A Bluesfest retrospective: Skrillex was a huge crowd draw, Tiesto not so much

According to Mark Monahan (Via Ottawa Citizen):

The biggest nights of this year’s headliners were Skrillex, Iron Maiden, Snoop Dogg, Nickelback, LMFAO and Blue Rodeo. The underperformers were Bad Religion and Tiesto. In the middle were John Mellencamp, City and Colour, Norah Jones and Metric.

I had a feeling that Tiesto wasn't going to be as massive as Skrillex judging from my Twitter feed the night prior. But it was far from a disaster as there were plenty of enthusiastic people there that numbered in the thousands. One thing that could have boosted the Tiesto night was if they booked a solid opening act beforehand.

Later in the article Mark Monahan said something that made me scratch my head:

he (Mark Monahan) didn’t set out to put a DJ on the main stage. “It was just a function of what’s available.”

This statement sounds like it was created to coddle all of the 'get off my lawn' types that were opposed to the 'Electro-fied' EDM injection into the lineup. Please Mr. Monahan, just admit that you put Tiesto and Skrillex on the main stage deliberately and try not to appease the detractors. You did the right thing by including EDM in your lineup and I hope you continue with the same next year.

As for the Electro Stage Mr. Monahan was much kinder in his synopsis:

“In terms of the electro stage, I would say it’s been a resounding success in terms of attendance,” said Monahan. “People definitely responded to it, and it wasn’t really a teenage crowd. I’d say the bulk of the crowd was twentysomething. It did look like a big nightclub. When you came over the hill, looked like a big dance floor and people filtered up the hill.”

His comments are pretty much spot on from what I've seen first hand on that stage. I think the small Electro stage is perfect for EDM because it's located in the back without any musical interference with any other stage which felt like a secluded outdoor club right next to the Rideau river. 

As for next year here's what I'd love to see:

I wouldn't mind if we saw Paul Oakenfold again as he really brought a nice trance set in the second half of his performance with great crowd interaction and support. Bringing Skrillex back to the main stage is totally warranted after breaking a few attendance records that day.

Here's my wishlist for Bluesfest in 2013: (assuming they haven't been earlier in the year):

Electro - Zedd

Trance: John O'Callaghan, Orjan Nilsen, Ferry Corsten, Leon Bolier

Progressive House: Dada Life, Gregori Klosman, Sebastian Ingrosso

Dubstep: Knife Party, Zeds Dead

Moombathon: Dillon Francis

If Tiesto is out for 2013 that means there's space for a potential new headlining act for the Main Stage but I wonder -  who could fit the bill? If you take it from Mark Monahan's perspective then you have to think who could be booked that can pull off Skrillex like attendance numbers? Can Armin do it? How about one of the members from the soon to be defunct Swedish House Mafia like Axwell or Ingrosso? Like I said, I'm not sure. If you ask me I'd personally love to see some kind of Anjunabeats (Above & Beyond headline) or ASOT themed day (Armin headlining) invading the main stage like they did for Skrillex and OWSLA this year. The Above & Beyond event was a hot ticket in early 2012 with a sold out show in Barrymore's and Armin's name was heavily promoted to draw in EDM fans to buy tickets for Bal en Blanc in Montreal.

Overall I really enjoyed this year's Bluesfest lineup and I hope they pull off another exciting EDM infused event next year.

(Source: Ottawa Citizen)