As EDM festival Electric Daisy Carnival holds a virtual event on gaming platform Roblox, is there a lesson here for other areas in dance music?

I started secondary school back in 1996. The structure here was very different to primary school – lessons now were delivered at set times each day and different teachers did different subjects. Hence why I met a lot of new teachers very quickly.

One that always sticks in my mind is my Information Technology teacher. A man who waxed lyrical about the potential of video calling and the internet. Remember, this was a very different world to the one we’re in now. No Twitter, no Facebook, and some ISPs still charged you per minute to go online.

But this man had an answer for everything. If you told him video calling equipment was rubbish, he’d simply tell you the technology hadn’t caught up with the idea yet. If you told him the internet was too slow, he’d give you the same answer. As much as I wanted to believe he was right, this voice in my mind doubted him.

And it turns out he was absolutely right. We now make video calls with our phones, and it doesn’t even cost us a penny. I just wonder what he’d make of the news Electric Daisy Carnival held a virtual event on the giant gaming platform that is Roblox – probably the next logical step.

Perhaps there’s a lesson here for other genres. Like the newly reinvigorated garage house movement, for example. The original UK scene came about thanks to those innovative Sunday parties in London around 1997 – before this, no one had thought to hold regular parties on a Sunday.

The Roblox audience is absolutely colossal. By holding a virtual party on Roblox, you could expose a new, potentially massive audience to the genre – and they might well like it. Before you know it, you’ve got people showing an interest in attending the in-person events – which there potentially have to be more of to accommodate the new demand.

And there’s a big difference this time around. In the late 90s, you had to be in London or the south east of England to properly get involved. Not anymore. The audience these days is global. The old barriers are gone – and any genre clever enough to take advantage of new innovations could thrive.

Your audience can’t support you if they don’t even know you exist…

So much for talk of DJs reducing their gargantuan fees! Time Warp USA returns in November, but you’ll have to pay $201 just for your ticket – and is seeing Richie Hawtin really worth THAT much?

Cast your mind back to the early days of the pandemic. The scene started having discussions which aren’t normally had – mostly because there was nothing else to do. Talk soon turned to the enormous fees being demanded by the higher echelon of DJs – and I’m probably not the only one who noticed this was a debate in which those very highly paid DJs stayed conspicuously quiet,

There was a reason why. Namely that they’ve come to enjoy being paid big money – $40,000, maybe $50,000 per appearance. More in some cases and with the right agent negotiating on your behalf, a six figure fee was a distinct possibility.  Not bad for a few hours work.

There was talk by some about there being some kind of “reset” within the scene – where the aforementioned big bucks DJs would apparently reduce their fees to something more sensible. But not surprisingly, the DJs in question never agreed to drop their financial demands.

Evidence of this arrived in my inbox last night, courtesy of one of this blog’s wonderful readers. Time Warp USA is taking place from two nights, starting on November 19th. It’s happening in New York City, in a currently undisclosed location. Which makes booking a hotel a bit awkward, because you could end up in entirely the wrong part of town – but hey, why consider the needs of people actually paying for the tickets, eh?

The lineup is even more business techno than Amnesia Ibiza’s offering this weekend. If you’re looking for hours of droning, mostly tuneless tech-house which makes your ears hurt, this could be the perfect opportunity for you. There are even a limited number of tables, allowing your painful ears to be accompanied by an arse numb with boredom.

However, in order to accommodate the massive fees for the DJs – which are second in size only to their egos – you’re going to need deep pockets. When you first visit the DICE website to pay for tickets, it tells you it’ll cost you $107.47. When you click the “Buy Now” button, however, the price suddenly jumps up to £201.19 for a ticket that covers both days.

The $107.47 price refers to general admission on the Friday under Tier 1. And in a twist which just screams of wanting to take all your money, you can also buy access to the backstage area. It’s $232 for either Friday or Saturday, or $366 if you want access on both days.

They don’t even try to mask their desperation to make money these days…

As the first batch of the Ibiza Spirit in Cancun lineup is released, Amateur’s House crunches the numbers – so will Annabel Ross be any happier with this festival?

Whenever a festival announces its lineup these days, a few things are inevitable. A flurry of people are going to respond by saying “woo hoo, take my money!”. Other people check the line up and go “nope, not for me”. And then you have the latest trend in the dance music world – which is to go through the whole list to see how many women and minorities are in it.

