EDM in the East: Festival and Concert Cancellations Don’t Stifle the Movement

Announced on June 3, 2015, International Music Summit (IMS) will be holding their first IMS China in Shanghai, China this upcoming October. With the EDM scene rapidly expanding throughout the Asian and Southeast Asian Pacific, the success of last December’s IMS being held in Singapore and music festivals like ZoukOut Festival that has taken place in Singapore for the past 14 years, it is easy to see why they would continue to cultivate the growing community in the East.

Sunburn Music Festival

Electronic Dance Music is no stranger to the East as many concerts have been held throughout the years in the area. Ultra Music Festival Korea is happening this weekend from June 12-13th and in Japan from September 19-21st, Skechers Sundown Festival, also in Singapore, is held in November and Sunburn Festival in Goa (India) are just a few of the festivals that bring names like Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Steve Aoki and Afrojack. 

Zouk Out Festival in Singapore

However, the East does seem to be more critical of this festival culture in relation to the reputation between EDM and drug-use. Last year, Future Music Festival Asia, born out of Future Music Festival in Australia, was shut-down early due to deaths that were thought to be caused by drug-use. As a result, the festival that had been in Malaysia since 2012 was no longer allowed, and when they tried to move to Singapore for 2015, their efforts were unfortunately in vain. Also, back in April, “Thirst 2015: We are all Stardust,” which was to be held at the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre in Selangor and put on by Future Sound Asia, was set to feature artists R3hab and Goldfish and Blink, but was cancelled a day before due to concern about drug usage. 

In spite of the recent push back in some areas, dance music and rave culture in Asia seem to still be thriving as more and more concerts and festivals expand to the region, and local artists, clubs and ravers keep hope alive by continuing to fuel the dance scene in their home cities. In Malaysia, EDM Droid and Hype Malaysia are go to resources for local and international DJs, as well as guides to the best clubs and nightlife in the country. Also, Mixmag Asia is a hub for the latest music, fashion, clubs and events as it relates to electronic music and clubbing throughout the area.

If it’s one thing that can be said for sure, whether it’s in the mainstream or underground, EDM definitely isn’t leaving this area any time soon.

Photos link to sources*