A new student organization on campus aims to bring fans of electronic dance music, or EDM, together. The Iowa EDM organization held its first meeting this week, and is offering a place for fans of the genre to hang out, listen to a wide variety of EDM, discuss EDM festivals, and even learn how to DJ.
University of Iowa junior Kayla Braasch started the organization after transferring to the UI last year, and noticing there was not a strong presence of EDM on the Iowa campus.
“I came here knowing literally no one. I didn’t know anyone from my high school who came here. It’s been really, really hard,” she said. “I wanted to make an organization solely based on EDM, so people who are struggling with what I’ve been struggling with can come and meet other people who also like EDM and can hang out, and learn more about it.”
Braasch said she wants people to be able to relax and meet others to go to EDM shows with.
She said that in the Midwest, EDM fans are really dispersed, and it can be hard to find others who like the genre. However, even though they can be harder to find, Braasch said that the EDM community looks out for each other, especially at festivals.
“Something about the EDM community that I’ve noticed is that everyone in the community is more relaxed and really nice to each other compared to other communities,” she said. “(In) EDM, we like to call it the PLUR aspect; peace, love, unity, and respect.”
Braasch said something she finds really special about EDM culture are the Kandi bracelets; beaded bracelets that are traded among and given out to EDM fans. She said she still had some of her first Kandis.
Mike Bock, the treasurer of Iowa EDM said that people can really express themselves in the community, through colorful clothes or wild dancing.
“I’ve been listening to EDM for many years,” he said. “If you ever go to shows or festivals, live and in person, they’re crazy. The vibes are insane. They’re so much fun, there’s so much energy.”
UI senior Zeke Branstad, the VP of Events for Iowa EDM, agreed, saying that it was a freeing experience. He also mentioned that there are many types of EDM that can appeal to all types of people.
“There’s kind of this stigma of it being loud and in your face all the time, but there’s definitely sub genres that are calm and super chill,” he said.
In addition to regular meetings, Iowa EDM g Electric Eden on Thursday nights, at Eden nightclub, 217 Iowa Ave, where DJs like UI senior AJ Chahande will play EDM tracks all night. Chahande has been DJing at Eden for around two years, and said that after the closure of Blue Moose as a venue, having regular EDM nights will be a good thing.
“Eden is a lot more of a student crowd, especially recently. It’s come under the same management as Studio 13 and Yacht Club, so now it’s a 19+ venue,” he said. “Eden has had a reputation of being more electronic dance music friendly.”