The Rise of EDM After 1970

Over the past 40 years, Electronic Dance Music has grown from its foreign roots into one of the most popular music genres and most electrifying social scenes in America. This timeline follows EDM through history on its path to greatness.


Kraftwerk Appear on Tomorrow's World

January 1, 1975

(Photo by Jake Setlak)
Kraftwerk, an influential electronic music band, appeared on Tomorrow's World in Germany to play Autobahn, their fourth album. They created the album in their studio, but then reprogrammed and recreated on stage.

Donna Summer's "I Feel Love"

July 2, 1977

Now considered a classic, this song was considered the sound of the future back in 1977. I Feel Love replaced disco sounds with the hypnotic sound of machines, making it one of the first records to utilize the potential of electronics.

The Roland TB-303 Bassline is Invented


Tadao Kikumoto invented the Roland TB-303 Bassline, making it one of the first boxes in music technology to define the sound of EDM. Production stopped in 1984.

The Hacienda Opens in Manchester

May 10, 1982

The Hacienda was a key establishment in the rise of acid house and rave music in England in the early 80s. It was intitially created to give Manchester a feel for a "New York-style club." In the 90s, it was named by Newsweek as the most famous night club in the world.

Detroit Gives Birth to Techno

1983 - 1985

(Photo from Dave Walker, adapted from Flickr)
The Godfather of Techno was a Detroit musician named Magic" Juan Atkins. In the mid-80's to early 90's, Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson served as pioneers of the rise of "Detroit techno through their distinctive use of analog synthesizers and early drum machines.

Birth of House Music


The Warehouse in Chicago, 1984 (Image from Wiki Commons)
House music got its name from the name of an old night club in Chicago called The Warehouse. It was here that DJ Frankie Knuckles took the art of mixing beats to a new level as he combined classic disco, European pop beats, and synthesized beats. The Warehouse is known today as the pioneering nucleus of the dance music scene.

Summer of Amnesia in Ibiza


In the summer of 1987, Amnesia Night Club in Ibiza housed some of the biggest name British DJs of the time, including Paul Oakenfeld, Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway. These DJs brought the new "anything goes" attitude back home with them, where acid house was then born.

K-Rave '93 at Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County Brings in 17,000 People

January 1, 1993

Gary Richards, a young promoter at the time, throws a rave at the Knott's Berry Farm Amusement Park in Orange County. Over 17,000 paying guests came to hear electronic dance music. There were six outdoor stages, dance floors lit with lasers, huge glowing TV monitors and shining beams in trees. The K-Rave '93 was the biggest recorded rave in the United States at the time. Here's an article from the LA Times about the K-Rave '93.

Moby's Album "Play" Becomes First in History to License Every Track


(Photo taken by David Price, adapted from Flickr)
Moby's fifth album, Play, was the first in history to license every track to an ad, movie or TV show. As his album quickly moved to #1 and sold 10 million copies, Moby set the precedent for advertisers and filmmakers to begin strategically incorporating EDM tracks into their campaigns and movies. Listen to the full album here

Daft Punk Comes Back With "One More Time"

November 13, 2000

(Image form Wiki Commons)
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo--known in the EDM scene as Daft Punk--created the most euphoric dance anthem of all time. One More Time reached #2 in the UK charts and foreshadowed current American pop trends.

U.S. Senate passes the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act

April 10, 2003

Formerly the R.A.V.E. act of 2002, the US Senate and House passed the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act in 2003 in response to the increasingly problematic use of Ecstasy and raves. The act states that any property owner, business owner, or promoter can be sent to jail for up to 20 years if anyone if their customers are found committing a drug offense. This affects the whole club industry.

Tiesto DJs at the Athens Olympics Opening Ceremony

August 13, 2004

(Photo: MCP / Rex Features/RUA)
Tiesto was the first and only DJ to perform at an Olympic opening ceremony. His set was 90 minutes long, and it included the parade of 10,000 athletes, extravagant lights, and the lighting of the torch. Billions of TV viewers watched as he instigated the launch of his unparalleled popularity in the EDM world.

15-Year-Old Girl Dies of Ecstasy Overdose at Electric Daisy Carnival 2010

July 2010

(Photo from Wiki Commons)
In 2010, Insomniac Events secured the LA Memorial Coliseum to hold Electric Daisy Carnival, a rising electronic music festival at the time. At the festival, a 15-year-old girl died of an ecstasy overdose, leading to national outcry about the event. While it was most certainly an example of negative publicity, this girl's death turned eyes toward a festival brought in 130,000 people without anyone knowing about it. America was starting to realize just how massive the EDM scene was becoming.

Panasonic Discontinues the Technics SL-1200

October 2010

(Photo from David Walker, adapted from Flickr)
The Technics SL-1200 was the standard equipment used by DJs for since 1972. When there was an obvious decline in the market for vinyl and record players, Panasonic discontinued the SL-200's 38-year streak of excellence. In 2011, any DJ can download a fairly inexpensive turntable app on his phone.

Creation of the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM)

January 28, 2013

The AFEM was established by some of the big names in electronic dance music and was announced on January 28, 2013 at Midem, a conference held each year for business matters within the music industry. The organization has defined itself as "a future alliance for future music."