Updated Sep. 4, 2014 at 7:30 a.m.

Get the beat, electronic music style, at Tilt Music Festival in Bull City

Published: 2014-09-04 06:52:00
Updated: 2014-09-04 07:30:30

I am not too old to rock 'n roll, but whether I can become an EDM - electronic dance music to you dead heads - fan is an unanswered question.

Maybe that will change after the Tilt Music Festival, which opens tonight in Durham and threatens to make the Bull City an EDM as well as jazz capital. The music will blast from indoor and outdoor venues.

Headliners - headbangers? - include:

The White Panda, Gazzo, DJs From Mars, Kevin Focus, Alex Young, Animal, Ashes of Martyr, Aylen, Cappelli, D&D Sluggers, Damen Anthony, DJ Cutman , DJ Forge, DJ Yona, DV-US, Eight Bit Disaster, Evan Evolution, Gent & Jawns, Grimecraft, Hype Bananas, Kastra, Matt Goldman and nDEEP.

If you don't know The White Panda, check out 27 No.1's at Hype Machine, say the event organizers.

For those unfamiliar with EDM, here's a bit more background on some of the 20-plus acts on the dance card:

  • "DJ’s from Mars, an Italian favorite (top 100 DJ’s in the world) coming for the first time in NC;
  • "Aylen with his new track out on Main Course - known for really different sounds and trap remixes that get hundreds of thousands of plays;
  • "Damien Anthony, a rising star with several tracks on beatport Top 100 charts;
  • "Alex Young, the youngest ever to make the top 10 producers under 21 list, who is one of the best in the world;
  • "Gent & Jawns, known for their world-class production and their ability to perform live and
  • "Kevin Focus whose recent slew of bangers on Dim Mak are guaranteed to shake the walls."

Then there are Noth Carolina EDM favorites: Animal, HypeBananas, DJ Forge, DJ Yona, DV-US …

Gamers Love EDM

The festival is running in conjunction with the Tilt Expo, the video game event that replaces previous expos put on by The Escapist.

Both programs are backed by the Triangle Game Initiative, which is going all out to grow the video game industry, education and gaming culture in the biggest such East Coast hub.

Walt Rotenberry, who teaches video game design at Wake Tech and helps run the Triangle Game Initiative, is constantly touting the event. And the organizers are rolling out the hype to drive to drive up fan interest.

So why EDM? That's what gamers want, Rotenberry told WRAL TechWire recently.

"I polled my students and young people at the gym I go to see what kind of music they like as this is an add on to the TiltExpo we felt it is important to have music that they will enjoy," Rotenberry says. "Tom Gross, TGI's treasure's two children are both heavy into EDM festivals and have been a big help.

"The main reason we chose electronic is that it appeals to the gamer audience, this event is held right after schools starts back and hopefully before the rigger sits in so the students should be able to enjoy their weekend. Our main demographic is college students and young festival fans."

Rotenberry is an EDM fan, too, by the way.

"I only became an EDM fan a couple of years ago when we started adding it to our East Coast Gaming Conference party events and find it great when I need to stay awake driving - it is very energetic," he explains.

"However, personally I am not a huge music buff but have found a love for EDM later in life but it may be just trying to stay engaged with my students."

For the Tilt Music Festival schedule, visit the event website.

For the game event schedule, check out this site.


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