Learn more about EDM Identity Contributor Dan DeCamello as he highlights his favorite festival moments, his intro to the scene, and more!
What was your first electronic music event?
I can’t remember what my first individual show was, so I’ll give you my first music festival: Ultra 2013. It was a pretty overwhelming first festival, but I wouldn’t change a thing if I could do it all over again. To this day that was probably the biggest production I’ve ever seen, and sets like Bassnectar’s and Kygo’s are forever burned into my memory.
What/who influenced you to attend your first event?
I wouldn’t say anyone in particular influenced me to go to Ultra; I had been wanting to go to a festival for a while at that point. My friends from high school and I had been jamming to house and dubstep for a few years, and we went to small shows at Webster Hall whenever we could. So I was just waiting to have the time and money for a festival, and that happened during spring break 2013.
I did have one friend who helped steer my Ultra experience in the right direction, though. He pulled me away from the main stage to see some cool up-and-comers at the Live and UMF stages and made sure I saw Bassnectar, which I’m forever grateful for. That Bassnectar set was probably the single most transformational experience in my time as a raver. Thanks Rob!
What is one moment from an event that was special and why?
Aside from the aforementioned Bassnectar set, I’d say that my first time seeing Esseks in the Webster Hall basement was one of the most special performances for me. I was starting to listen to heavier dubstep at that point, but I was still primarily focused on tunes with poppy melodies. That night Esseks showed me that deep, dark bass music could give me more chest-pounding drops than any genre I’d heard before, while still satisfying my need for melody. I was addicted a few minutes into his set.
What is your favorite festival or event?
Camp Bisco, but this is a tricky one. People who also love Bisco will understand that it’s a love-hate relationship with this festival. It’s definitely not the most well-organized festival on the East Coast. It consistently takes members of my group 10+ hours to get into the grounds, the staff rarely has any idea what’s going on or where water is, and there are larger hordes of professional pickpockets every year. There has also literally never been a Camp Bisco where it didn’t rain.
With all that said, they are noticeably improving every year. And part of the reason I love Bisco so much is that it’s such a free-for-all. Once you make it in, everyone lets loose and goes absolutely crazy, more so than any other festival I’ve experienced in the east. It’s not an event for the faint of heart, so you tend to meet more experienced festival goers who are really loving and free-spirited. The venue has also had a water park for the last few years, which is the single best festival amenity I’ve ever experienced. And then there’s the lineups… they get better every year, and 2018 was probably my favorite lineup of all time.
What is your favorite electronic song and why?
“6AM” by Of The Trees. This song speaks to me on such a deep level that I’ve listened to it more than almost any song in my library, and I’ve never once gotten tired of it. It’s the best example I can produce of a song that has an overwhelmingly beautiful melody but is also so heavy that it pulls at my heartstrings and drowns me in bass. I usually pick genres depending on my mood, but I love this song so much I can listen to it any time, anywhere. And I do.
Who are your favorite artists?
- Of The Trees
- G Jones
- Space Jesus
What are your favorite genres?
- Bass Music – for all those genre-bending artists that don’t fall into a group, those are my favorites 🙂
- Drum & Bass
- Indie Dance
What do you feel your “Identity” is in the electronic music community?
I like to think of myself as an empathetic upstander in the community. Not that it happens frequently, but if I ever see someone being mistreated or pushed around at an event, I do my best to help them out. At 6’4” I’m usually the tallest person around me, so I’m frequently turning around and letting the shorties stand in front of me. And I do my best to take care of my friends, who are invariably less prepared and relying on my giant Camelbak for water.
Outside of shows, I love connecting different groups of friends with each other to create a more close-knit community. And probably my favorite moments are when I slowly learn someone’s music taste and realize I have an artist they haven’t heard of yet, who I know they’re going to love.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself for the readers?
I just moved from NYC to LA to pursue a career in music tech, and I’m really excited to see how this space is going to transform the music industry over the coming years. I think music discovery algorithms, rights management software, and mixing automation are all going to have a huge impact, and there’s still so much I don’t know anything about. If any of you are working on music tech projects, or are just interested like me, hit me up! I’m always looking to make new friends. Peace!
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