The Dance Revolution: Electronic Dance Music Execs Take Stock

Since the 1980s, electronic dance music has lived on in the underground. The genre, which got its start in Chicago and Detroit with warehouse techno parties, has had numerous inceptions throughout the decades. In the late ‘90s, the genre saw the arrival of Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers, giving it critical acclaim. In the early 2010s, it broke into the mainstream. Since then, it’s maintained popularity in music culture, with festivals such as Ultra in Miami and EDC Las Vegas becoming massive destination events.

As Pollstar celebrates the genre in its first dance music special, key industry executives take stock of the state of dance music. Here, CAA’s Ferry Rais-Shaghaghi talks about how Afterlife has broken into stadiums and continues to take a major stake in the dance music market. UTA’s Guy Oldaker talks Illenium’s stadium dates and million-dollar grosses, while Circuit and SEVEN20’s Jessica Wilson and Insomniac’s Joe Wiseman emphasize how dance music today brings back that electric and exciting feel found back in the genre’s ‘90s heyday.

Adam Foley poses with ODESZA’s Clayton Knight (left) and Harrison Mills (right)


Kyle Bandler
Partner and Agent, WME

Nick Barrie
Talent Buyer, Another Planet Entertainment

Annie Chung
Agent, WME

Chad Cohen
Agent, UTA

James “Disco” Donnie Estopinal
Founder, CEO, Disco Donnie Presents

Adam Foley
Manager, ODESZA, Red Light Management

Lewis Künstler
Manager, Label President. 2+2 Management/Young Art Records

Neal O’Connor
Manager, Porter Robinson, Slush Management

Guy Oldaker
Agent, UTA Music

Ferry Rais-Shaghaghi
Agent, CAA

Jessica Wilson
Founder & CMO, The Circuit Group & SEVEN20

Joe Wiseman
Head, Insomniac Music Group

The live industry is going through what many are calling a golden age. Are you experiencing that in the dance music market and with your clients?
Kyle Bandler: Dance music is such a broad term, and we’re fortunate to work with such a wide variety of artists and producers under that umbrella. I think the biggest “golden age” that we’re seeing now is the development of these individual subgenres over the last 20 years, whether it be commercial dance, bass house, techno, etc. Each of these subgenres has developed its own superstars who are now headlining shows to 15,000+ people whether it be in warehouses, arenas or stadiums. It’s a credit to working amongst such a dedicated and growing fan base – a base that encourages pushing boundaries and isn’t afraid to adapt to a changing marketplace. Whether it’s the artists or the music industry, we’re matching the energy that the fans bring to the table to bring new experiences and incredible performances. I only hesitate to call it “the golden age” of touring because I don’t see us having reached the pinnacle of where dance music can go!

Nick Barrie: I feel that we’ve always had success with dance music here. The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium has been a home base for big dance events on the west coast for over a decade. We’ve also regularly seen a massive response to DJs and live dance acts on our festivals. Dance music is infectious, it elicits a physical response that can add a greater feel and value to a show for many fans.

Annie Chung: There’s certainly been a renewed energy in the scene which has been exciting to watch. We’re seeing more and more artists from all different genres of dance music become global superstars both on the touring front and on the charts. Dance music has always been the first to embrace new technology and I’m looking forward to seeing all the different ways our artists are incorporating new and innovative ideas into their performances and music.

Chad Cohen: Currently, dance music is in an incredibly exciting phase. The traditional boundaries between genres are breaking down. Artists are exploring new sounds outside their usual styles, collaborating across genres more than ever, and audiences are increasingly open-minded, eager to discover fresh artists and sounds. It’s pumping a fresh breath of air into the community and culture, and you can feel the excitement about it.

James “Disco” Donnie Estopinal: Our crowd is definitely getting more mature. Since our scene is so experience based we literally skipped a generation during COVID because there were no new people coming in due to the lack of shows. A venue owner recently told me he didn’t want an event with a bunch of kids running around and my response was that, “we couldn’t even pay anyone under 18 to show up.” It will cycle back like it always does, but it’s going to take a few years.

Adam Foley: Definitely. It’s amazing to see so many talented artists doing huge shows. It’s also wonderful to see the next generation of artists growing on tour and developing a strong connection with new fans.

