Regular readers of Ears To The House might have noticed us commenting a few times lately on how the dance music festival world’s strategy for 2023 seems to be to go big or go home. This is something which greedy higher echelon DJs and agencies have partly brought about, using their bargaining power to effectively blackmail festivals and clubs into paying higher prices.
And as we’ve previously mentioned, a certain nameless plague rave DJ agency which previously tried to silence this site has utilised this strategy, too. The problem is it’s totally backfired on them, with several festivals deciding they weren’t paying the obscene fees being demanded – one DJ who previously charged $10k a night was reportedly now demanding $60k for the same work.
Well, it turns out we’re onto something. Over the weekend, Ears To The House has been contacted by a person who works quite high up at one of the major dance music festivals – and even by the depressingly low standards of this industry, what he said shocked us. Then again, when the subject line of the email reads “[Festival name redacted] could be bankrupt in months”, it tends to get noticed.
After verifying the source was genuine, he went on to say “Covid has really messed things up for us. For 2023, we had to go all out to get the biggest names and it’s costing us a fortune. The DJ bill alone is around $10millon and a lot of this has to be paid in advance. The amount of money going round right now is crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been in this industry since the middle of the 90s.”.
So why is there so much money “going round”? He said “A lot of things. The cost of everything is up over the past few months, and we knew DJ fees would go up because of it, but not by this much. They are milking it for all it’s worth, and if things go wrong, they won’t suffer. They’ve got their mansions and villas and cars. It’s everyone else who loses out when they get too greedy.”
“I’m not exaggerating when I say we could go bankrupt over this. If sponsorships, ticket sales, merchandise, drinks and the rest don’t bring in the money we need this year, it’s over for us. I think your site could be reporting on a few bankruptcies towards the end of the year. I’ve never been so worried.”.
Contrary to what certain quarters may tell you, it gives Ears To The House absolutely no pleasure to report these things. But when we have a dance music world which has totally disconnected itself from reality, no one can claim this is a surprise…