"The Scene isn't worth saving"


Thanks for clarifiying. I agree that any effects would be spread across all age groups. My parents and grandparents or at least if not more addicted to Social Media than me :smiley:

I know now you weren’t doing that, so this is a tangent, but I am just so easily triggered by “kids these days” next generation loathing which has basically been the default since the beginning of time.

I especially have a distaste for it within electronic music. Because older heads were the ones who had to put up with their parents saying “electronic music isn’t made with real instruments so it isn’t real music” etc etc so they should know better. But you still see sentiments like “you kids with your EDM will never know what a good rave is like. take me back to london 1989” all over the place. Kids deserve better than that kind of dismissiveness. I hope we can break that cycle of distaste for the next gen: I think kids WILL innovate and they WILL break shit and they WILL enjoy themselves and make novel experiences for themselves, it just might not be in a format we understand or can relate to.


I would agree that there’s lots of noise, and that it all comes through a funnel controlled by the FB/IG/YT/Streaming drip feed. I think something I would add is that when you have all of these over hyped, over followed, but under delivering sponsored events by people with more money than talent or creative risk taking, audiences suffer because the bar gets set low. I think people get turned off from smaller events that are friends of friends because they think “well if the hyped shit was that weak, why bother with the word of mouth stuff it can’t be any better” or something to that degree.

I think friends of friends and word of mouth things take years of promotion and talking to people in smoking sections and handing out flyers and cultivating talent to build up properly. Like most of my favorite parties and events are people who have been in the game for 20 years, have a day job, and throw shows for the love. Theyve learned the game the hard way and stuck to it and built community by simply paying the bills for the venue, artist and promotion and just kept snowballing it into something sustaining. Then their style of music comes into fashion, or back into fashion in some cases, they have a nice 2-4 year run and really stack, and it’s interesting to see where they go from there.

In the case of 18-25 year olds, thats the fucking good stuff. Just like @sleepers talked about it’s DIY shit that people do strictly for the love and friends and friends of friends and just see where it goes. Lots of people burn out of scenes, get into drama and drug related issues, fights, and other things that need to be addressed to cultivate a healthy scene but often aren’t. I’ve burned through punk, hip hop, dubstep, drum n bass, ambient and experiemental scenes, left and never came back, but also found out that taking some time off and coming back is healthy too. The thing is there have to be dedicated promoters that are devoted for years at a time to hold the space, curate the relationships, and build a community.

These are sort of abstract themes which is why I’m really excited people are starting to put in their 2 cents about personal experiences. Lots of scenes suck. Lots of scenes have 2-3 year lifespans and are done. Lots stay online and never come into real life. So maybe by talking about what our idea of what a “scene” is we can find a better starting point for sharing stories and common ideas about what can make a healthy, thriving scene, and how the internet plays a role in that.

I think for me a healthy scene run by dedicated kids actually attracts and impresses those older ravers who talk shit on EDM, but what its good to understand is that generation gaps happen because one generation communicates differently than another. Gen X will talk shit in a way that is a call to step your game up and do something that reaches the heights of what they think they did. And they did alot, to be honest. They had squat raves and free parties and lugged soundsystems that ran off illegal power and fought the cops so that they could keep throwing them. I mean fuck they literally fought the cops.

None of that is possible these days but in the right situation we can give our generation a fucking good party where a 1989 era Londoner come in, dances, has a great time, chats with kids that are 20something and feels a sense of pride and nostalgia, a sense that the torch has been passed on and the rave is still alive. Now that’s not to say we’re only doing it for the geezers, its that we live as a part of a lineage and that it’s important to understand the mistakes and lessons of the past.

Promoting is like activism, organizing, and lobbying. Sure, it can be done online, and when it is weird and fucked up shit happens. Look at the American political system thanks to FB fake news and all that fuckery. But when it happens in person by lots of dedicated and genuine people that build conversations and connections organically, magic happens. The hardest part is unplugging from our phones and laptops and actually finding the time to talk to people, be an active part of a scene, and give all that time up to creating or participating in something we’re rightly skeptical of even being possible anymore. It takes effort.


Another “too much truth I don’t know were to start” post here! thank you, this is nice.

The thing is there have to be dedicated promoters that are devoted for years at a time to hold the space, curate the relationships, and build a community.

This is objectively the hardest part. It is soul crushing to book someone or try really hard to put something together and have a dead night, much less 2 or 3 or whatever. It hasn’t happened to me directly but I’ve been at parties like that.

