Austin calling. © J.T. Fales
When I started The EDMist blog almost a year ago, I set out to cover the national dance music scene with a specific focus on the San Francisco community. The Bay Area EDM scene is one of the most vibrant in the country, and has an outsize national influence (SF only ranks 13th in the nation by population at 800,000 people but is one of the top tastemakers and creative centers for dance music today). I felt privileged to be a part of it and I wanted to create something that invited others to share in the special, diverse, welcoming vibe of that community while discovering new music, artists, and subgenres that reflect exciting new developments across the country.
Last month, I moved to Austin, TX. As the sole contributor to The EDMist, that means that the site’s focus will move with me. From now on, I will no longer be covering shows and gatherings in San Francisco, and will instead focus on the community and scene here in Austin.
Austin has a lot to offer. It can be described in very similar terms to San Francisco: It is a youngish, smallish city (founded 1835; population 900,000). As a progressive stronghold, it fiercely embraces its diversity and uniqueness. It is a booming tech hub with a young, tech-oriented, and increasingly wealthy population (earning it the nickname “Silicon Hills”). And it has a rich musical history with a staggering number of music venues.
The Austin Boardwalk. © J.T. Fales
Yet it offers many contrasts with San Francisco too. After just a month here, it’s clear to me that the EDM scene is not as expansive or developed as it is in SF. There are only a couple of venues that consistently book EDM acts. And Austin’s disposition towards live music (it is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”) means that electronic music is more of a niche here and less of a movement.
I see these realities less as a sign of a weak scene than as an indication of the potential for explosive growth. People are pouring into Austin for the jobs and prime real estate available here, and with that influx of people is likely to come a horde of electronic music fans from cities all around the country (and beyond!). I want The EDMist to be a resource for them and a tool for helping bring together and expand the EDM community here.
All of that being said, I won’t be abandoning SF completely. Because I think the scene in San Francisco is so special and worth paying attention to (and because so much of my network is there!) I will definitely be more aware of what’s happening in SF and it will likely still play a large role in this new chapter of The EDMist blog and podcast. I just won’t be able to cover it from a first-person perspective.
Going forward, you can expect reviews of shows, events, and festivals in and around Austin (notably, South by Southwest and Austin City Limits) – starting this week! And as I have for the last year, I will continue to post music reviews, recommendations, and other stories that are not specific to Austin or any other city. The EDMist is aimed at a broad audience and I hope you can enjoy what I post here no matter where you live.
Thanks for reading the blog and for sticking with me on my journey. Be sure to follow me on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the most recent updates and recommendations from the blog and podcast.
Goodbye, San Francisco. © J.T. Fales