Sexy video, right? So, Glowfest is basically a campus-touring electronic music marketing event, geared to snare in young people and capitalize on their attention for other means. By “other means” they’ve attached a job fest to it (actively seeking startups to participate, mind you), to seduce these young people who they feel are attracted by the emotions created through electronic music to then pursue careers in their highly technical fields. Oh, and I’m sure they’ve done the numbers and expect to make bank on it.
So you probably are wondering why I would even spend typing time on such a thing if I don’t want it promoted. Consider it a warning lesson to those of us in the industry: anything can be commodified and its original purpose subverted to the wills of people with less of a pure intention. Be aware and wary, and remember to always act to preserve the intention of your original work, if that’s what you’re after.
Sure, these traveling-festival-producers have made a sexy product–they clearly have great people on their team who do their jobs to perfection, and part of that attention to production will draw people in. I can only just shake my head at it, be aware of it, and then go back to my work sorting through other projects that deserve elevation and respect.
As a counter-example (and I know the metaphor might seem weird), I am a CSA member (Community Supported Agriculture), and this is a great feeling model to me, especially when it comes to “sourcing” “talent.”
Marc from Meiotic Promotions had a great insight (via a Facebook thread, copied here with permission):
“Anything can be commodified and its original purpose subverted to the wills of people with less of a pure intention” – This pretty much hits it on the head.
As much as I’d like to think there’s a bright side – i.e. the usual arguments of “exposing electronic music to a wider audience/getting kids excited about electronic music” – it’s just blatant and obvious; a byproduct of whole the “EDM = homogenization of electronic music” discussion that we’ve had amongst our peers.
Where this thing takes the cake though is the “rave” branding. Oh to have been a fly on the wall when they had the meeting/conference call to discuss tour branding (“hrmmm… how can we name our festival so we capitalize off this EDM/Rave thing? Ravefest? Ravedancefest? Glowstickdancingfest? GLOWFEST! = $$$$. Oh yea…. we better throw in a job fair so we look collegiate about this.”)
You can’t hate on artists for wanting to get paid either… so the fault lies with the approach of the event producers. It’s not that they’ve lost perspective; it’s whether there was even a sincere perspective to begin with. Sadly, the latter sentiment has prevailed here… again.