The Insider explains why festivals are spending big for 2023 – but could it backfire on them?

Over the past two weeks, Ears To The House has written quite heavily about the massive cheques being thrown around by the festival world. It seems the big festivals in dance music have responded to the cost of living crisis – by raising their spending to keep up with increasingly greedy DJs in dance’s higher echelons.

But why have they chosen to do this? After all, they could have easily used their collective bargaining power to refuse to pander to cash-grabbing DJs – something which has indeed happened to our favourite plague rave agency. However, their response has been to basically give the DJs what they were demanding – and according to our sources, some have received an awful lot more.

So in the absence of a definitive answer to this question, we reached out to The Insider – our man who knows everything there is to know about dance music. He’s been around since the late 1980s and what he doesn’t know is probably not worth knowing. What’s his take on all this?

“It’s all a bit Y2K, isn’t it? In case any of your readers aren’t up on this, there was a period from roughly 1995 when DJ fees started to go up by stupid amounts. It culminated on New Year’s Eve 1999, with lots of people convinced that loads of people would want to welcome in the year 2000. We had lots of greedy c***s making lots of money, like Sasha getting £140,000 for one night’s work, or Carl Cox doing three gigs and earning over £500,000 for one night.”

“There was just one problem. The public saw through this bull**** and refused to play along. Ticket sales at most of these events didn’t cover the extortionate DJ fees being charged and they ended up losing a ton of money. Dance music took a few years to recover from the whole s***show, but it looks to me like they’ve learnt the precise amount of f*** all from the episode.”

“And what’s really p***ing me off about this is that some of the people being greedy b******s this time round were also part of the same greedy b******s the last time round. They’ve got no shame, but the thought in the industry is they need to claw back earnings lost during Covid. They’d just better hope the public don’t see through the s*** they’re trying to pull.”.

And if the public do see through this sham? The Insider simply said “Then clubs are f***ed, festivals are f***ed and the big DJs get away scot free. Again.”.

Is another implosion in the scene required to bring in desperately needed new talent? Ears To The House is beginning to wonder…

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