ID Spotlight: Bethany Saxton
Name: Bethany Saxton
Hometown/Current Location: Poughkeepsie, NY but I live in Chicago, IL
Occupation: HR Director
Rave Name: Bee
What was your first electronic music event?
Warehouse Raves in Baltimore in the late 90s / early 2000s
What/who influenced you to attend your first event?
I had spent much of the late 90s / early 2000s in the hippie scene, following the band Phish. I was mainly into jam band type music, and what I enjoyed most about the scene was that I could leave all my stress at the door. I felt free and happy when I was listening to live music and dancing. I loved the sense of community, and experiencing monumental musical moments with other people who were just as excited as I was. Having listened to a bit of electronic music in high school and college, I was curious what live electronic shows would be like.
One night in college, I had a group of friends heading in to Baltimore for the night for some “dance music”. I’m generally up for anything, so I tagged along.
What is one moment from an event that was special and why?
I remember walking in to an intense amount of bass coming from an open dance floor. On the dance floor were people of all ages, from all backgrounds, just dancing with giant grins on their faces. It was a feeling of inclusion, and everyone seemed to be in a moment of rejoice and respite from the everyday grind. Most of the music was what people would now refer to as “old school drum n bass”. There was also a Jungle Room where I ended up spending most of my time. Hours later I emerged into the cool night air of the Baltimore Harbor, feeling more alive than I had in awhile.
What is your favorite festival or event?
Yes. It’s hard to pick a favorite. Music Festivals in general are amazing. The different themes, the special art installations, the ability to go exploring for hours each day and always find something new. They all lend an air of excitement and adventure to a fest. Currently I’d have to say Coachella is my favorite festival for many reasons.
1. The music! Coachella curates some of the best lineups. It’s the perfect start to the festival season.
2. All my friends are there! Since I’ve been attending Coachella for the last five years, I’ve amassed quite a group of “festie friends” that I’ve met while at the fest or through other friends that go. Even though I may only see them a few times a year, or even just once a year…when I picture them, I see them at Coachella. For me it’s just as much a family reunion as it is a music festival. My favorite parts are the late nights in the campground and experiencing a once in a lifetime set with another person who appreciates it as much as I do.
3. Coming off of a long cold winter in Chicago, there’s no better sight than the polo fields and the palm trees out in the desert.
A close second for me is Electric Forest. The grounds are amazing, the forest itself is magical, and it’s really close to home.
What is your favorite electronic song and why?
Gesaffelstein – Viol
I like dirty, dark, wicked, intense techno music that makes me want to stomp through the floor.
Who are your favorite artists?
Trying to name my favorite artists is like asking me to pick a favorite child. Currently at the top of my list are Gesaffelstein and a variety of Dirtybird players – J Phlip, Justin Martin, Shiba San, Claude Von Stroke.
What are your favorite genres?
I’m cliche. I really do like everything. I enjoy Techno and Deep House the most when it comes to Electronic Music. I’m also a big fan of indie and alternative music. My favorite band is The National. Matt Berninger’s lyrics and baritone voice speak to me.
Lately I’ve been enjoying more of the funk / soul DJs / Producers that have been popping it. It’s nice to take a break from the “bangers” and enjoy the groove.
What do you feel your “identity” is in the electronic music community?
I embody a bit of the “Rave Mom” persona. I always have gum, mints, water, etc. I like to make sure people are ok and enjoying themselves. I’m the first person to let someone know their backpack is hanging open, or point out where the water refill stations are.
I’m also a free spirit. As much as I say I have a plan going into a fest, and even laminate my schedule ahead of time…once I get there I allow my mood and my current desires take me wherever they will. I may see an entire days worth of music that I hadn’t planned on seeing, but I will enjoy every minute of it. The best part of a music festival, you really can’t make a bad decision. The only bad decision is not going, or going with the wrong people.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself for the readers?
If you come to Chicago for a fest, let me know…. I’d love to show you around!
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