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It is only 5PM, but with the arrival of daylight savings, the stretch of I-24 between Manchester, Tennessee and the small town of Pelham is already covered in darkness.

Driving all day in the pouring rain has dampened the morale of all four passengers in my tightly packed Subaru as we finally exit the freeway. 

I’m exhausted when I turn on my brights to better illuminate winding backcountry roads. “What have I gotten myself into?” I wonder with every twist and turn.

But upon arriving at our destination—a subterranean rave venue called The Caverns—I know exactly what I got myself into. 

We end up in a valley that almost feels cozy, shrouded in low-hanging fog. Otherworldly sounds bellow from afar as we park the car and make our short hike through surrounding trees and deep into the earth.

Like magic, my pre-show excitement returns and I am ready to experience the psychedelic beats of LSDREAM. It’s the same feeling of readiness shared by many who have visited The Caverns in 2023, which was undoubtedly the venue’s breakout year in dance music.

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This year, The Caverns hosted its largest number of dance music events yet—11 total—ranging from the deep bass vibrations of PEEKABOO, G Jones, and Of The Trees, to the crisp beats of John Summit, Tchami, and Anjunabeats After Dark.

Not only have EDM events at The Caverns grown in number this year, but they’ve also grown in scope. 

In October, SVDDEN DEATH’s Summoning of the Eclipse festival returned to The Caverns for a second year, stretching to three days and hosting over 60 different acts above and below ground. As part of his grand return to the stage, Pretty Lights also hosted a three-night takeover.

With a calendar this hot, it’s tough to choose one show that stands above the rest. But The Caverns’ final dance music event of the year, LSDREAM’s two-night “Rave Cave” event last month, encompassed everything that makes Grundy County’s subterranean concert hall one of the most influential new venues in EDM (and music at large).

Beyond the venue’s obvious “wow factor” (yes, it’s literally inside of a cave), The Caverns has been making noise in the music industry for some time now, initially leaning toward Tennessee’s ever-thriving bluegrass and roots music scenes.

In fact, The Caverns’ current home is not even its first. Owner Todd Mayo and his team were doing concerts in a different cave in nearby McMinnville for almost nine years before breaking ground on their new Big Mouth Cave location in 2017.

Since moving to this new location, they’ve booked high-profile bluegrass acts like Brandi Carlisle and Jason Isbell. They also hosted a television concert showcase: PBS’ The Caverns Sessions.

Having showcased its Bluegrass and jam prowess while opening a new 1,200-capacity, 33-foot-tall cave venue with modern amenities like bathrooms and concessions, EDM promoters came calling around 2018, according to The Caverns’ General Manager Joe Lurgio.

“As much as we know about Roots music, Americana music, jam band music, even popular music, our team really had no idea about EDM in any shape or form,” Lurgio says.

It was at this time an agent recommended The Caverns work with Stuart Hackley’s Loud Crowd Presents, who have now collaboratively produced close to 30 electronic shows at The Caverns.

Lurgio emphasizes that Loud Crowd are the venue’s only outside promoter to date. 

“Our crew and our staff have basically become EDM fans too,” Lurgio says, “Because of our relationship with Stu [Hackley] and all the shows we’ve done.”

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The Caverns campground in Grundy County, Tennessee.

LSDREAM’s Rave Cave was one of the many fruits of that relationship. Held on November 17-18, the experimental bass producer’s first curated weekender was the latest in a long line of resounding successes at the venue. 

Attendees sheltered in The Caverns’ designated campground, a beautiful valley flanked by colorful fall trees at the Southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains, creating a mini festival atmosphere that was a perfect weekend getaway.

Both nights featured a headline set from LSDREAM—one a B2B with INZO—and plenty more cave-worthy performances from rising stars, Zingara, Superave. and Super Future.

At first, however, getting EDM to The Caverns was no easy task. 

Hackley says there are models for destination venue success. One example would be Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, which hosted 531,906 out-of-state visitors in 2022. 

As such, The Caverns team needed to find the right artists to draw people down Grundy County’s country roads. 

Hackley adds that early on, playing the cave was as much a risk for artists as it was for The Caverns or Loud Crowd. Budgets were initially lower than other venues of comparable size. They needed someone who, as Hackley says, would “embrace the cave.”

At The Caverns, artists are typically encouraged to ditch many production elements commonly found in nightclubs, like LED video—which would otherwise block the back wall of the cave—in favor of elements that allow the venue’s natural beauty to shine.

“Less is more,” Hackley says. “As opposed to just, ‘Oh, what’s the biggest production package? How many lights can I fit on stage?’”

“The venue is kind of the costar,” adds Lurgio. “She’s part of the show.”