So I thought I’d have a go myself. The festival I’ve decided to look at is Ibiza Spirit, which is due to take place in Cancun, Mexico between February 19th and 26th next year. The first batch of the lineup has been announced. So do they fare any better than the frankly abysmal numbers of Electric Daisy Festival?

Well, 48 acts are listed on this flyer…

Breaking it down, there are 11 women listed – Alisha, Anfisa Letyago, Chloé Caillet, Cincity, Desiree, Francesco Lombardo, Heidi, Julie McKnight, Lauren Lane, Layla Benitez and Nicole Moudaber. Which means 22.91% of the lineup is female.

And as for non-whites? This is obviously subjective, because I don’t know exactly how everyone on the list describes themselves. With that in mind, I counted Black Coffee, Cincity, Desiree, Jesse Calosso, Kings Of Tomorrow, Julie McKnight, The Martinez Brothers, Themba and Todd Terry. A total of 9 out of 48 – or 18.75% of the lineup.

Let’s see how long it takes for Annabel “Charmless” Ross to appear – it doesn’t usually take long. If the boss of Ibiza Spirit is on social media, you might want to ignore your mentions for a few days in case she turns up

You were going to the Warehouse Project, not Nando’s! Blagger tries to get into Manchester club using “lifetime pass” at the weekend – read on to see how owner Sacha Lord responded to the trick…

The world of Sacha Lord is a curious one. It’s a world where he thinks people should stay hydrated on a night out, yet he charges them £2.50 a time for water. It’s a world where doctors should be ordered to apologise for their predictions over Covid. And it’s a world where he condemns plague raves yet rewards DJs who played them during the pandemic.

So when someone turned up at the doors of Manchester’s Warehouse Project, which Lord owns, with a so-called lifetime pass, it caused much scratching of heads at the venue. The black card states “This pass grants the holder lifetime access to Warehouse Project events and Parklife” – which is Lord’s big festival that takes place each year.

There was just one problem. No one working at the door had seen one of these cards before. Much like the Nando’s High Five black cards, no one knew for many years whether they even existed. Lifetime passes to Warehouse Project, on the other hand, do exist – they gave two away in a competition last year.

Lord’s tweet does not elaborate on whether he actually got into the venue, except to describe the attempt as “impressive”. And he confirms in another tweet that he contacted the person in question later to give them lifetime access for real.

Here’s hoping his staff can correctly identify the genuine passes. Otherwise, it’s going to be the equivalent of using a rake to get rid of water…

What to do with a problem like climate change? If you’re Coldplay, you get your fans to make electricity on the dancefloor – whilst continuing to travel around the world on luxurious private jets…

In the world we live in, there’s an increasing number of people who have no ability whatsoever to understand how their actions might be perceived by others. This usually results in them being completely baffled when someone takes an issue with something they’ve said or done.

We saw it last year when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started talking about the environment. They spoke about not using more resources than necessary – a weird claim from a couple who live in a house with nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, and who travel around the world using gas-guzzling private jets. They remain completely impervious to the criticism and simply cannot see they look like a pair of hypocrites.

Cue ultra-depressing band Coldplay stepping into the fray. You see, they’ve just announced they’re going back on tour next year. And they spent the pandemic trying to work out how to make it as environmentally friendly as possible – I never thought anyone could make Sasha’s lockdown of baking bread look exciting, but here we are.

Singer Chris Martin gave an interview to the BBC and spoke about “kinetic flooring”. This is something I referenced in a recent article about Glasgow nightclub SWG3. When you dance on this floor, it creates heat. This heat is transported through a series of tiny boreholes and used to power everything. And when more heat is being created than necessary, the surplus can be stored and used later on.

Whenever the interviewer points out they use private jets – take note of an awkward question being posed, dance music press – Martin replies with “The people who give us backlash for that kind of thing, for flying, they’re right. So we don’t have any argument against that”. Nor, it seems, do they have any intention of doing anything to reduce their carbon footprint in this area.

No, it seems that it’s the job of Coldplay’s fans to reduce the band’s emissions on their behalf. All the band are doing is pawning off the job whilst pretending they’re doing something themselves.

Virtue signalling at its worst…

We’re the ones who make the f***ing money!” – the ill-tempered rantings of an anonymous DJ who gets in touch following Electric Daisy Festival lineup controversy…

Part of the reason why I launched Amateur’s House was to give a voice to people who don’t have one in the dance music press. Which is why I’m pretty comfortable with the principle of giving people anonymity if that’s the price which needs paying to find out what they really think.

