Is there seriously an entire music festival devoted to EDM?

Up until two months ago, I thought EDM was some type of neurological disorder.

It turns out it’s an acronym for electronic dance music, a genre that’s been around for quite some time, but really has become more internationally accepted in mainstream music only recently.

Disc jockeys like David Guetta, Skrillex, Avicii and DeadMau5 (who until about a week ago I did not realize was actually pronounced “dead mouse”) are becoming household names. Songs like “Clarity” and “Stay the Night,” by Russian DJ Zedd are topping the charts, and people are enthusiastically waving glow sticks along with them.

There was once was a time where you had to go to a night club to hear this type of music. Now, it’s playing at bars, at your local gym, and on the radio. You no longer need to seek out EDM. It comes to you.

But if you do want to seek it out in extravagant fashion, then head to Miami in late March for the Ultra Music Festival, a weekend event devoted solely to electronic dance music. From 2009 to 2012, the festival boasted between 100,000 and 165,000 people before doubling in size in 2013 with 330,000.

Ultra 2014

Is this not appealing to you, yet?

Hour after hour after hour of loud, booming music that makes you feel like you’re having a seizure. In fact, you can probably have a seizure there and not know for 20 minutes. Even its website is hard to look at without straining your eyes.

I try my best to be open to all different types of music. And there are definitely some catchy EDM songs, like “Stay the Night” and “Wake Me Up” which feature vocals from popular artists Hayley Williams and Aloe Blacc, respectively.

But as much as I enjoy an attractive female voice encouraging me to “stay the night,” it gets pretty redundant  after like two or three minutes. Plus my ear drums physically can’t take it anymore.

So how people actually endure a weekend of it, of the music, the culture, the atmosphere is beyond me. I imagine it’s like one giant rave, and that people who go know exactly what they are getting into, but, for me, it sounds equivalent to the ninth circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno.

Just picture the scene. One song begins, with its thumping bass and hypnotic synth waves pounding through the air, thousands of people dancing fanatically around you, and then it ends. Sweet relief overcomes, only to last 12 seconds when the next begins. Repeat for 72 hours.

To each their own, I guess. Right?

But for me, the only “ultra” I associate with electronic dance music is a heavy dose of Tylenol Ultra Strength for headache and migraine relief.



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