The United States may have been about a decade late jumping on the electronic music bandwagon, but in typical American fad-obsessing fashion, we are flinging ourselves face-first into the movement.
As evidenced by a flurry of electronic music festivals including sold-out Ultra Music Festival and last week’s Coachella, Americans have finally caught the EDM fever. Festival-veterans may think they’ve seen it all, from stage-wide LED lighting, to confetti and fog blasting machines, to even the latest Tupac hologram that debuted at Coachella. But no domestic festival has prepared Americans for this coming October, when European EDM festival “Sensation White” will finally make a name for itself in America.
Organized by concert production conglomerate ID&T, Sensation White is an all-white dress-code festival that kicks off every summer in Amsterdam before touring the rest of the world. Operating under the “be part of the night, unite in white” tagline, Sensation has grown over the last 12 years from a modest arena concert to a multi-day, multi-stage house music experience. Production-wise, American festivals can’t hold a candle to what ID&T has managed to create.
This is not just a concert, but a full-blown theatrical production. Hoisted by string, costumed performers soar across stages and over crowds to the backdrop of richly-colored fog and smoke. Giant glowing balls of light hang above the stages, as if stars fell from the sky to illuminate the night. Electrifying fireworks and towering spurts of water shoot out from all nooks and crannies of the venue. ID&T has managed to perfect every reality-bending, mind-warping, eye-mesmerizing tactic available, leaving no detail to small to forget.
With production-quality at its height, Sensation America is sure to raise the bar for all future festivals to come. Domestic concert producers can wave goodbye to cleverly-lit DJ booths after Sensation tears through town, leaving attendees awestruck and hungry for more. There’s no doubt this is the game-changing festival for the rapidly-growing EDM scene in America, but the question remains - will ID&T be able to pull off the same level of craziness when on our turf? How will a European company conquer local and unfamiliar markets?
What will happen to festivals in the future? Granted progress is always welcomed, but will this festival raise standards to a point that American production companies cant reach? Or will our beloved Ultra’s and Coachella’s try to step it up, effectively stepping up already-high ticket prices to offset production costs?
The future may be unpredictable, but one fact is crystal clear: Sensation America will pioneer a new wave of multi-faceted concert experiences to come.