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Does Bottle Service Culture Have a Place in Dance Music?

As EDM continues to dominate the mainstream, we see it colliding with typical club culture – and that means VIP sections and bottle service. Without a doubt, this turns into a balls-to-the-wall money-spending extravaganza. Show tickets these days can be expensive enough on their own, and who doesn’t like to go crazy with costumes, kandi, and party favors…like hats! But is the bottle service/VIP treatment a bit much? Or, can you live it up while keepin’ it real?

Let’s break it down a bit. The VIP passes at shows no doubt provide a more comfortable setting to enjoy your raving experience. Bathrooms without a line, bars without a line, and water stations without a’s largely about not having to wait, isn’t it? But VIP passes also tend to offer a fair bit of swag, like event posters and free lanyards. And oftentimes the all so holy meet-and-greet where you talk to your DJ hero. It’s easy to see why anyone would want to shell out the dollars for a bit of pampering, and given that it’s their hard-earned cash, they have every right to. The question then isn’t whether or not it’s worth it, but whether or not it fits with the dance music culture.

The VIP section segregates. It’s intentional and it’s obvious. Event promoters want VIPs to feel special and they want those in General Admission (GA) to envy the VIPs. Just like Vegas, VIP drives big revenue. OK, not quite like Vegas, because that place has things like a $737,000 package that includes private jets, a personalized fireworks show, and a metric fuck-ton of champagne. That being so, Northwest favorite Mat Zo recently voiced his thoughts on the trend, and we have a hard time disagreeing.

We worry that VIP sections and bottle service may be choking out the roots of our beloved culture, which has long been based in equality and unity. And in case you’ve got VIP passes for an event coming up, like, oh say…Lucky…please know that we are in no way are we trying to make you feel bad for wanting to splurge and get the royal treatment. More to the point, it’s the culture something like a $10,000 table at a Vegas club promotes. Combine that with DJ booking fees rising to astronomical prices and you have a system poised to price out its fanbase sooner rather than later.

It’s probably clear by now, but we aren’t offering many answers here, but hopefully what we are doing is opening up the lines of communication. What do you think about VIP passes and bottle service in dance music?


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Written By

Josh fell in love with Trance at USC's Resolution 2012. It's all been downhill from there as the obsession has grown to a full time hobby in seeking out interesting music across the dance music spectrum and attending crazy parties across the globe.

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!