I survived the Hollywood Riots! Actually, I missed the whole damn thing, was stuck in traffic on the way to the premiere of the Electric Daisy Carnival Experience at Mann’s Chinese. Parked my car two blocks away, emerged onto a Hollywood Boulevard run amok with kids planking cop cars + a battalion of LAPD holding the perimeter a block away from my destination. Made it into the film (late), but wow, glad I caught the screening. As if the Hollywood flashmob wasn’t testament to the size of this movement, I think the mainstream is now a little bit more aware of something big going on right below their noses.
EDC’s talent choreographer was once asked by a bewildered friend, “What was that thing you did while no one was looking?” — and that pretty much sums up what’s going on in the world right now, everywhere. While the big media fixates on the big names that drive diminishing mass traffic, there are teems of healthy niches thriving outside the spotlight (EDC, Comic-Con, Steam Punks, Juggalos, UFC, etc.). Mega-niches have always existed (Christians, Muslims, Jews, Evangelicals, NFL, NASCAR, country music, gamers, etc.), but as mainstream media loses its hold as the Great Uniter and the internet tailors itself to meet each individual’s tastes, the value of identifying and capitalizing on niches will become much more important in the decades ahead.
The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience will be screening for one night only, at theaters nationwide August 4. It’s going to be a bit harder to find a screening near you since Regal & AMC pulled out over the weekend, but catch it if you can. This is a great documentary directed by Kevin Kerslake, and a must-view for anyone in the music business — a wake-up call to an entire movement that has exploded after quietly developing in clubs and warehouses for decades.
Sure, some of you are going to think (cigar falling out of mouth), “Geezus, this thing is HUGE! How do we tap into this audience? Let’s go pass out download cards and sell energy drinks at Burning Man!” Focus instead on what the organizers are doing RIGHT — what kind of an atmosphere are they creating to make each EDC memorable, legendary, a rite of passage for today’s youth? Why do they continue to spend more money on production, even as most other events are cutting back? And just as important, how do they maintain this atmosphere as more strangers seep into the community?