The Club Scene is Dying. Long Live the Club Scene

Has anyone ever actually sat down and thought about why the club scene seems to be dying? I have.

First of all, you can’t deny the effect that the economy is having on it. I don’t give a damn what the stock market says; no one has enough money, least of all to justify going out, unless it’s to see someone they absolutely love.

Secondly, I’m done tiptoeing around the elephant in the room as it pertains to this subject. I think the Trump Presidency has played a role. The number of DJs I interact with on a regular basis (before instantly blocking them, that is) who turn out to be Trump supporters is disgusting. This scene used to be all-inclusive. It used to welcome with open arms the misfits, rejects and otherwise atypical members of society. The club scene has been paramount in the progress of the LGBTQ community. Clubs and raves used to be seen as “safe spaces” where everyone could come together and enjoy the music. And now what? Everyone is supposed to go see some egomaniac who hates brown people and worships a bully?

Which kind of goes into my next point: the popularization of “EDM” resulted in a massive influx of the very people most of us started making electronic music and DJing to escape. All the same plebs who called us “fags” for listening to “techno” in high school are now running this shit. Why? Because Capitalism has reached peak bullshit, that’s why. It favors manipulators, narcissists, and generally those who lack empathy. Electronic music was, for a time, an exception to that rule, but once something becomes capitalized, there’s no turning back. It ends up just like everything else. Now we’ve got a bunch of fucking Billy McFarlands playing every week.

I used to talk about how all of the things that this scene has lost would ultimately be its downfall, and I’m failing to see how that isn’t happening. A lot of the music is as bad as Pop now, to “appeal to a wider audience,” and so more and more thots are going out, and fewer and fewer actual fans are.

Millennials have this misconception that you can just appeal solely to rich people, and that is somehow a model for success. We’re seeing over and over again that it isn’t. As it all becomes less and less welcoming to the average music superfan and more welcoming to the Trustafarians who can afford to drop several Gs on bottle service every weekend, it’s like trickle-down economics. You’re building a business model on pillars of sand that used to be made up of solid concrete, i.e. the heart and soul and passion behind it all.

It’s also why the economy of DJing is completely fucked now. Why would any club or promoter pay for worthwhile local talent, when they have a sea of rich kids willing to play for free (or worse yet, pay to play) to choose from? And we wonder why it seems like locals are being phased out and treated less and less like they matter. Because the scene is over-saturated with wannabes who only care about being famous, and in turn, some of them have disposable incomes, so they’re coming in and they’re wrecking shit like they wreck everything else. The bourgeoisie literally ruins everything they touch.

It sucks, but I guess it doesn’t suck any more than everything else sucks. The President is a dipshit, his cultists are dipshits, the wealth gap is wider than ever, propaganda and anti-intellectualism are rampant, climate change is probably going to kill us all, so I guess it’s only fitting that what I used to see as the last bastion of a culture worth a fucking shit would be going down in flames with the rest of it.

C’est la vie.