Festival Fever and International DJs: The Changing Shape of DJ Culture in Sydney’s Commercial Electronic Dance Music Scene


  • Ed Montano RMIT University


Sydney, DJs, club culture, festivals, mainstream, underground


In recent years there has been an increase in the number of electronic dance music festivals in Sydney. This has served to shift the clubbing landscape in the city from night to daytime, taking dance music out of clubs and into parks and other public spaces. With its roots in imported versions and local interpretations of overseas dance culture, the dance scene in the city has always been heavily dependent on international sounds and fashions. With the dominance of these festivals, such as Field Day, Parklife, Harbourlife, Future Music, Creamfields, Good Vibrations and Stereosonic, this dependence is further emphasised through the high billing of international DJs in promotional material. Drawing on a decade of ethnographic research and participant-observation in the commercial electronic dance music scene in Sydney, this article explores how this festival fever is changing the shape of DJ and dance music culture in the city.

Keywords: Sydney, DJs, club culture, festivals, mainstream, underground






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