Electronic Dance Music has been on the rise, both in the US and St. Louis in particular. At the end of last year, we talked to promoter Amin Mohabbat about St. Louis status as a hub for EDM in this part of the country. This weekend, Mohabbat and his Brown & White Productions outfit are bringing this city its first electronic music festival. The Pulse Festival, which starts tomorrow, features two dozen DJs and producers both local and national (and international) on three stages at the Old Rock House. We talked with Mohabbat via email about his expectations and why he decided the time was right for an EDM festival in St. Louis.
Kiernan Maletsky: What makes this festival unique, among St. Louis music festivals and among EDM events here in town?
Amin Mohabbat: Essentially, we saw a growing need for an EDM festival in St. Louis. Over the past year, attendance at our events has grown dramatically and most of them have sold out. Pulse is the only festival in St.Louis that caters to the electronic dance genre. Our goal with Pulse to create a real experience for our guests by combining the best in production, sound, lights and special effects we can offer. Our hope is to grow the festival into an annual event the whole city looks forward to.
Where is EDM in St. Louis now as compared with five or ten years ago?
The EDM scene has grown tremendously. I would have never thought five years ago that we could sell out venues like the Pageant. Now we are looking at larger and larger spaces -- we are right there with the largest cities in the US, and a lot the acts and DJs request to play in St. Louis now.
How does St. Louis compare with other cities in terms of EDM, both in local talent and local fan base?
St. Louis has a pretty closely knit scene. Over the years, I've seen a lot of examples of camaraderie, showmanship and promoters working together on special projects.
Who are some of the acts you are especially excited about?
Personally, I'm really excited to have Above & Beyond on the bill. They've sold out Europe Nightclub both times we've booked them, and it's time to have them on a larger stage with their production in place. The emotions their music evokes and to have them playing under the stars outside in St. Louis will be very exciting. Alvin Risk, who is currently on tour with Kaskade, is a rising star who will be performing on the bass stage. Finally, Morgan Page is another act who plays great sets and produces excellent records. Morgan also sold out the show the last time he was in town. All in all, I think there will be someone on the line up who everyone can enjoy; that was our goal.