A little over a year ago, sophomore Will Marshall attended his first EDM show at Soundgarden Hall. Since that faithful night, Marshall said that EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, has taken over his life.
Marshall decided to learn aspects of the business by becoming a promoter for Soundgarden. The position allowed Marshall to witness dozens of DJs perform. But, after experiencing difficulties on the business side of the music industry, Marshall set out to make a change. He set on trying to redefine EDM through his organization called The Movement.
“I knew I was going to do something different,” Marshall said. “I knew I would still impact [EDM] just as much, but in a different way.”
The Movement’s purpose is to “separate the EDM scene from the club scene. It is to remove the stigma that just because you are going to an EDM event, there will be people behaving inappropriately.”
Marshall said he wants to create an oasis for people with similar interests to come and share the music that they all love.
The Movement’s staff consists of mostly Temple students who help out with creative design and finances. Marshall also has a team of four who help promote the events. But most of the groundwork comes from Marshall who finds and books venues, as well as sets up artists who will perform.
“They help me out because they support my ideas,” Marshall said. “They like the direction that I’m going in.”
Freshman Michelle Smith works alongside Marshall as the head of creative design. Her current project is constructing six giant, light-up mushrooms to go on display with the shows. She said she has a deep sense of respect for Marshall.
“[Marshall] is very nice to work with,” Smith said. “He cares so much about The Movement that when he says he’s going to do something, it will get done.”
With two shows already under his belt at the Silver Star Private Lounge and the Let Out, and another show on March 15 at the Let Out, Marshall said running The Movement’s events has been a learning experience.
Perseverance is one of key traits of The Movement’s success, utilizing the skill in the wall-to-wall crowds that usually EDM shows tend to attract. In one instance, one of the audience members went up on stage during a DJ’s set and unplugged all the sound equipment. The 60-person audience froze and waited patiently for the music to return, which it did.
Marshall said that the support from followers of The Movement has been “unbelievable” and “really special.” In the near future, Marshall said he plans to build a reputation in the underground scene of EDM and make it known that The Movement holds high standards to what EDM should be like.
“He wants to make it classier,” Smith said. “The way it’s executed is important.”
Marshall has already made connections with DJs Space Jesus who had opened for Zomboy and Synchronice, but hopes that one day The Movement will be so highly reputable that it will be able to book professional artists.
“My goal for the Movement is to create a bond between the people going to the shows and the people throwing the shows,” Marshall said. “I think that there is a disconnect and people throw their money into these venues because they’re looking for a good time and to go out for the night. It doesn’t feel very homey. I’m trying to create what Grateful Dead and Bassnector have had and get people to really commit themselves to a cause on a regional level.”
Holli Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.