With the controversy surrounding the high-profile failure this year of SFX Entertainment and its portfolio of companies, which saw the music giant filing for bankruptcy in February, there’s been much talk of the long-prophesied bursting of the “EDM bubble” finally coming true. However, the bigger story of US dance culture in 2016 is something rather different.
Chicago mainstay Kaskade is veteran advocate of the scene, who’s never afraid to offer his learned insights. This time, though, his eloquent words come closer to stating the obvious.
When asked about the alleged end to dance music’s reign as America’s leading musical subculture, Kaskade told the Associated Press, “I don’t think that at all, obviously. I’m busier than I ever have been, and I think, really, we just kind of scratched the surface… As far as the impact that it’s had on the music culture, we’re kind of just beginning still.”
The proof he points toward is his groundbreaking show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in May, which made him the first dance act ever to headline the massive venue.
“There’s a lot of naysayers out there who are like, ‘It’s done. It’s happened.’ Whatever. I’m like, ‘25,000 tickets later, I think we’re OK,’” he said, brushing pretend dust off his shoulder.
The comments come at a time when Kaskade is only further consolidating his place as one of biggest and most influential names in American dance culture. His career-defining performance at Coachella last year saw him attracting record-breaking numbers to his closing set at the mainstage, and while he’s been a fixture at events like EDC Las Vegas and Escape this year, he’s also just announced a massive deal with the portfolio of nightclubs that form the Hakkasan Group for his biggest Las Vegas residency yet.
“Just technically where things have gone, I mean, from a disco ball hanging in the middle of the room to what Omnia has—this multimillion-dollar chandelier that moves around and like, I don’t know, will shine your shoes at the same time. Like, it just does everything. ‘I want chicken wings’—chicken wings fall from the ceiling,” he laughed.
“It’s just really unbelievable how far the experience has gone from just, like, a disco ball and a laser to this massive, all-encompassing experience at these world-class venues.”