Lewis Künstler: I’ve been experiencing the Golden Age of Dance Music since I was 13 and ended up at a rave in Long Beach called Toe Jam. Changed my life forever and never looked back. Shout out to Jungle Boogie and Lenny V.

Guy Oldaker: We are seeing a remarkable growth and buzz in the dance music market in recent years. The energy has been building for years and we are now really starting to see more and more of these acts as headliners at mainstream festivals. At the same time, acts like Illenium, Kaskade, deadmau5, Excision are performing at stadiums with production intensive shows in addition to throwing destination events and fully curated festivals. These spaces have been historically hard for dance acts to break into. These acts are performing with live instrumentation and taking cutting edge steps in stage designs, production and video, SFX and lighting design

Ferry Rais-Shaghaghi: I wouldn’t necessarily use that term in the dance music market. Dance music has been built around the fan community and I think we’re in a great place, as post-COVID people are invested more than ever in experiences that revolve around connectivity. It’s an ever-growing business and I believe the industry does a brilliant job in collaborating together, which allows the dance music business to grow year after year.

Jessica Wilson: I recall in the early ‘00s when dance music became a bit more mainstream and more ingrained in the culture via songs like Dirty Vegas with “Days Go By,” Moby’s Play album, Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction.” You couldn’t turn on a TV or listen to Top 40 music without hearing them or the influence. Right now in 2024 it feels like that again. Dance music as an overall genre has always been at the forefront of technology so the onset and adoption of social media has also been a big part of why it’s as massive as it is today. Mainstream festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo are a great barometer for what you will find on tour circuits and that is ringing true for dance music at the moment. Headliners at those fests are dance artists and that radiates into the touring happening right now.

Joe Wiseman: The state of dance music is truly special right now. We’re witnessing the resurgence of subgenres reminiscent of the early rave era, now embraced wholeheartedly by a new generation of dance fans. It’s exciting to see artists’ careers blossom from something as simple as an intimate DJ set, filmed and broadcasted for the world to see. Working and developing artists who seize the opportunity to use all the tools available now to be heard and seen is pivotal to Insomniac’s continued impact in the dance world.

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Jessica Wilson | Courtesy SEVEN20

What were your biggest tent pole moments over the last 12 months?
Bandler: Too many to list them all! Martin Garrix selling out four Brooklyn Mirages in New York and on track for the same with four Bill Grahams in San Francisco this June. Black Coffee selling out Madison Square Garden and bringing an orchestra and a slew of special guests while managing to turn an arena performance into an intimate nightclub experience. Eric Prydz HOLO selling 18,000 tickets in Mexico City on top of sold-out shows in New York and Australia and headlining Portola in San Francisco. Gryffin selling out 17,000 tickets in San Francisco in under an hour and gearing up for some of the biggest headline shows of his career this fall. Steve Aoki selling 150,000+ tickets in the U.S. alone in 2023 and further establishing himself as one of the premier residents in Las Vegas year in and year out. Chase & Status leading the charge on the exploding drum and bass market in North America with sold-out shows in LA, New York, Toronto, Denver (and more to be announced in the coming weeks). But outside of major artists and record-breaking sales, it’s been the opportunity to sign and work with some of the most dynamic up-and-coming talent, whether it be Moroccan-born house DJ Ahmed SPins, or house DJ HoneyLuv (who will be debuting her new brand “4ThaLuv” at Miami Music Week this year, with plans to bring it to more markets across the globe in 2024).

Barrie: Certainly the Illenium run at Chase Center, Bill Graham Civic and Harvey’s Tahoe was something special. What a great artist and team, and he’s built one of the most passionate fan bases. We also have four nights of Martin Garrix coming up at Bill Graham Civic. Those are going to be a blast. He’s been such a big presence in the dance music lane for a while now, it’s hard to believe he’s only 27. We also had a three-night run with Porter Robinson as part of our opening at The Bellwether. He offered a distinctive brand for each show and they were all very special and really captured that sense of event you want when opening a new room.

