DJ dominance: Electronic music on the rise in Lake Tahoe Basin
So you’ve gone to SnowGlobe and Bass Camp Festival, but do you really know the Lake Tahoe electronic music scene? Similar to the current trend that’s sweeping the nation, bass and house music in the Basin is on the rise — and growing quickly.
“The scene has gotten so much bigger and become more, for lack of a better word, mainstream. I feel like a lot more people are drawn to it, and it’s become more approachable. Things like SnowGlobe are happening all over the place now,” said Ryan Kandell, founder of production and promotion company Mindful Massive.
He launched the organization in 2010, and held weekly electronic music gigs at South Shore’s Whiskey Dick’s Saloon for a few years before expanding to the North Shore.
“It started with five people every week, and when we ended we had over 200. It became a community of friends and people who enjoy each other’s company as much as they enjoy the music,” Kandell said.
He’s not alone in recognizing the close relationship between fans of bass music. Nick Rogers, marketing director at The Loft in South Lake Tahoe, attributes much of the scene’s growth to the teamwork of producers found throughout the Basin.
“It’s growing because all of us in it, we’re all coming together to make what was great, great again,” Rogers said.
The Loft, which opened approximately one year ago, hosts underground house music multiple times each week. DJ/producer combo Moon Boots headlines the venue’s next gig on Friday, Dec. 9.
“Here we’re booking names that no one else books. No one’s doing house music like we’re doing,” Rogers stated.
But it has taken a few years for the scene to get where it is today. Paul Reder, Bass Camp promoter and founder of PR Entertainment, formerly worked at Caesars Entertainment as the VP of entertainment procedures in the mid-‘90s.
“Caesars is a conservative company. They didn’t think outside the box when it came to entertainment. The snowboarding scene, and culture, was getting younger and younger, and they needed fresh talent to bring the market outside the lines of the normal entertainment strategy,” Reder explained.
Following his stint at Caesars, Reder began his own company and transitioned to working at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, where he was in charge of entertainment and booking electronic, cosmic disco artist Kaskade for $1500.
“Let me give you an example of where he is now: his last tour sold out Staples Center — which has about 20,000 seats — twice. I couldn’t touch him now. He’s paid a million dollars a show and flies in jet airplanes.
“I did a show with Kaskade in Reno and only 300 people showed up. This was in 2006 or 2007. It shows how much the culture has grown,” Reder said.
The electronic music trend reminds Reder of genres in years past.
“It’s becoming such a recognized category of music, similar to what rock ‘n’ roll was back in the ‘50s — the same kind of stigma. Parents didn’t like their kids listening to rock ‘n’ roll because they thought it was going to make them pregnant.
“These artists are being more recognized than just a body behind a DJ booth pressing a button. Kids are going out because they’re creating and producing and writing. They’re seeing the guys responsible for creating these great tracks that are inspiring and touching these kids. People roll out because they’re inspired,” Reder said.
Experience the growth of bass and house music around the lake at The Loft on South Shore, Wormhole on North Shore and check out Mindful Massive and Fresh Bakin’ gigs — be sure to stay tuned for SnowGlobe and Base Camp Festival, too.