But the people I know that have stuck to it, after a few years they do pop off. they just do. momentum or something.

This is a beautiful sentiment tbh. I hope that this happens some places. Maybe I’m a little bit contemptous in this area but I see most of the older generation vaguely bitching or reminiscing wistfully in a youtube or facebook comment section and not showing up to new/current parties that really need the support.

Great analogy here. I think in both cases another way to say it is “the internet is mostly hot fucking air”; empty promises and illusory stats etc. Someone saying they’ll come to an event on an FB page is completely meaningless.

From my observation this is like 80% of a parties or promoters success. Maybe the internet can fill in the other 20% for you or bring in some new people or wildcards or randoms that might not be “in” the circle. But you gotta have that core group of people that are ride or die. And you don’t cultivate those relationships on the fuckin’ internet, agree with you there wholeheartedly.


well, looks we’ll have a while to chat about this guys

anyone care to muse on the implications of no live music / festivals / clubbing for 18 months?


yeah i mean this, in a nutshell, is why there used to be so much respect in the scene. it was hard work that could be win/loss in a way that made it so you really had to gamble and sacrifice. hoping these times can bring some reflection onto how the internet changed things and how we build momentum in this strange time. its not permanent, more like a pause, and it allows some insight into the change over the past decade in how promoting devolved, in my opinion, as a result of socials.


I remember some conversations some months ago on dubstepforum, some lads there had experience with booking people for nights. During the shittiest nights they’d book some big names they think will get them exposure (ie. one guy booked Peverelist) and then there’d be 10 people on at the night. The message of their story was taking losses were necessary and inevitable in equal measure, especially when it comes to contributing to communities. Of course wins can’t be taken without failures, but in a way the internet mitigates that by making it “safe” to put out. It’s easier to put something on soundcloud than to show your music to ppl IRL.


In other news, Bandcamp is waiving all their fees again for all sales on May 1st. I was active during March 20th and I’ll be buying again.


Just started listening to this but some of these people are interesting (Nathalie Olah has written an apparently-good book about the middle and upper classes taking over the whole of the cultural realm).

Seems relevant to some of the topics discussed here. It’s probably going to be London-centric, likely to have a left wing bent. It’s on Patreon but it’s free.



Just read another Shawn Reynaldo thing (will be paywalled after a short period) which interviews patten who made this forum, talking about it. I thought some of the stuff he said here was relevant to the stuff in this conversation regarding social media and it’s atomising effects.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently bad about the way that people communicate on socials, although some things can be problematic. These platforms can breed community, unity and empowerment, and that’s amazing, but they also have the ability to drive people away from each other, and that’s really not productive. Social media values affirmation as its main index of interaction. You can retweet something or like it, and that’s about all you can do. It’s basically an affirmation engine. If you disagree with an idea or an opinion, you can get into some kind of discussion about it, but you’re entering into someone else’s real estate, like their feed or their post, which is on public display, a process that I feel like automatically breeds a sort of a fixity of stance and position.

That’s why you find people fighting so readily on social media, just to maintain their feeling of being right about a certain position or whatever. It’s really dangerous to have that much conflict, and I think you wouldn’t see that if those people were talking to each other in person or in another kind of environment where it wasn’t so much about presenting an image of yourself to the world—an image that’s solid and correct and infallible. As humans, all of the best things come from our communication with other people. It’s about learning—we’re all dynamic, we can all change and we all make mistakes. That’s okay, but that’s also why it’s important that we allow other people to open us up to new ways of thinking about things that we might not have perceived before.

Social media, however, can make those kinds of more nuanced interactions nearly impossible. That’s an important part of why I’ve tried to make a place with 555-5555 where there’s more time, where people have a little bit longer to look around and think about things. I think that’s given rise to a level of mutual respect, even when people have differing views. I’m amazed that it’s been sustained. There’s hardly moderation on the forum. I honestly thought it was going to be more of an intensive job than it has been. People on 555-5555 are really civil and generous with each other, and are mindful as to how they approach other people and their views. It’s a really special thing actually, and I’ve been genuinely quite surprised by it.


so glad for this text. ive been a forum user for so long and its such a better experience than social media. it seems everything is being locked to 4-6 websites and we are losing so much of what the online experience is


thanks for posting!

agree with @functiondownload i just think the forum experience is the way to go for me. I love browsing twitter occasionally but it really is a shitshow and just way, way to transient. Some of these topics need to be talked and thought about for more than 2 days.

and I still miss RA comments.