Chung: We’ve celebrated so many wind and firsts as a team in the past year – from Reinier Zonneveld breaking the Guiness World Record for longest electronic music live set, Black Coffee becoming the first-ever South African DJ and producer to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden, to Sara Landry becoming the first techno artist to ever perform at The Caverns this summer. Across the pond, going to Ibiza for the first time and seeing how many artists we had play during the season was an eye-opening experience (over 350 shows across 60+ clients, along with 12 residencies – it was a busy summer!)

Cohen: In the past year, our standout moments included Boris Brejcha’s sold-out shows at RRX, the successful debut of the Sultan + Shepard Live Tour, the exciting launch of Kasablanca, J. Worra’s notable homecoming performance at Lollapalooza, Eli Browni’s sold-out tour in 2023, and many, many more. It’s hard to pick really. 

Estopinal: We just had our Disco Presents 20-year anniversary party in New Orleans. I had my whole team and my family in town to celebrate. We had Rabbit in the Moon one night so all the old school heads came out. It was good to see everyone, but also a little scary that none of us aged very well.

Foley: ODESZA headlining Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands to name a few, alongside Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters and others. ODESZA also released their film, “The Last Goodbye Cinematic Experience” in 7000+ theatres in 23 countries.

Künstler: TOKiMONSTA as direct support to J Balvin at the NFL Kickoff show in Los Angeles and F1 in Las Vegas was rather big. Signing our distribution deal with IDOL for Young Art Records that will give us the opportunity to expand our event division of the label. Also signing Jacques Greene to 2+2 Management as I’ve been a huge fan of his over the years.

Oldaker: Illenium selling out his second “Trilogy” event at Denver’s Mile High Stadium in June – which included special guests Avril Lavigne, Dabin, All Time Low, Motionless In White, Maxx, Iam Dior, Sueco, Slander, Krewella, GG Magree, Netsky, Trivecta, Trippie Redd and Teddy Swims – and following it up with his third sold-out two nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Selling out Ember Shores for our third year in a row and the Vegas residency. We had a ton of other great acts like William Black, Blanke, JVNA, Dabin, Netsky, Fairlane, Nurko and others perform great sets at all these events. Additionally, Dabin debuting “Sanctuary” with two sold-out shows at the Shrine Auditoriums and Bill Graham Civic and launching his debut festival Stay In Bloom at the Frost Amphitheatre on Stanford’s campus.

Rais-Shaghaghi: Watching our clients at CAA grow year after year has been the most fascinating and exciting feeling. Afterlife, Tale Of Us, Anyma, and Mrak selling out 20,000 to 40,000 capacity venues across the globe has been a big tent pole moment. 37,000 tickets in Paris sold out in two hours and Mexico City at 56,000 tickets sold was one for the books. Two Friends headlining the Kia Forum and Cloonee headlining two nights at Exposition Park in Los Angeles was a “wow” moment for myself and the teams.

Wilson: Announcing and building the new venture Circuit with our partners at AYITA has been the top tentpole moment. Then, bringing the deadmau5 catalog back into mau5trap in June last year and revisiting some of the classics and working the catalog has been a blast. Connecting and aligning with other like-minded industry folks has been a big one, too.

Wiseman: 2023 was a milestone year for Insomniac Music Group, putting out over 400 releases with over 750 artists across 20 imprints. Working with DJs such as Mau P, James Hype, Slander, Blond:ish, LP Giobbi and Nicole Moudaber significantly expanded our influence globally in the recording industry. On top of that, our stage curation at festivals like EDC Las Vegas and Beyond Wonderland, alongside club events nationwide, underscored our impactful presence in the industry. A standout achievement was our involvement with Mau P’s “Gimme That Bounce,” which claimed the title of the most played DJ record of 2023, reaffirming our dedication to preserving DJ culture. This commitment was further validated by our position as one of the top-selling labels on Beatport throughout the year.

DDP Disco Donnie Tyler Church 18
Disco Donnie | Courtesy Disco Presents

What were your biggest challenges this year?
Barrie: I’m just happy it feels like we are finally over the pandemic issues now in 2024. There are still remnants but it feels like things are truly back. Outside of that, it’s just the same old things like competition and the need to stay fresh with your bookings and what experience your venue or festival can offer to an artist and fans.

Chung: Rising costs of touring and burnout – when an artist is having a breakout year, it’s our job as agents to make sure we’re balancing saying yes to the right opportunities and protecting their health and career in the long term.

