State of Play: Dance music report

Dance music has come a long way…

Our beloved genre is now at the forefront of the music industry. It has cemented its presence at the top of the charts, kicked open the doors of America, India and Asia and placed itself firmly on the global stage.

With over 10 million people in the UK and upwards of 15 million in Spain having attended at least one dance music event in the last three years, this State of Play report brings into sharp focus the vast audiences that dance music is capable of commanding.  A 29% rise in interest in electronic music events amongst those who frequent mainstream festivals highlights the continuing draw of new converts to a scene that puts ‘the experience’ on a par with the music. With a heightened desire among fans for the togetherness, the atmosphere and the sense of escapism that makes a dance event so unique, it is no wonder UK festival attendance has risen by some 500% over the last 15 years.


There are those that cite the EDM boom as the era of dance music, an unsustainable bubble that may burst at any given moment.  Dance music is bigger, broader and bolder than a single acronym. Founded on the tireless work and creativity of hardened club DJs, promoters, managers and producers the world over, dance music continues to go from strength to strength. This is actively reinforced in this report, with fan attendance set to rise again next year and with 80% planning to visit a dance gig in the UK and 70% set to flock to sun kissed beach venues in Spain.

Dance music is no longer simply the underground sound of the few; it is a global movement, one that has levelled the musical playing field, enabling the humble bedroom DJ to find an avid audience, thanks to the rise of advanced music technology and social marketing.

Dance music is a genre that is constantly pushing back the boundaries that define it, and it is this perpetual sense of momentum, a sense of never standing still, of always striving to find the next big sound, that will continue to draw audiences to the clubs, fields and beaches for years to come.

Yes, dance music has come a long way and I have a feeling that the best is still to come.

by Mark Lawrence, Chief Executive of AFEM: Association for Electronic Music


After spending 10 years in senior roles at PRS for Music (UK), Mark moved on to combine his passion for Electronic Music with his experience in Membership Organisations by taking on the privileged role as the first Chief Executive of the Association for Electronic Music. AFEM is the global Trade Body for the entire Electronic Music community, from Creators to Labels, Clubs to Live, Tech to Media.

The State of Play: Dance report (PDF) is available to download here.