This summer will mark the debut of Identity, the first-ever touring electronic only music festival that will visit major outdoor amphitheaters throughout North America in August and September.
Approximately 20 shows are on tap for the traveling extravaganza with top-tier artists performing on multiple stages starting in the afternoon and into the night. Specific markets and shows will be announced in May with the artists performing at each date to be unveiled soon.
The line-up for Identity -- which is set to further galvanize the electronic music explosion -- is highlighted by cutting-edge artists including Kaskade, Pretty Lights, Rusko, Avicii, Steve Aoki, Disco Biscuits, DJ Shadow, Skrillex, Pete Tong, Chuckie, Booka Shade, Modeselektor, the Crystal Method, Nero and many more. I sat down with Joel Zimmerman -- Head of Electronic Music, WME -- to get the inside scoop...
We love the idea of a transient music event -- how did you first conceptualize a touring festival?
The idea had been in the back of our minds of doing a festival series with scale that could make impact nationwide similar to how Lollapalooza made impact during the summer in the '90's when it was a traveling festival. We knew the time was now, due to recent live event and touring successes, break through artists into the mainstream, and seeing an alarming amount of parallels with electronic music today to what alt rock was in the '90's. There isn't a summer festival series in the U.S. or North America for that matter that penetrates the market place deep, and is at a price point that kids that mow lawns and lifeguard can afford.
To put it mildly, Electronic Dance Music is trending in the United States right now. Is this your answer to the demand?
This is one of our answers to the demand. The idea is to create as many touch points for the genre as possible, and to educate the general public, create new fans, imbed this music form in the culture and for local communities to embrace the positivity around the music the youth and the fans. The challenge is to do all of the above, and still remain authentic and real, which is a balancing act.
In an effort to connect fans to the growing popularity of the artists' music, Identity will be partnering with Beatport. Tell us a bit about your partnership ...
Beatport have been friends of ours for many years and it is a strategic partnership with them as they launch their new version of the site. We can direct fans to artist content and open them up to a whole new world while Beatport gains more possible customers, and Identity can provide unique opportunities via Beatport and also gets some additional outreach to the DJ community through Beatports platform.
How did you determine the Identity schedule and venues?
We picked a mixture of vibrant markets for electronic music, and some markets that have the capability of becoming great. With this festival the goal is to enable some of these emerging markets into stable scenes for the future. We will announce the locations on May 12.