Cohen: One of my major challenges this year was grappling with the news of a client battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. It was a new experience for me, and something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. However, it served as a reminder of life’s fragility. I’m grateful for the wake-up call because it underscored the importance of cherishing every moment. We’re fortunate to create memories that last a lifetime, and it’s essential to appreciate the significance of our work.

Estopinal: We have been working for almost 10 months on this Texas Eclipse event coming up in April. It’s more of a Burning Man vibe, so it’s a little bit out of our wheelhouse, but it has definitely been interesting working with all these different eprsonalities and trying to pull it all together. We are going to have over a thousand artists, speakers, performers and even astronauts on site. Plus, another thousand staff and team members. Just thinking about feeding and housing all of them is making my head hurt.

Foley: Not being able to tour internationally because of the rising costs globally. The fan demand is there and it’s unfortunate we have not been able to share the ODESZA show with them this tour cycle.

Künstler: Getting more funds for my clients for their recorded music.

Rais-Shaghaghi: Not having enough hours in the day.

Wilson: A good challenge for me this year is building the Circuit company as it’s running. So many exciting and great things have come to our collective table and working with good people is always fantastic. I just wish I had two clones of myself to do all the things I’d like to accomplish, quicker.

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Ferry Rais-Shaghaghi | Courtesy CAA

With Miami Music Week, IMS Ibiza and EDC coming up, how does the year ahead look for you?
Bandler: Busy! Miami Music Week always feels like the first major “gathering” of the year to meet with friends, clients and industry professionals to talk shop, celebrate successes, discover what’s new and set strategies for the months and years to come. Going to shows and seeing the performances is what keeps it fun and fulfilling to keep doing what we do, and these are just a few of the events I look forward to every year!

Barrie: Tiresome but exciting.

Chung: Lots of travel and lots of sleepless nights! So much work goes into making these events a success; it’s great to be able to gather with friends and colleagues to celebrate our wins and plan for the year to come. More importantly, these conferences are vital platforms for us to discuss topics like diversity, sustainability and making the industry a more equitable place for underrepresented communities to thrive.

Cohen: Busy times ahead! The demand for dance music is soaring, leading to a surge in show bookings for our clients. In short, my calendar is packed with travel plans. Coming up I’ll be in Miami, D.C., Nashville, New York City, LA and more. See you on the dancefloor!

Estopinal: Unfortunately, I can’t make any of them this year. My kids are getting older so they know the difference between when Daddy is going to work vs. when Daddy is going to party.

Foley: Bigger than ever. This summer ODESZA hits the road with “The Last Goodbye Finale Tour,” selling out two MSGs, two gorges and 44k capacity stadium, Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado, in less than 24 hours. Folsom Field is ODESZA’s largest hard-ticketed show in their career.

Künstler: Looks really good as we have new LP’s coming out from Machinedrum on Ninja Tune that will definitely be a classic. TOKiMONSTA and a few others that we’re excited about. We have big showcases with Deadbeats and Zeds Dead at Mana on Friday and REZZ doing her album release at Mana on Saturday at Miami Music Week. We also have Zeds Dead, Nostalgix and Levity on Ultra.

Rais-Shaghaghi: I’m fortunate to be in the position of representing artists that have a global business, so this year I have a lot of travel ahead of me. Next up is Asia, South America, Europe, Australia, etc.

Oldeker: I’m having my first child in a few days, so my year is going to look a lot different! However, my clients have a lot of exciting shows coming up, including: Dabin debuting his own curated festival Stay in Bloom that’s selling out soon – probably should say sold out? Illenium back to back Dabin debut at Head in the Clouds NYC, Illenium’s Zouk residency, Keep eyes out for all Blanke Presents AEON:MODE sets – drum and bass is having a moment, William Black on a big tour right playing at and selling out rooms including San Jose Civic Center, Palladium (LA), Terminal 5 (NYC) and Ogden (Denver) and JVNA back to back CHYL nad Nurko back to back Adventure Club debuts at Lost In Dreams Festival in Los Angeles on July 12 (Dabin headlines).

