(Cover photo from insomniac)
Written by: Cris Rodriguez
We’ve all been sold on the concept of “falling in love under the electric sky” – the promise of love and romance in the EDM scene has been a marketing tactic used to bring out crowds of lonely headbangers, shufflers and bass heads into festivals and shows.
The promise of love and connection is a powerful marketing force that drives sales, and whether intentional or not – every promo video for a festival features that perfect EDM couple kissing in front of mainstage.
Maybe that will be us one day, the promise of romance can be an enticing idea that can appeal to solo-ravers everywhere. Finding “bae” in the very environment you love seems like a perfect idea, right?
That might work for those attending shows, but there’s a separate challenge we industry professionals face when dating that I’d like to address.
Dating alone can already be quite the challenge – coupled with a culture that promotes the good life; drinking, open use of mind altering substances, and living for tonight while paying for the consequences tomorrow. This becomes an easy route into hedonism that doesn’t pave the road for sustainable habits, much less healthy relationships.
We approach the music scene from all walks of life, and while music can be a powerful and uniting force, it can also lead to intimate connections that may not be grounded in sincerity but rather in short lived euphoria. I’ve heard all kinds of nightmare stories about dating within the music scene – dating attendees or professionals alike. There’s an unfair power dynamic in favor of those of us that work in the music industry – accessibility to talent, shows and exclusive opportunities reserved generally only for the famous are some of the perks we get as working professionals.
Social status and reputation also play a role, if you’re known to be a key influence in the scene – suddenly everyone wants to be your friend. You can begin to see how these variables begin to shape how relationships are formed and as a consequence – the immediate payoff of having someone that’s “in the scene” can lead to relationships being developed for the wrong reasons.
What can originally be perceived as a desire for human connection and appreciation, can later turn out to be an exploitation of these aforementioned work perks. “Falling in love under the electric sky” has a certain magical ring to it – yet so do the many stories about beautiful princesses locked away in castles needing to be rescued by Prince Charming. Sometimes fiction and reality run so parallel alongside each other that it becomes difficult to differentiate one from the other. Real and sustainable relationships are more than just happily-ever-afters – they require maturity, acceptance, vulnerability and most importantly, love.
Love that transcends music itself, love that sees us for who we are rather than what we do.
Love that asks what we can give rather than what we can receive.
Love that is unconditional, regardless of status or wealth, fame or fortune.
Writing this very article I began to understand why so many of my close mentors and peers have advised me and so many others to date “outside the industry”. I began to understand the importance about finding a significant other that doesn’t care about the music industry – not because they don’t support what you do or care about your passions. Rather, that there’s something greater – something absolutely priceless and unquestionably precious that doesn’t compare to all the backstage passes or vip access to shows. I began to realize there’s no greater gift anyone can give you except their sincerity and genuine appreciation of your existence.
I speak to you now, my dear reader, not as an advertisement for the latest festival or show, but as a human being. I wish to remind you: someone’s out there that just simply wants to be with you just because you’re you.
Whether you find this inside the music scene or outside of it is irrelevant (yet my mentors advise those of us to look outside), the importance is the focus – a focus made towards mutual love an appreciation of one’s character instead of their merits as a healthier starting point of any relationship.
I write this article as a self-reflection to remind myself, my friends, and everyone reading that sometimes love can find us in unsuspecting ways. Whether it’s under the electric sky or just a regular one – we all deserve someone that loves us for just being us.