Techno Is Huge
One of the early insights came from Beatport's roundup of popular genres. Techno began Q1 of 2015 in the top spot and has remained there since (despite a brief overtaking by tech house in Q1 of 2016). But it isn't just on Beatport that techno has taken control, a quick glance at festival headliners and the Ibizan party calendar and everything is techno, techno, techno, Even in the Ibizan sun, the all black everything brigade are out in force.
But Drum & Bass Is Ascending
Perhaps surprisingly, Drum & Bass has surged from 8th to 5th most popular genre on Beatport in the past two years. Trance too has climbed three places from 9th to 6th, however D&B was saw an even more impressive rise in the clubs. Among KUVO equipped DJ booths, Drum & Bass has rocketed from 11th to 4th most popular genre. While house, tech house and deep house takes takes the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively, trance doesn't even make it into the KUVO top 10. What does this mean? Well taken together it seems like we'll be seeing a lot more drum & bass events over the coming year, and perhaps some fading of techno's star.
If You Want Your Music Heard, Get On Instagram
For years Facebook has been the be all and end all of promotion tools, with SoundCloud and Twitter used to as outriders. It seems that all is changing in the digital sphere as Instagram is where DJs are seeing by far the most growth. Big names, such as Martin Garrix have seen a 17% increase in followers per quarter, compared to just 3% on Facebook. There are, however, two caveats; firstly larger acts' Facebook pages may have reached saturation (and at 14 million likes, that seems a distinct possibility for Garrix) and second that Instagram is the newer network so naturally offers the most growth.
It's Time To Take DJ's Health Seriously
One of the most engaging panels was the Health Vs Hedonism debate where artists and industry reps, including Monki, Agoria and Louisahhh! The general consensus was that the expectation that DJs must be drinking or partying behind the booth every night is unsustainable. Exhaustion, mental health issues and addiction are all serious conditions. It's time for the industry as a whole to support a healthier lifestyle. When we caught up with Monki after the panel, she told gave us her tip for keeping sane in a hectic industry - find a hobby outside of the industry and spend time focusing on it, away from the strobe lights and drinks tokens.
Ibiza Hasn't Really Changed
For all the talk over the past two years of Ibiza changing. The closing of Space, the clamp down on outdoor parties by the authorities, the EDM takeover. The Island has weathered each of these storms and we're happy to report that our first visit in 2017 delivered an island that's still the best place to party on earth. The sun still shines, the sea still rejuvenates and the thump thump of house and techno still reverberates every night around some of the most impressive spaces on the planet.
Women Are Being Better Represented, But There's Still A Ways To Go
IMS had an equal male female split on all panels, and many of the after parties featured a diverse range of female DJs, but the stats still don't look great. A Thump study across 24 major dance festivals found an average of 17% female artists on the lineup. Many festivals fell well short of that, with Beyond Wonderland hosting just 2 female artists out of a total of 61. Mixmag's No.1 of 2016, The Black Madonna, used her keynote interview to highlight the problem of gender inequality saying: "I don’t want to debate whether things exist. Let’s stop talking the talk and start walking the walk."
Jackmaster And Skream Have The Best Bromance
Our first night in Ibiza we went to Sankeys for Do Not Sleep. We'd had an early flight and a long day, just as our feet were giving out and thoughts of bed started to circulate, Skream came on at slayed the room. The crowd went nuts, but one guy in particular was up at the front on someone's shoulders giving it his all. That man was Jackmaster. Hats off to the Bromance.