Wilson: Busy. Not so much due to these particular events, but more so because we at Circuit are working with a lot of acts who are building their own live properties, such as the deadmau5 “retro5pective” at the Hollywood Bowl or his “day of the deadmau5” events. There’s also the “Under Construction” events with Chris Lake and Fisher like the ones that just happened on Hollywood Blvd, or the “Anti Up” shows at Coachella with Chris Lake and Chris Lorenzo. It’s really exciting to see artists dig into building these brands to not only launch music but events that put the fan at the center of the experience. It’s reminding me a bit of the ‘90s with Richie Hawtin’s Plastikman events.

Wiseman: Our strategy is to build artists on the music side, but accompany that with a strong live strategy across all of the labels under Insomniac Music Group. This takes a lot of planning and good timing. Our aim is to deliver top-notch records from DJs just as they hit the stage at our shows or significant dance industry events. The springs season (from MMW to EDC) is the most sought after window to release or tease a summer anthem. These upcoming months serve as a crucial launchpad for labels and artists, setting the tone for the rest of the year.

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Joe Wiseman | Courtesy Insomniac/ Photo by Devon Gilmore

How are you combatting and/or collaborating with algorithms to market your show (gain audience and sell tickets)
Bandler: It’s easier than ever to create and produce music from anywhere. Anyone can create amazing music from their bedroom, but with that comes an overwhelming amount of new content constantly being pushed out to the market. For both new, and established artists, you have to constantly embrace technology and the “algorithms” that come with it as a way to reach new fans and engage with them in an organic way. On the industry side, it’s impossible to keep up with everything at any given moment, but it’s about setting things up to try and filter the “noise” so that what you’re seeing and hearing is relevant to what you’re doing.

Barrie: It’s all about targeting the audience. I also think many of these acts have built such a great brand they are just driving the awareness when they post about the show.

Chung: We’ve seen a lot of artists use tools like TikTok in a really smart way to share content and convey the energy that comes from their live performances to reach new audiences, and there are new subgenres that can take off in the blink of an eye. Our Endeavor Analytics and tour marketing teams do an incredible job of condensing all the data into a comprehensive format that we use to inform our touring strategy, and we are always using algorithms to track new artists and sounds. 

Foley: While we run online ad campaigns, ODESZA has such a strong community of fans and advocate, we heavily rely on our own data to communicate with them. Those fans are often our biggest champions in helping to market shows via word-of-mouth. 

Künstler: With a tight artist community, quality content and forward-facing posts from our artists. That really feels like the best way to connect with the audience and move the needle with the algorithm.

Rais-Shaghaghi: I really don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach here. Each artist has a unique business and profile, and I do my best to understand their vision and what they want to achieve. From there, we draw up a plan and work together with the artist, manager, promoter and other partners including labels, PR, etc. to execute the necessary plan required to achieve the results we are seeking for.

Wilson: The algorithm is changing daily. It’s important to keep an eye on past post performance. If you noticed a trend down on your promotional posts (events, song promo, merch, etc.), pivoting to using other lifestyle content vs. traditional promotional materials to offset the negative effect the algorithm will have on the promo post. We have done this by creating lifestyle content and lifestyle video content and only including promotional messaging in the caption and never including links in the captions!

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Lewis Künstler | Courtesy 2+2 Management

Dance music is an ever-evolving genre with multitudes of subgenres changing popularity. How have you managed to maintain success in this ever-evolving space?
Bandler: Teamwork and communication. I am beyond grateful to work with an incredible group of colleagues, both agents and assistants. Everyone has their own unique set of tastes across the multitude of genres in dance music, and many are positioned as specialists driven by their own interests. Whether that be in hard techno, drum and bass, live electronic, etc., we talk as a group, cover shows as a group and sign as a group. The collective information and knowledge sharing is integral to keeping up with changing trends and it’s planted in a genuine passion for the music.

