When the King of Trance, Armin van Burren, announced that to celebrate his 600th episode of his radio show A State of Trance he was creating a global tour, the Trance World rejoiced. The Trance Families in different regions banded together and began to mobilize to convince Armin that one of the shows should be in their region. It really was amazing to see how many people care about Trance and hear them talk about how much it would mean to them to have get such an opportunity. I still think this was an ingenious plan by Armin, because he said from the very beginning it would depend on the fans to see where he would go, and it required fans to organize and communicate to reach their goal. It is the best example of using social media as a means of free publicity that many music fans have ever seen.
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Being from New Jersey, I saw what the Trance family in the New York area was doing and was absolutely praying that Armin would come to New York City. When he did, it was a celebration. People were so excited to put New York City on the global map for Trance music.
Now, as tickets went for sale yesterday morning and sold out within minutes, there has been extreme backlash both against the organizers of the show, Made Event, and Armin himself. There has been such a shift in emotions regarding this show and there are numerous reasons for this. However, I think that some fans needs to do is realize what they’re mad over and know that this a classic case of “Be Careful What You Wish For”. In reality, we should be still taking in this opportunity as something worthwhile and really exciting.
What all of the issues really come back to is one major problem; the fact that many devoted Trance fans are so upset at how mainstream this concert is seeming. I feel like Trance Family is extremely passionate about the music and love to turn people onto Trance, but they don’t want it to be treated the same as House or Dubstep has become in America society.
I really enjoy Trance and the lifestyle the Trance Family provides. As I have written about in a previous article, the United States Trance Movement is amazing because of how it is just about exposing people to this great genre of music and how it is really founded on peace and love. I want to make sure that people do not lose sight of that overall goal. Here’s a look at some of the issues and why Trance Fans should not fret.
The Official Lineup for The Expedition Tour in New York City
The Problem: There are many people who do not like the lineup that New York got compared to the possibilities (the lineup for some shows still has not been announced). The lineup for the New York show is Armin Van Burren, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten, W&W, and Alex M.O.R.P.H. This left a lot to be desired for some, asking for acts like Cosmic Gate, Aly & Fila, and John O’Callahan, amazing Trance artists who have signed on to do shows at some of the other locations. Also, many are not too happy with W&W because he has been producing more “trouse” tracks than just pure Trance recently.
The Bright Side: I completely agree that there could be better artists playing in NYC, but there a few things the New York Trance family should keep in mind. One is that although no one would argue that the voting done for the 2012 DJ Mag Top 100 was a perfect science, based on that list 4 of the 5 acts (Armin, Schulz, Corsten, and W&W) are in the top 25. It’s not like Armin got local DJ’s or complete no names to play with him; these are big acts. I’m sure Armin had his list of artists to bring on for this event, knew these were big names, and figured that is what the people wanted. This is a scenario where people were gonna be upset that their personal favorite artist wasn’t chosen no matter what. There are people that are devastated John O’Callahan isn’t playing, but then again there are people who are ecstatic that W&W will be there and would be crushed if they weren’t. I think the Trance Family should be excited for this event. For most, getting Armin and Schulz in the same building is a miracle of epic proportions.
Another major reason for the subpar lineup is a bitter pill to swallow for most people in the Tri-State Area (including myself). We all picture New York City as this Mecca for the music world with almost all of the big names in all genres of music making a note to go there on their tours. Here’s the part it took me awhile to accept: New York City is not the center of the Trance World. It is for a lot of other genres of music, but not Trance, at least not yet. This is just another thing many Trance fans need to realize; there are places around the world where Trance is absolutely massive. I still find myself baffled by talking to people in America who know absolutely nothing about the Trance scene but worship any track David Guetta touches. The general public in America doesn’t care about Trance the way they do in other parts of the world, and the lineups reflect that.
I still think New York can really become a hub for Trance in the future, starting with this show. Sure many are upset about it now, but think about what this can do for Trance in America if this show is a big success. Who knows, maybe for ASOT 700 it will be all the big names wanted to play in New York.
The Problem: Some Trance fans are upset because they wanted this to be an underground event just for the Trance diehards, and instead is going to be in Madison Square Garden, one of the most famous arenas in the world. This show going to be advertised in bright lights outside of Penn Station and promoted excessively throughout the area.
The Bright Side: In my probably biased opinion, I think Madison Square Garden is the greatest arena on planet Earth. Think of all the history there. The Knicks and the Rangers have been there for decades and it has been home to some iconic sports moments.
For music, it is where artists strive to be. When bands know they are able to play MSG, they know they have really made it. Most artists save their absolute best performances for New York City. Armin van Burren has chosen New York City as one of only a dozen cities around the world to host his Expedition Tour, so why not do it in the biggest and best arena possible.
Swedish House Mafia playing at MSG in 2012.
Also, there is really only one other case in recent memory where a major EDM show was at Madison Square Garden. That was Swedish House Mafia, back in December of last year. Many people had similar thoughts about the venue when it first got announced (even though SHM is a little more mainstream already then most Trance). What ended up happening was what many call one of the most amazing shows Swedish House Mafia has ever put on. They even decided to already play again there March 1st of this year. Who knows, maybe Armin falls in love with the energy in that arena and decides to do a solo show there in the not too distant future.
The Problem: This is something people dread to see at shows. Everyone hates the middle-school aged girl with braces who can’t handle her liquor or illegal drugs that is just ruining the good vibes. This opens it up to people who are just looking to go to the next big thing and party and be “cool” when to Trance fans it is so much more than that. This is a shared experience that might get hindered by some people who don’t even care about the genre.
The Bright Side: Actually, this is the negative people are going off about that I agree with the most and the one major thing I can’t find a bright spot in. I mean I am not sure how many diehard Trance fans under the age of 18 there are, and if the actually did care so much, they would find a way to go. I feel like making the show 18+ could have only helped the public perception of the show.
The Problem: This is something that is always a problem with major shows like this, regardless of genre. When you put a bunch of big names together in a big venue, the price is going to be high, and companies like Made Event are going to get the brunt of the blame for all the outrageous fees and ridiculously high prices. Most people don’t have 150 dollars to blow for a 5 hour experience (to be exact, it was 144 dollars for floor seats).
The Bright Side: I wouldn’t call this a ‘bright side’ per say but it still important to note. This is not unique to just this specific show. At this point, basically any major show is going to be very expensive. Armin van Burren is the number one DJ IN THE WORLD, he’s going to demand a high price. I agree that it might be too high, but I guarantee they will be just as high wherever you go because it takes a lot of money to bring so many powerhouse acts on one stage, regardless of genre. I would gladly pay 150 to get seats, just not an extra 1,000 dollars to fly roundtrip back home for the event (and even that was a thought that crossed my mind at one point)
The flag that is very visible at most Trance Shows, signed by some of the best artists in Trance
The main point I am trying to make is that there should not be so much animosity surrounding this show. The major problem with such a global phenomena is that people were going to be upset no matter what. There are people out there who would have been mad if it was at a small venue and not giving Trance the credit and respect that comes with being at MSG. There are people who would have been mad if the price was 120 dollars, or 100, or 80. The first rule of planning an event this large is to know you are not going to please everyone.
What I think everyone should do is take a deep breath, relax, and just accept what we cannot change. Instead, the New York Trance family should get excited because you are about to see a show that many of us only dreamed of. This will be an opportunity for people to finally see Armin van Burren, to be at a show that is going to be broadcasted around the globe, to show the passion and the love New Yorkers have for Trance.
When it is all said and done, I truly believe it will be what many people dreamed of and more.