With that in mind, I can reveal that one of the male DJs on the Electric Daisy Festival lineup has got in touch with the blog. After reading the controversy over the lack of women and minorities on the bill last week, (covered here and here) the man in question got in touch to say what he thinks. And it’s such a different perspective to anything published elsewhere – and it’s certainly not one the utterly charmless Annabel Ross will be covering, rest assured.

Given she’s still talking about this after a whole week,  I asked him if I could publish what he said on the subject, and he agreed – provided he remains anonymous.

He said “Festivals can definitely do way better and book more women. I think some of their excuses for not doing it are bull****, but I’m not to blame. They book who they want to book, and they booked me.  In dance music, it’s been the men who bring the money in from day zero.  It’s that simple. They book us because they know our names sell the tickets. We’re the ones who make the f***ing money for them, simple.”.

And seemingly trying to lay the blame elsewhere, he said “I probably shouldn’t say this, but promoters are lazy f***ers. They book us to give themselves an easy life. Putting more women on the bill would mean they’d have to do more work to promote it. There’s not as many women DJs with our profiles. Yeah, they’d be complaining because they’d have to do their actual f***ing jobs!”.

Draw your own conclusions…

Sorry you spat out your cornflakes and milk all over the kitchen table, Mr Rampling! 70% going to gigs are now double jabbed and two-thirds are happy with wearing masks at shows – so when can we expect the anti-vaxxers to concede defeat?

The anti-vaxxers and Covid-denying dingbats would have you believe that right is on their side. They say this because they believe it – and they believe it because they say it very loudly and very often. And they rarely allow themselves to be bothered by things such as “facts” and “the truth” – anyone stating “facts” is being paid by Bill Gates or whichever figure they hate this week.

Which brings me nicely to Danny Rampling. Fresh from a state of consternation over his 17-year old son announcing he would be having the Covid jab, here’s something which is likely to have the okay-ish DJ spluttering his milk and cornflakes all over the kitchen table on this fine Wednesday morning.

MusicWatch have done a survey of people who like going to gigs and asked them questions to find out what their stance is on Covid rules and regulations. And Mr Rampling will not be a happy bunny when he reads this! 70% of respondents confirm they’re already double jabbed. 67% of them support the use of masks at gigs.

And in a statistic which is likely to give any anti-vaxxer a rubbish start to the day – only 6% of those polled said they would refuse to enter a venue with safety rules in place. This included mandatory wearing of masks or proof of a negative test or double jab status. Even in people who were unvaccinated, the number only went up to 30%.

Yep, they still couldn’t muster a majority in this category…

Vaccine passes became law in Wales this week – but controversy over the farcical vote in the Welsh Parliament (where they passed by a single vote) continues to cause an almighty stink

Vaccine passes (as they insist on calling them) came into use in Wales yesterday. If you want to enter a nightclub or a few other specific settings in the country now, you must either prove you’re double jabbed or provide a negative lateral flow test result which is a maximum of 48 hours old. But their introduction has caused controversy, and it’s not just simply because of the original proposals on the table.

Last week, a vote took place in the Welsh Parliament to see whether members would support it. Now, the Welsh Parliament currently operates a half and half system. Half of members are allowed to place their votes in person, and the other half do so remotely. And it’s at this point we centre in on the Member of the Senedd (that’s the Welsh for Parliament, before you ask) for Vale of Clwyd in north Wales – a Tory called Gareth Davies.

At the time of the vote, he was at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, so took advantage of the system which allowed him to place his vote remotely. Only things didn’t work out. Davies put out a statement on Twitter afterwards explaining what happened from his side…

Since then, Davies hasn’t said anything more about the subject – he isn’t responding to my emails and the Welsh Conservative Party declined to comment when contacted by this blog yesterday. The vote passed by 28 to 27, and he made clear in advance he would be voting against it. So vaccine passes would have been, at the least, delayed if his vote had been placed. But this lack of transparency over what happened last week simply isn’t good enough.

I’d like to see a timetable detailing exactly what happened and when it happened, Details like who Davies spoke to and what he was advised to do should be released. At what point was he told the vote would take place without him, and how did he respond? And just why did he choose to go to Manchester on a week where the crucial vote was going to take place? 

A word of advice, Mr Davies. This refusal to comment any further, especially when his vote could potentially have delayed or even stopped vaccine passes completely, does you no favours. At best, it makes you look like an idiot. At worst, it looks like you’ve been gagged. Start talking, Gareth…