Kind of drifting off, seeing a Dutch producer we hold in high regard getting a premiere on Annie Mac a few weeks ago (yes, just catching up on some older stuff).
There’s a certain sense of pride within the Netherlands for it being one of the main countries in the world to export a lot of electronic dance music. It’s something that passes different Dutch news channels at least once every year when a new study pops up, calculating export values of what’s called the Dutch Dance Industry. Usually these reports are conducted through Dutch bank ING. And usually these messages pop up just before large events such as Amsterdam Dance Event and ING-partnered festival Flying Dutch – in which case the last few lines of a press release will likely mention a link where tickets are sold.
Just a bit of fun strategic planning on ING’s behalf. The numbers themselves look plausible as yes, there are quite a lot of EDM-related Dutch companies doing business abroad. However, looking at Dutch bookings for international festivals – especially the US – the demand for (mainstream) Dutch dj’s seems to be in decline. Over the past three years festivals such as Ultra and Coachella are steadily inviting less Dutch dj’s, while events such as Bonnaroo and Holy Ship seem to have zero Dutch dj’s lined up.
Also it’s not fair to make up conclusions based on just the following, but some big Dutch festival cancellations have left fans with unusual cancellation reasons – ING-partnered Flying Dutch being one example when one out of ten headliners (Avicii) did not seem trustworthy enough while nine other headliners (including Angello, Axwell, Ingrosso, Dada Life and more) were all confirmed to perform. Which led to speculation on social media about the most likely reason to cancel – simply not selling enough tickets – which might not be something an organization would want to communicate to potential future customers. Still, just speculation.
It’s not uncommon for larger industries to have a harder time adjusting to shifting markets which might be the case for some Dutch EDM-focused dance companies that cater to a genre that seems to be in decline. This is where some truly great Dutch artists such as Jarreau Vandal stand out. Vandal is one of a younger breed of Dutch artists who have had some success in the Netherlands, yet their impact on an international level is just much bigger. Artists such as Jarreau Vandal are defining how music in the coming years will sound. Yet, Dutch industry doesn’t seem to be investing as much in artists such as Vandal as some labels abroad. Which causes talent to move away, while sales for existing concepts stagnate.
Financial strength of Dutch dance for a large part resides with bigger mainstream companies. Sticking to standardized musical concepts over the years without investing in different kinds of talent – not just young talent that fits with existing concepts, but rather actual fresh blood that creates its own original music experience – doesn’t serve their health in the long run. Is someone worrying about how those ING-calculated numbers will look a few years from now?
While you do, enjoy this surprising Jarreau Vandal collaboration with Mr. Carmack.