Barrie: It’s an enticing part of the genre to me. I’m always looking for new sounds, new acts, new settings. I think you have to remain both open-minded and exploratory. Seeing the emergence of amapiano in the U.S. was exciting. We were able to include acts like Major League DJz in our initial SOMA bookings at Outside Lands in 2021 and we saw a really strong response to it. It’s a great feeling as a festival promoter when you book something you’re excited about and you see the festival attendees immediately embrace it. Another fun step in the evolution is to be able to host events like Breakaway Festival in BGC, and help build that in The Bay with the Breakaway team. It’s exciting growth to be able to host a festival like that and showcase so many different artists and subgenres in different spaces in a venue, but you still have to keep building and evolving and we are doing that by launching our new ‘in The Round’ iteration of BGC. This just felt like a natural progression with what’s going on in the dance music world and I can’t wait to see it come to fruition soon. It’s taking the best room for dance music and adding a more intimate and raw feel, which are elements I’ve always been drawn to as a fan.

Chung: There are so many exciting artists popping up every single day, but it can be a challenge sometimes to cut through the noise. I’m blessed to work alongside some of the most talented and passionate people in the business across all continents, and we are constantly sharing information across the globe and paying attention to these bubbling scenes popping up in various corners of the world to anticipate the next wave.That said, nothing really beats going out to a show firsthand and seeing what it’s all about – dance music is so community-driven that you really have to be a fan and participate in the culture to stay one step ahead of the curve.

Cohen: Success in this industry boils down to listening to the client, grasping their vision and determining how to enhance it. In my opinion, there’s room for everyone, but it’s crucial to stay mindful of trends. With realistic expectations and a unified team, knowing when to push forward or hold back is key. Personally, I credit my honesty and openness in communication for effectively navigating the constantly evolving landscape with my clients.

Foley: ODESZA has always stayed focused on their craft, from what they do in the studio as well as on tour. The level of intention behind all their creative realms is quite inspiring and resonates deeply with fans, many who have been with them since the beginning.

Künstler: We consider ourselves fortunate to have established and operated artist-led record labels such as Young Art Records, Deadbeats and Soul Clap Records among others. This unique position has enabled us to maintain close connections with artists, managers, A&Rs and key industry influencers who are at the forefront of shaping the future. As a result, we often gain early insights into emerging trends before they become widely recognized.

Oldaker: Listening to the artist, taking chances and believing in the long-term vision is what makes a successful team. If you focus on your fans and your story, you can continue to create a space for everyone to enjoy. We encourage artists to be themselves, to be creative, to have fun and to connect with as many other artists as they can.

Rais-Shaghaghi: I look at it like a stock portfolio; you have to diversify. You don’t want to be in the business of pushing 20 acts in the same lane, same sound to a festival or concert promoter – that’s a disservice to the client. You want every client to be represented at the highest level possible and be able to connect them to different sectors of our business to diversify their business and portfolio.

Wilson: We don’t view the music in genre-specific ways – we look at it one of two ways: good music or not-good music. The good music will always rise to the top and we are constantly looking for it. I personally have favorites in all the genres, so to try and segment our success by only working with one artist in one lane doesn’t really work.

Wiseman: Insomniac’s ecosystem has expanded to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of dance music, while remaining true to our origins. Through our concerts, clubs, festivals, music group and radio station, we’ve developed a comprehensive infrastructure to support artists at the end of every stage of their journey, spanning from opening acts to headliners, and embracing any emerging genre. By combining the reach of our live events with the influential curation of our music group, we’re committed to authentically showcasing and celebrating the evolution of dance culture.

What are you seeing in the dance music space in terms of revenue and ticket pricing?
Bandler: Responsible ticket pricing is at the core of almost all of our 2024 tour planning. While the demand for live shows is greater than ever, there’s also more artists on the road than ever before. Fans have more options to choose from, and there’s only so much expendable income to go around. You need to have an understanding who your demographic is – there’s a contingent of well-to-do VIP spenders that will pay a premium for comfort, but at its core, dance music is driven by young fans; many of whom are still in high school, college or just getting started in the working world. For any established artist, it’s about staying true to those fans who helped you get there and making sure they have an opportunity to buy. That means managing ticket prices to the best you can to ensure that as many people as possible have access to any given show. Functionally, that can mean offering pre-sales to your most dedicated fans, building scaling with “early-bird” tickets at lower pricing, controlling your top-end pricing and trying to mitigate or at least control secondary pricing so the people buying tickets are real fans and not scalpers buying and selling for profit. 

