An opportunity for dance

I salute Alexandra Topping of The Guardian for writing this article:

European dance DJs break America

The mainstream media has been negative about dance music for far too long and this goes some way to redress the balance.

It is very pleasing to see the recognition she gives djs such as Richie Hawtin and Deadmau5 for “breaking the mould.”

I am also glad that – at last – someone in the national media has recognised the unique contribution made by the likes of David Guetta and Tiesto to “the new wave of dance music.”

Dance fans will already be familiar with these names.

But I don’t think they have received the widespread and mainstream recognition they deserve for supporting and developing the genre through years when dance music has been deeply unfashionable.

Both Guetta and Tiesto have been creating innovative and inspiring dance music and playing to clubs and events full of dedicated fans for years and yet they are not household names in the UK.

It is time to give them the credit they deserve and to thank them for the enjoyment they have brought many many people on the dance scene.

Can we now share that enjoyment with others?

Dance music has recently been sidelined by the national UK radio stations particularly BBC Radio 1.

Advocates of the genre – such as Pete Tong, Judge Jules and Dave Pearce – have been shamefully downgraded and their opportunities to showcase new and emerging talent limited.

It is worth noting Tong, Jules and Pearce helped the careers of people like Guetta and Tiesto and nurtured the UK dance music scene for years.

Outstanding UK and international producers and djs rarely get exposure on many of the mainstream and mass market radio stations in the UK.

This has had and continues to have a negative impact on the dance music industry, events and venues.

Although Tiesto recently appeared at the Radio 1 Big Weekend I notice he was billed below Chris Moyles and Tim Westwood.

While I understand the appeal of Westwood and Moyles I think he deserved somewhat more credit and appreciation.

Not only is Tiesto an energetic, innovative and inspiring dj but he is a creative musician with a richly deserved army of fans worldwide.

I could mention names such as the outstanding Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold, Lange, Darren Tate, John O’Callaghan, Greg Downey, Jon O’Bir, Will Holland, Ben Gold and Adam White as ‘home grown’ talent which should be getting much more media recognition.

And – of course – when did we last hear the amazing Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Filo & Peri, Christopher Lawrence, or Manuel Le Saux – to name but a few – on a UK based national radio station.

But the future looks hopeful.

In The Guardian article Ben Turner, co-founder of the International Music Summit in Ibiza, says “We are in an amazing moment but we have to make sure we keep dance music in a good place and don’t seize on the wrong opportunities.”

Isn’t it time UK radio stations, tv channels, newspapers and magazines, websites, record labels, event organisers and venue promoters offered more opportunities to djs, artists and passionate fans of dance music?

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