Our man in the booth ponders what dance music culture might look like 20 years from now
What changes might we see in nightclubs and DJing, 20 years in the future? We looked into our crystal ball (meaning we stayed up and did a lot of MDMA until we could like, really see the future, yeah?) to predict what DJing and clubbing might look like in 20 years' time...
By 2036, many governments have risen and fallen, technology has advanced at a dizzying rate, and Sasha has nearly begun work on his third album. Electronic EDM Music continues to rise in popularity throughout the 2010s, with its breakdowns, riffs and shows becoming ever bigger and more pompous, until one day in spring 2019 it becomes so huge and over-inflated that it actually takes off to the Moon. Electronic EDM Music ends its life sitting in a dusty lunar crater by itself hoarsely shouting “Make some motherfucking noise, motherfuckers!” to a cold, uncaring universe.
Since 2016, multiple new genres of music have come and gone, including Dead Clown, Bendface, Pirate-Step, Glory Cheese, Nu-Glory Cheese, Distressed Artisan Musique and Gob. All the people who said that vinyl was coming back were right, but only once we worked out how to use old records as fuel.
3D hologram simulations of dead DJs are now the norm, and Frankie Knuckles can be found playing simultaneously at several different venues most weekends. Music is no longer ‘played’ through soundsystems, though (how quaint!); it is now piped directly into our head-mounted chips and downloaded onto our neurodrives. And it’s not really music anymore, it’s more a multi-sensory, multi-faceted cerebral experience. But rest assured, there's still someone hanging around the DJ booth who’s had a few drinks too many and is criticising the selections of Frankie Knuckles’ ghost.
Some clubs have gone even further, employing the likes of the controversial Pioneer Mixbot 4000, an all-in-one automated self-aware solution to your DJ needs. As ever, formats will still be an issue, with DJs favouring either the Mixbot 4000 or its more hip-hop oriented market rival, the Autonomous B.I.G. On the subject of non-human sentient beings, it turns out that Richie Hawtin was a robot all along.
Festivals in the UK have completely died out, as climate change means it hasn't stopped raining since 2027 - although it took us a few years to actually notice. Artists and DJs who used to make a living playing gigs to students and middle-aged couples in tents now make good money educating school children about the dangers of white dreadlocks and psy-trance.
Berghain, ever keen on keeping out the riff-raff, declared itself an independent state in 2020 and promptly performed its own Brexit, a Bergxit if you will, announcing that its borders were closed, and that they would build a wall and make the hipsters pay for it. What a time to be alive!
Words: Harold Heath Pic: Tessa Beeching