  • 3: Emazing Lights announces biggest rave store Las Vegas has ever seen. Source
  • 4: Glastonbury introduces first women-only festival zone. Source
  • 7: Most popular song in EDM history, Darude’s “Sandstorm,” gets orchestral cover. Source
  • 9: Snapchat partners with AEG Live to bring live stories to festivals. Source
  • 11. Christina Grimmie shot dead in murder suicide after performance. Source
  • 12: Pulse, Orlando shooting. Source
  • 15: Twitter invests $70M in SoundCloud. Source
  • 17: EDC LV celebrates 20th anniversary. Source
  • 18: Anna Lunoe becomes first female to DJ a solo set at EDC Vegas’ mainstage. Source
  • 19: Marshmello trolls EDC, takes off mask to reveal Tiësto. Source
  • 20: Insomniac raises more than $119,000 for charity at EDCLV 2016. Source


  • 5: Amnesia raided by police. Source
  • 8: Two more Ibiza nightclubs raided. Source
  • 8: Spotify adds new playlist creation feature for vacations. Source
  • 9: Insomniac’s Countdown NYE expands to two nights. Source
  • 10: DJ Obi has claimed a new world record for the longest DJ set. Source
  • 11: Calvin Harris & Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” certified platinum. Source
  • 29: Maceo Plex breaks world record for most DJ sets in 24 hours. Source


  • 4: DA dismisses felony charges against Pasquale Rotella in L.A. Coliseum corruption case. Source
  • 3: Portuguese dance festival evacuated after 422 cars catch fire. Source
  • 4: Trailer drops for Netflix rave film XOXOSource
  • 6: Hard Summer festival deaths reignite California rave ban discussion. Source
  • 8: Studio 338 fire. Source
  • 8: Night Owl Radio celebrates one-year anniversary. Source
  • 9: Sound Remedy announces he is quitting music. Source
  • 14: Billboard charts contain more EDM songs in one week than in all of 2015. Source
  • 19: Steve Aoki’s documentary released on Neftlix. Source
  • 22: Wolverine video game points to earliest known grime artifact. Source
  • 26: Johan Johannson to score new Blade Runner film. Source
  • 30: Dreamstate announces standalone debut in Mexico City December 2016. Source


  • 2: Electric Forest announces it will run two weekends in 2017. Source
  • 7: Fabric is closing. Source
  • 9: RIP Don Buchla: The mod synth wizard passes away. Source
  • 12: Berghain recognized as “cultural” space. Source
  • 21: RIP DJ Spank: acid house pioneer passes away. Source
  • 24: Ibiza Rocks’ license suspended. Source
  • 27: RIP Kashif Saleem. Source
  • 30: Insomniac announces new festival Middlelands in Texas, spring 2017. Source


  • 2: Space Ibiza closing party marks end of an era (1989–2016). Source
  • 4: Insomniac launches Wide Awake Stories radio show. Source
  • 26: Chicago becomes latest city to recognize DJ performances as an art form. Source


  • 6: RIP Jean Jacques Perrey: electronic music pioneer passes away at 87. Source
  • 9: Boiler Room’s event in Lake Harmony, PA, shut down after violent involvement by local police and security. Source
  • 9: Dance world responds to reality of president-elect Trump. Source
  • 9: Bassrush launches free music label: Bassrush Records. Source
  • 15: RIP David Mancuso: dance community responds to death of the Loft founder. Source
  • 15: A record 7.1 million people visited Ibiza in 2016. Source
  • 18: Bloghouse kings Justice return with WomanSource
  • 22: Fabric will reopen. Source
  • 28: RIP Colonel Abrams. Source


  • 1: Visiting DJ fees go up in America. Source
  • 2: Community mourns Ghost Ship Oakland DIY fire. Source
  • 6: Resident Advisor annual top 100 DJ list. Source
  • 20: Flosstradamus announces split as Josh Young departs for solo project. Source



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