Luis-Manuel Garcia

Luis-Manuel Garcia is a postdoctoral fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität. His postdoctoral research project is entitled, “The Techno Jetset: Mobility, Tourism, and Class in Berlin’s Electronic Dance Music Scenes.” He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology.



"BerMuDa in Berlin: Techno-Tourism, Music Scenes, and the Scale of Nightlife during the Berlin Music Days Weekend"

This paper aims to highlight the multi-layered and variegated texture of Berlin’s Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scenes by tracing the impact of so-called “techno tourism” during a particular weekend in Berlin. Held on the weekend of November 4-6 in 2011, BerMuDa (Berlin Music Days) has become a fusion of music-industry conference and city-wide EDM festival that attracts numerous visitors, prompting local nightlife venues and promoters to intensify their activities. The centerpiece of the weekend is FLY BerMuDa, a massive all-night EDM event held in an airplane hangar at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, from which the event takes its theme of travel (rather than tourism per se). But dozens of other venues of varying size and visibility also organize BerMuDa-themed events that same weekend. Indeed, to speak of a singular EDM scene in Berlin is to vastly oversimplify the city's nocturnal terrain.

This paper contrasts the large-scale, commercially-sponsored, and festival-like FLY BerMuDa event to medium- and smaller-scale venues/events, showing a diversity of "underground" and "mainstream" music events harnessing nightlife-tourism on the same weekend. A comparison of these examples raises questions about the usefulness of the underground/mainstreram binary, instead suggesting an analysis of scale, visibility, and professionalization. In highlighting this diversity, this paper argues that an urban scene associated with a particular musical genre may in fact be a multiplicity of intersecting scenes or even an archipelago of isolated scenes.

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, March 24

9:00am EDT