Chung: People are really feeling the effects of the economy and are being more selective with when they are going out. On the artist side, costs of touring are higher than ever. It’s important for us to be price sensitive while also making sure we can deliver a unique experience to the fans. We are touring smarter and with more intention, making sure shows are accessible to the dedicated fans who are spending hard-earned dollars to support their favorite artists and ensuring that we are not pricing out the next generation of dance music fans.

Cohen: In general, pricing is determined by artist demand and venue capacity. The more exclusive the event, the higher the ticket price. This trend has persisted throughout history and will likely continue. However, the community could benefit from more independent and grassroots promoters who offer affordable shows and provide a platform for emerging artists to grow and develop.

Foley: Touring has become more expensive and in order to create bigger productions, ticket prices have had to increase. With ODESZA, we’ve worked hard to have affordable ticket options at our shows like the GA lawn at The Gorge.

Künstler: Ticket prices and scaling is the key to getting the energy to sell the tickets. There’s price sensitivity, while overall ticket prices have gone up a lot, which is a good thing. You still need to be careful about pricing out your fans.

Oldaker: Higher priced ticket sections and VIP sections are becoming more prevalent. We’ve also seen that fans prefer venues that allow all or some form of GA section. Lastly, merchandise is huge and continuing to grow – some of our artists’ fans spend well over three times the ticket price per night on merch.

Rais-Shaghaghi: Forward thinking, creative and driven artists who understand the business and who are able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape are the ones that are consistently and steadily growing their businesses. We represent the very best at CAA, so we are in a phenomenal position with these types of artists who are providing an exceptional experience to the fans. The ticket sales and revenue are growing as the costs of creating these experiences are increasing, especially post-COVID but we are always being mindful of the cost to consumer.

Wilson: Touring and live venue expenses are through the roof so it’s hard for people to understand that all that ticket income isn’t going straight to the artist’s pocket, either. Everything costs more than it did pre-COVID. 

Your latest best dance music experience?
Bandler: CamelPhat in New York a few weeks ago. The guys put out one of my favorite albums in 2023, and seeing the new production and visuals alongside a performance of incredible music… the night was magic!

Barrie: I don’t know if it’s a singular experience per se, but I really love seeing the evolution of the production and how they integrate the music into that. It’s really exciting and provides a more encompassing experience for the fan. Seeing what Afterlife is doing with their event is next level.

Chung: Black Coffee at Madison Square Garden – seeing firsthand how much intention went into every single detail of the show and watching the team’s vision come to life was a singular experience that I will remember for a long time.

Cohen: It’s hard to choose one, given I’ve enjoyed so many over the years. But in recent memory, I’d say Kasablanca at Red Rocks in 2021, both Eli Brown at Anderson Street and Disco Biscuits at Pinecreek Lodge in 2023, nad Dayzero Tulum and Skyline in 2024. 

Künstler: We operate our offices from our event space and recording studio located in Los Angeles, which has the privilege of hosting an array of esteemed artists. Our venue, BRDG Studio, has been graced by the performances of Disclosure, Nosaj Thing B2B Jacques Greene, DJ Tennis, DJ Minx, Machinedrum, Shiba San among many others, offering an exclusive and intimate setting for their shows. I’m always so excited to see these nights come together.

Oldaker: Illenium at SoFi Stadium, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Ember Shores, his European tour, Amsterdam Dance Event show, Barca and Paris. EDC Las Vegas 2023, Electric Forest 2023, the DNBNL event at Bellwether with AEON:MODE, Fred again.. at Hollywood Forever and Pretty Lights at Warfield.

Rais-Shanghai: Executing one of the most advanced productions ever built for an electronic show in Los Angeles for Afterlife with their phenomenal team, as well as Goldenvoice and Framework. It took a year of negotiations and discussions, but the juice was worth the squeeze.

Wilson: Last week I heard a record for the first time that is being signed to the mau5trap label that literally made me jump from my chair and start dancing at my desk. I’d share the info with you, but the deal isn’t quite done and I don’t want to lose this heater.

Wiseman: Just last night (March 7), I saw Chase & Status at their sold-out show at the Hollywood Palladium. It’s amazing to see how big drum and bass is finally getting in America. Insomniac has shown unwavering support to this genre for decades, so to see it getting the attention it deserves is incredible.