How EDM Created The Modern Day Hippie

by Michael Kaye

As you spend endless hours on social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter, no matter where your friends live or go to school there is one thing you can view on pretty much any profile: who is going to which concert.

One evening at school, while we were all putting on our neon pennies and white Ray Bans, gathering our Vitamin-C pills and numerous water bottles, one of my roommates looked at me and said “you realize you all are modern day hippies, right?” It hadn’t struck me till that moment. This is a movement, we are making history here.

Artists nationwide such as Tiësto, Dada Life, Bingo Players, Pretty Lights, and Bassnectar among others have all signed up for college tours. So grab your tightest, brightest clothing, and grab your ticket the second these events release!

In the past, it was Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and Santana who graced the stage at Woodstock in Bethel, New York, in 1969. Hundreds of thousands of supporters came out to the festival creating one of the greatest hippie movements in history to date. The hippie subculture originated in the United States during the mid-1960s.

In the course of the hippie movement, men and women sustained long hair and battered jeans. It was typical for either to wear sandals or even go barefoot. With an au-naturel theme, it was common for men to have long beards and women to wear little, to no makeup without bras. Bright colors, bell-bottom pants, vests, and full skirts were a must have.

Moving into modern times, a similar movement is being born. The past few decades were unable to be identified by one single genre of music. Boy bands and other pop artists are easily linked to the 90s, but what about the new millennium? Now that’s where electronic dance music, techno, house music, and trance come into play.

“Ravers” are an ever-growing breed amongst youth. They are devoted to electronic dance music, and peruse set lists and line ups as if they are the holy grail of techno.

In any ravers closet you can find neon tank tops, tight shorts, and legwarmers. A typical rave ensemble includes lots of color…and lots of skin. Less is more! Glitter polishes girls’ faces, and spandex is a necessity. “Peace Love Unity Respect” and “Drop Bass Not Bombs” are typical sayings on rave tanks. Beaded bracelets are no longer a child’s obsession.

New York’s infamous Electric Zoo Festival, Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas are some of the many gathering places for ravers nationwide. While they are remarkably epic, they are no comparison to the most classic EDM festival in the world. Obviously, we are talking about Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland has been held every summer since 2005 in Belgium. It has the who’s who of the electronic dance music scene. As a DJ, you know you’ve made it if you are invited to Tomorrowland. Afrojack, Sander van Doorn, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Laidback Luke, Steve Aoki, and David Guetta all performed this summer at the festival.

While marijuana is still a very relevant drug of choice for millions of people across the country, it was the primary remedy for hipsters during the hippie movement. But now-a-days people have upgraded, and pot simply won’t cut it for these dedicated ravers. Do you know our friend Molly? She makes my life happier… more exciting… she makes me want to dance.

“Molly” is the “pure” form of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy. Finding molly at one of these festivals is easier than finding leather pants at a Lady Gaga concert. These concerts are probably amongst the happiest places to be. All who attend feel a sense of unity with the music, and an unexplainable love soars amongst the crowd.

Times are changing, they say, but are they really? Similar habits and attitudes seem to be recycled in different forms. While we mock our parents’ style in fashion and music during the early 70s, what will our children have to say about their parents convulsing their bodies in front of people playing music through a computer dressed looking like a rainbow?

Electronic dance music will most certainly be prevalent on the music scene for years to come. Artists everywhere are making smart business decisions by incorporating this genre of music into their own work. Tracks like “Starships” by Nicki Minaj and “Turn Up The Music” by Chris Brown both incorporate techno into their rap/hip-hop tunes. Other mainstream artists such as Rihanna have also followed suit, adding electronic music to their future albums. Hey, if it sells, why not?

Michael Kaye | Elite.