DVS1 speaks out about the damaging effect of festivals on club culture

"Maybe I need to stop playing festivals, to be really honest"


Words by: Felicity Martin

DVS1 has spoken about the devastating effect of festivals on club culture, in a new interview with Amsterdam-based educational platform School of House.

The iconic techno DJ, real name Zak Khutoretsky, talks about the changes he’s seen in the electronic music industry since he’s been involved in it, particularly in the realm of live events.

“Maybe I need to stop playing festivals, to be really honest,” he said, while admitting “it’s really difficult because it is such a big part of this scene, industry.”

Discussing the growth of these events which now take place continually throughout the year and the resulting effect on independent clubs and promoters who struggle to compete with festival booking fees, he also mentions the effect this is having on the art itself.

“Festivals do not bring out the best in artists… These big, commercial-style, 10-15-20,000 person festivals, that’s what I think is destroying the culture.”

He continues: “The DJs are becoming used to playing 90-minute sets on these stages to short attention span audiences, which is then taking them out of the environment of being artists. Because when you have 90 minutes to play on a big stage to a bunch of kids who are not willing to sit trough your left and right turns, you play in the middle – the bangers – and that’s all you do, because otherwise you’re gonna lose everyone.”

Among other topics, the Russia-born, US-raised selector spoke about sound design and how the sound should be the “biggest star of the show as much as the other DJs,” as well as how the DJ should be out of sight – or at least, not the focus.

Watch the whole thing below.

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