Many genres of music have a special geographic source of inspiration, a location where it all began. Something distinct about the surroundings, the people and the vibe make a place unique and in turn create a unique sound and entire music culture. This claim is true for the genre of EDM (electronic dance music) and rave music. The genre began in the early 90s in the abandoned warehouses of urban, lower class areas such as London, Detroit and Philadelphia. The music and the all-night parties spoke directly to the youth of the era, rich with the symbolism of escapism and egalitarianism. With the rapid onset of globalization, however, and the recent development and ease of music transfer over the internet, EDM and rave music was soon heard by most of the industrialized world. People from around the globe could now access the music, and to them it did not contain the same message and meaning. These new listeners did not know the roots of the music nor the struggles of those who initially created it. But as business goes, the music became a profitable product and it was transformed, losing the original essence from which it arose.
As EDM and rave music spread, it became more and more commercialized. Now it is a largely marketed commodity and is one of the most popular music genres among younger crowds. DJs used to be anonymous, performing solely to create and share their music. Now they are publicized superstars that travel the world. They act more like businessmen selling a product than creators of the energy and symbolism the genre was founded on. In many ways, EDM and rave music has lost its identity through globalization. The empowering identity of its early followers has also been lost as their culture has been commodified. The legitimacy and authenticity of the music and rave culture as a whole has been held hostage by the growing global market and the local roots have been forgotten. Parties have moved from illegal, abandoned warehouses in the night to entire day long festivals accommodated for thousands of consumers. Very few know of the music’s true beginnings and what it meant for the people who shaped an entire subculture around it.