Black artists were the pioneers of electronic music. This festival celebrates them.


Hutchinson said the problem isn’t just erasure — historical neglect has had a material impact on black artists in the industry. (In 2019, Forbes published a list of the highest-paid DJs in electronic music — none were black.) In several of her professional roles — as founder of Discwoman, former booker at techno playground Bushwick Bossa Nova Civic Club and a curator of many other projects – she urged festivals and venues to book more black and female performers and pay them fair rates.

“We have to beg just a little of the same thing a white DJ gets,” she said. When it comes to trying to get places to book black women, “it’s always like, ‘Well, OK, we’ll have them open,’ or ‘Oh, we’ve got plenty left,'” a she explained. “It’s like the crumbs, and it’s disgusting.”

Although Hutchinson said she understood why appealing to white institutions might be helpful or necessary, she made a personal decision to turn her attention in another direction: “Let’s think about what we Can create. You know, let’s reframe the question and imagine what we want.”

Dweller demonstrates a curatorial commitment to the broad spectrum of black aesthetics within electronic music, refusing a singular view of race, sound or identity. For example, there’s a queer black rave party scheduled right next to a performance by experimenter Keiyaa. And while the festival features lectures and educational panels, Hutchinson said the team, which also includes blog editor Clarke and Ghana-based co-curator Enyo Amexo, is working to center the celebration.

“It’s kind of an expectation for us, to always talk about our issues,” she said. “I feel like the emphasis should also be on us having a good time.”

This year, the theme of the festival is intergenerational bonding. The lineup includes ancestors like RP Boo, a creator of the Chicago footwork movement; Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale, the house godmother; and members of Underground Resistance, the formative Detroit techno collective known for its politically conscious politics and do-it-yourself philosophy.


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