First of all… really?
On October 24, a survey was released to the public to vote on which artists they’d like to see perform at Lost Lands 2018. I opened the survey and was relieved to see plenty of names who fell on the 2017 lineup: 12th Planet, Kill The Noise, Downlink, Ganja White Night, and many more. I quickly checked the box next to Adventure Club and Dirtyphonics, rolled my eyes at Skrillex (and yet, he still deserves a place on the list), hovered over selecting Nero for a bit (I didn’t… sorry), and scoffed at Nectar. I’m one of those people who doesn’t ride for Bassnectar, partially because his fanbase stans so hard it’s actually scary, but the guy has talent and I’ll vibe to his Nina Simone remix from time to time. He’s just, you know… no Excision.
Despite how quickly I scrolled through the list, my eyes were unlucky enough to happen to fall on a name that I hoped I would never see. Yes, I know it’s just a list of potential artists who could snag a place on the Prehistoric Paradox or Cave of Souls stages in 2018, but I was annoyed nonetheless. Why the hell was Flosstradamus on the list?
Before I say what I’m going to say, I want to state that there are many names in the wide world of EDM that I do not vibe with. I nearly projectile vomited when I saw the DJ Mag ‘Top 100 DJs’ list announced. With Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, and the Chainsmokers topping the list, I’ve never before felt angrier at the fact that big room EDM has officially become the face for EDM communities in general. Like I’ve said before—I’ve been to Ultra, and I’ve been to Lost Lands. Ultra is where people will body check you to get three steps closer to see Carnage in the flesh. I’m just saying.
On top of all that though, I want to say that I truly do not care who you listen to or what subgenre of EDM fits your fancy. Big room is also where a lot of people who are just getting into EDM find their footing. It’s catchy, it’s pop, it’s familiar enough that you’re not reaching completely outside your comfort zone to get into it. It often features artists we’ve seen before: the infinite collaborations with Calvin Harris and Rihanna, for example. I sure didn’t just start out breaking my neck to Dubloadz. If Marshmello existed back when I first started putting “PLUR” in my social media bios and Google searching how to make kandi, you definitely would’ve seen me ask my mom for money to buy a Mello head.
And I’m not saying me being a self-proclaimed basshead makes me more educated about EDM. Also not saying that my taste in EDM is better. Just wanted to clarify that so I don’t hurt any feelings.
BUT WHY WOULD FLOSSTRADAMUS BE CONSIDERED FOR A HEADBANGER FESTIVAL?!
Flosstradamus began in 2006 and used to be a trap duo made up of Curt Cameruci and Josh Young until 2016, when Young decided to continue his career solo and Cameruci kept the name for himself. If you’re not an EDM head, you may recognize the name ‘Flosstradamus’ from the Little 500 concert that took place in 2016. Little 500 has seemingly tried keeping to the theme of having an EDM artist headline (we’re not going to talk about Jeremih being scheduled for 2017’s concert. We’re just not.), probably because what more do drunk college students who try molly for the first time love more than raving away their sobriety?
It being my first Little 500, I went ahead and bought the ticket to attend. That was also back before you would’ve caught me casually listening to Midnight Tyrannosaurus; I was a young, dumb and broke college student who was itching to attend any EDM event regardless of who was playing. And honestly? It was fun. It really was. I’m not going to say that I didn’t enjoy myself. Given what the event was and who the crowd was, Floss was not a bad choice for the headliner.
Before and after that concert, I never listened to Flosstradamus on my own. I saw the tweets all over my timeline of girls in cropped tank tops with the hazard sign captioned ‘HDYNATION’ on the front, the infamous Flosstradamus logo. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ‘Prison Riot’ and ‘Mosh Pit’ at frat parties. Too many times. Waaaay too many.
And so begins: Reasons Why Flosstradamus Shouldn’t Come Within a 50 Mile Radius of Lost Lands
Reason #1: Flosstradamus has taken a top tier spot on my list of what I call ‘hype-up’ DJs, DJs who (by my standards) lack the structural talent and production skills and assembly that is used to create tracks that elicit feelings other than ‘hypeness.’ His music is pump-up music, and that’s all it will ever be.
Reason #2: I know, coming from someone who enjoys riding rail to earsplitting bass, Reason #1 may not seem like a sound argument. But even in the buildups before the bass drops, there’s substance. There’s emotion. It’s especially apparent in other EDM subgenres. Go listen to ‘Fellow Feeling’ by Porter Robinson, or ‘Intro/A Moment Apart’ by Odesza and tell me you don’t feel something. Even Illenium and Seven Lions, both of whom performed at Lost Lands despite not being strictly dubstep or riddim, were chockful of pure, heavy emotion. That being said, they still threw the hell down because they knew what festival they were playing at.
Reason #3: He’s. Not. Bass.
Trap and bass can make beautiful tracks. Trap alone is great. Bass alone is great. And if there’s a trap EDM festival, I would hate to see Cookie Monsta on that lineup. It’s a matter of selling what you’re marketing, and appealing directly to that select audience. It’s basic arts management. There are so many EDM festivals that showcase so many different subgenres, festivals where seeing Floss on the lineup would actually make some sort of sense.
Reason #4: When you start merging people of these different sub-communities, you get an entirely different vibe. Like I’ve said, the crowd at a Zedd show is going to be completely different from a crowd at a Dion Timmer show. I’ve witnessed firsthand this shift in crowd energy, and it’s not one that I want to see at Lost Lands 2018. Excision’s festival as of now is not for everyone, and that’s what’s so great about it. There was no one there who shouldn’t have been there.
So Excision: Now is not the time for diversity and inclusivity, now is the time to stick to what you promised, which is a festival catered to headbangers. We ask that you please put some deep thought and consideration into who you let on 2018’s lineup, and hope that everyone you invite to perform delivers nothing short of what we were lucky enough to receive in 2017.