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By Noah Hubbell
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As a result, this year's three-day lineup format, which was introduced last year to meet the demands of the ever-growing spectrum of electronic music, is slightly different. Whereas last year's opening day featured Empire of the Sun, Kid Cudi and Big Gigantic, GDF will not be straying quite as far this time around. This year, the main stage — which has seen Deadmau5, Skrillex, Kaskade and Pendulum previously — will feature Steve Angello, Excision and Above and Beyond, as well as locals Project Aspect, Human Agency, Ishe and Dirtmonkey, a roster that represents Hau's attempt to introduce similar styles to like-minded dance music fans. Always ahead of the curve, Hau and the Global Dance Music brand introduced Global Dub Festival earlier this year, and they're dedicating the final day of this year's three-day event to the bass-music craze.
But it's not just the lineup that Hau and company have taken greater care with this year; they've also paid close attention to the visual aspect of the production. Along with the staging — the strobes, LED panels and occasional special headliner setup — organizers have enlisted a team of entertainers led by renowned go-go dancer Ms. Easy that has been charged with the job of crowd engagement. "What we are bringing to the show," she says, "is an aesthetic element that DJs just don't have."
Ms. Easy, who has attended and danced at Global since 2004, is bringing more than thirty go-go dancers to work for the duration of the event. "There is this sound — this vibe — coming to every show," she observes, "and so promoters want to step up the visuals with LED panels, lasers, and strobes, but they are also stepping it up with people like us."
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Now's the perfect time to step it up. Global is the biggest dance event of the year — smack dab in the middle of a summer concert season dominated by EDM — and its popularity is reflective of the current takeover of dance music on the airwaves. The means to that end have been building for nearly two decades, cresting with a wave of fresh talent that's surging on the currents of early pioneers and purveyors of the genre, such as Above and Beyond, Paul Oakenfold and DJ Tiësto.
Across the globe, dance music is finally mainstream — and nobody is probably more surprised by this fact than Hau, who concludes, "I never thought in a million years this is what I would be doing."