UMass Electronic Dance Music Community brings dance party to the Valley
Sometimes it is best just to dance. That, at least, is the philosophy of the University of Massachusetts Electronic Dance Music Community (EDMC), which formed several years ago to let electronica lovers across the area groove to their hearts,’ and the music’s, thumping beats.
According to founding member and co-leader of the Community Adam Liderman, the group began “as a collection of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) lovers in the area,” but evolved over time to fill what the group’s members felt was a void in the Pioneer Valley’s electronic dance scene.
“UMass EDMC’s purpose quickly evolved into filling what at the time was, and still is to a certain extent, a gap in the Five College music scene,” Liderman said by e-mail. “Additionally,” he went on, “the group sought to arrange events that would allow those not of drinking age to attend.”
The Community is student-operated and includes members from all of the Five Colleges and other schools across the state. Liderman said that the group now boasts 620 groovy members.
As the dancers’ ranks swelled, the group’s leaders realized the time had come to move on from house parties featuring house music to a bigger venue.
“As the parties grew larger, the need for a legitimate venue rose,” said Liderman.
In April 2008, the party went legitimate, as the Community pulsed away at Diva’s in Northampton with its first major party at a club, conveniently labeled PULSE, which drew some 300 eager rock-and-rollers.
After PULSE’s raging success, the group has gained more and more clout, since throwing 10 more parties at Diva’s in what has now turned into a monthly Five College event. The group continues to throw house parties in the area, as well.
Liderman elaborated that he and other members of the group now work to promote their parties, which he believes accounts for the increase in involvement.
PULSE is now the Community’s smallest bash, still drawing about 300, while the group’s largest soiree, RISE, has risen in status to include 700 attendees.
UMass EDMC’s events are strictly 18-plus and have attracted sponsorship from a variety of pro-dance organizations such as Roxy Styles Lingerie, Rockstar energy drinks, Red Bull and CampusLIVE.com.
Liderman said that the Community is not only a body for planning dance parties, but is also something of a social network for sharing information between would-be partiers.
“The UMass EDMC group operates as both an event planning body as well as a board where members inform others of upcoming parties and music,” he said.
The group says it does not work to promote third-parties’ interests but instead is strictly an organization for planning epic dance gatherings. The body’s Facebook page speaks to that effect, printing in its mission statement that “there are no upcoming DJs or amateur record labels trying to push their product here; this group is solely an attempt to organize all of those who love Electronic Dance Music (EDM) in the Five College area.”
The group also stresses that it hopes to create a lively community of electronica-enjoyers centered on just that: a common love of techno, rather than social status or trendiness.
“We want to create an online community,” according to the group’s online mission statement, “don”t add this group like a notch on your belt of humorous or fashionable groups.”
“We are trying establish a real community in which people can find others who love the same music you do, we want members to spark up conversations, exchange pictures from past parties or events, perhaps even get some people together to meet up at an upcoming show,” the statement goes on.
Lastly, the Community hopes to function as a central portal for those in on the Five College area’s electronic element.
“As you all know, the dry nightlife situation at UMass could use a group to put on some proper events,” the mission statement continues, “we want to create a place where all lovers of EDM can come to and call home, be they incoming freshman looking to connect or past graduates looking to stay in the loop.”
One might have been able to blink and miss any of the group’s parties thus far, but probably not the next event they will put on – titled BLINK, and set for Dec. 4 at Diva’s.
Sam Butterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.