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Conference paper

The starting point of this edited collection was to explore if electronic music scenes were integrated in city cultural policies. The edited collection was organised around 3 main themes: Music, policies and space. The type of music considered is Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and its various sub-genres. The collection ended up analysing mostly underground electronic music scenes but mainstream electronic music scenes are also analysed.

The book covers EDM scenes from 18 cities across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. The collection focuses on the historical development of these scenes, with an emphasis on the post-2000 context, including the COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching effects. The main finding is that this music genre is still poorly integrated into city policies. We coined ‘Electronic City’ as a new concept in urban studies. It captures the complex and shifting realities arising from the practices of electronic music communities, the urban built context, the public policies, the governance of the nightlife economy and the spaces associated with the electronic music underground. ‘Electronic City’ refers to a fragile ‘ecosystem’ constantly evolving and adapting to city policy changes, gentrification or the latest global pandemic. 

This edited collection sheds a new light on city policies targeting ‘creativity’ and the spread of the ‘Creative City’ motto that was prominent in the 2000s.

This work offers additional insights on cultural and creative policies, planning interventions and regulations associated with nightlife management, and provides a detailed analysis of current challenges inherent to the governance of EDM scenes in contemporary cities.


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