Tommie Sunshine: “In America, everything has gone corporate”
One year ago, when US scene champion Tommie Sunshine assumed his annual role as moderator on a host of panels at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), Dutch events company ID&T announced it had been acquired by powerhouse SFX Entertainment, with ID&T CEO/founder Duncan Stutterheim confirming, “I now work for SFX.”
When Sunshine returned to ADE last month, he spoke about the ongoing buyout battle between SFX and top competitor Live Nation, whose combined acquisitions in the US and throughout the world have resulted in what he terms a “duopoly, where two entities are running the show.”
“That’s American dance music right now,” Sunshine told inthemix. “On one side, you have Live Nation, who own HARD and Insomniac, and then on the other it’s everything else. SFX literally have control of everything else, from Tomorrowland to Beatport, and all these ticketing companies, too. These two companies are in charge of so much that it’s definitely a hot-button issue. Problematic? How could it not be? There’s no diversity.”
Sunshine is far from one of the more divisive voices in the ‘EDM vs. The Underground’ debate, having penned a guest editorial for inthemix last year, Why the EDM haters have got it all wrong.
But his ADE address did encourage reflection on America’s great EDM gold rush. “In America, everything has gone corporate. Everything is on the Stock Exchange, trading for money. Who would have ever thought that [of] this thing that we did in warehouses, which until recently was illegal; [or] that we’d eventually see Afrojack ringing the bell on the Stock Exchange?
“It’s ridiculous. It’s awesome, but it’s mental. It’s all backroom stuff, though. The kids don’t give a shit about any of that. The kids are just about going out, getting fucked up and having fun.” [Article photo by Willeke Machiels via ADE’s Facebook]