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From Midnight to Broad Daylight: The constructive capabilities of techno and
Unformatted Document Text:  From Midnight to Broad Daylight 21 In an exploration of arts festivals Waterman discusses the ways in which festivals transform landscape and place from being everyday settings into temporary environments – with permanent identities created by and for specific groups of people (1998, p. 55). He goes on to say that "festival is also an occasion for outsiders (sponsors, subsidizers) to endeavour to force or lead the group towards an acceptable course for the continuity of its culture" (1998, p. 55). Again, unlike the rave environment, in which only those with prior awareness and subcultural capital 2 usually experience the events because of their low profile nature, DEMF materialized as a free event along the riverfront at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. During Memorial Day weekend, from noon till midnight, for three days, across four stages local techno DJs and producers performed to a crowd that by the end reached an estimated one million people (www.demf.org). DEMF has the approval of city officials and was endorsed by local sponsors. It drew the largest attendance of any annual festival in the city for 2000 (McCollum, 2001), even outnumbering the local Montrose Jazz Festival that takes place annually on Labor Day Weekend. I agree with Waterman who states that we need to study festivals in terms of cultural politics, in which questions of taste and aesthetics cannot be divorced from political questions about power, inequality and oppression (1998, p. 55). The rave scene has experienced burn out and crossed over to the "darkside," a move that Reynolds claims is intrinsic to any drug culture (1998, p. 87). It consists of concepts devoid of any meaning (1998, p. 88), and hence, is incapable of mobilizing any actions beyond the chronotopic rave environment itself. However, I argue that EDM's emergence into full-scale festivals such as DEMF is capable of having much more constructive effects on attendees. Free of the drug ridden themes, occurring in broad daylight, in an official city space, DEMF does not belong to an elite culture. Interestingly, it can 2 Subcultural capital is a term coined by Thornton that refers to "the means by which young people negotiate and accumulate status within their own social worlds" (1996, p. 163).

Authors: Farrugia, Rebekah.
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From Midnight to Broad Daylight
21
In an exploration of arts festivals Waterman discusses the ways in which festivals
transform landscape and place from being everyday settings into temporary environments – with
permanent identities created by and for specific groups of people (1998, p. 55). He goes on to
say that "festival is also an occasion for outsiders (sponsors, subsidizers) to endeavour to force or
lead the group towards an acceptable course for the continuity of its culture" (1998, p. 55).
Again, unlike the rave environment, in which only those with prior awareness and subcultural
capital
2
usually experience the events because of their low profile nature, DEMF materialized as
a free event along the riverfront at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. During Memorial Day
weekend, from noon till midnight, for three days, across four stages local techno DJs and
producers performed to a crowd that by the end reached an estimated one million people
(www.demf.org). DEMF has the approval of city officials and was endorsed by local sponsors.
It drew the largest attendance of any annual festival in the city for 2000 (McCollum, 2001), even
outnumbering the local Montrose Jazz Festival that takes place annually on Labor Day Weekend.
I agree with Waterman who states that we need to study festivals in terms of cultural
politics, in which questions of taste and aesthetics cannot be divorced from political questions
about power, inequality and oppression (1998, p. 55). The rave scene has experienced burn out
and crossed over to the "darkside," a move that Reynolds claims is intrinsic to any drug culture
(1998, p. 87). It consists of concepts devoid of any meaning (1998, p. 88), and hence, is
incapable of mobilizing any actions beyond the chronotopic rave environment itself. However, I
argue that EDM's emergence into full-scale festivals such as DEMF is capable of having much
more constructive effects on attendees. Free of the drug ridden themes, occurring in broad
daylight, in an official city space, DEMF does not belong to an elite culture. Interestingly, it can
2
Subcultural capital is a term coined by Thornton that refers to "the means by which young people negotiate and
accumulate status within their own social worlds" (1996, p. 163).


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