After pitching several people, SVDDEN DEATH became The Caverns’ first-ever electronic act, bringing VOYD to Big Mouth Cave for two nights in 2021.

“The second we talked about it, [SVDDEN DEATH] had a vision for the cave,” Hackley says. “His whole management team, his agent team, they saw it right off the bat and really took it and ran with us.”

Fast-forward two years and plenty of others have followed suit, from yoga and speaking panels at CloZee’s Voyage to The Caverns, to house-head-favorite fake plants at John Summit’s Off The Grid—now Experts Onlycampout. LSDREAM’s Rave Cave was no different. 

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Though LED video was a production staple throughout the Radical Audio Visual Experience tour, LSDREAM and his team opted for Hackley’s “less is more” approach. They discarded screens of any kind, but the visuals weren’t lacking whatsoever.

3D projection mapping washed the entire cave in a furious haze of rainbow hues that accentuated its jagged rock faces and grooved interior. Lighthearted illustrations like flowers and mushrooms danced across the ceiling. And don’t worry, there were plenty of lasers too.

Embracing the cave even further, LSDREAM hosted his final LIGHTCODE session of the year from inside the Caverns. This edition of LIGHTCODE was made even more special when LSDREAM invited local music therapist and sound healer, Anneli Virkhaus, to participate and perform a song.

Throughout the 90-minute guided session—and in a touching speech afterward—LSDREAM brought repeated attention to the energy of the cave and its rich history.

Lurgio explains all three archaeologists who surveyed the site prior to venue construction came to the same conclusion: Big Mouth Cave has been used as a place of human refuge for close to 25,000 years. First for local indigenous tribes. Now for ravers.

“It really creates this continuity through time because it’s a real human experience to just come together with other people in a place like The Caverns, a place that inspires such awe and wonder,” Lurgio says.

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LSDREAM and Anneli Virkhaus perform LIGHTCODE.

Sometimes embracing the cave is a lot of work, like Kayzo’s “outside of the box” request for 800 pumpkins—sourced and carved by The Caverns’ team—ahead of his Halloween show in 2022.

“Our staff was out there for three days straight, carving every single pumpkin by hand,” Lurgio shares. “And we completely covered the entire cave in Jack-o’-lanterns. We potentially could have broken a record if we were paying attention.”

This dedication from staff is just another piece of The Caverns’ magic, which Hackley says “speaks to the uniqueness and specialty of the venue and its locale.”

Hackley points out that while staffing can be a challenge when a venue is located outside of a metropolitan area, The Caverns team is entirely comprised of locals–“some of the best people” that Loud Crowd works with.

Throughout the entire Rave Cave weekend, every Caverns staff member was welcoming, kind, and most importantly, good at their job. Security checks were thorough but not invasive and the people management was flawless. Safety staff were clearly identifiable and bartenders were friendly.

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Fans await the start of LIGHTCODE at The Caverns.

When a long line formed outside the venue before the doors to LIGHTCODE opened, staff were quick to check in every guest ahead of time. Getting in was just as relaxing as lying on the cave’s cool floor during the show.

“They go above and beyond to take care of our patrons, no matter what shape they get themselves in, and we’re proud of our crew,” Lurgio says. “They may look like country bumpkins on the outside, but they’re extremely experienced at this point. And they’re really savvy across all genres and patron types.”

With great people behind a great space, creating special experiences for fans of any kind of music, it’s easy to see why The Caverns’ is here to stay.

“Anybody who is awed by any natural space, seeing their favorite artists or their favorite music in that space only enhances the experience a lot more,” Lurgio says. “Be it bluegrass music, be it gospel music, be it SVDDEN DEATH, be it jam band music, whatever your vibe is.” 

Featured image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer. All other images credit in order of appearance: Matt Winkelmeyer, Matt Morrison, Matt Winkelmeyer, Matt Winkelmeyer.

The post Embrace The Cave: LSDREAM’s Rave Cave And The Story Of The Caverns’ Growing EDM Influence appeared first on EDM Maniac.


By: Peter Volpe
Title: Embrace The Cave: LSDREAM’s Rave Cave And The Story Of The Caverns’ Growing EDM Influence
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Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 23:16:29 +0000

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ASW Releasing New Album Mixed By Carl Cox, Featuring 25 Tracks From Their Label

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One of the lead labels for artists specializing in live performances, ASW released an exceptional album showcasing some of its most notorious releases. Mixed by none other than the great Carl Cox, the new LP released by the label created by the English DJ Christopher Coe is an exhibition of unique, underground talent. Titled ‘ASW Is Live Mixed By Carl Cox’, this one is certain to become an industry favorite.

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Nowadays, compilation albums are one of the most popular ways labels promote their work and identity. Taking several songs from your catalog and grouping them for one strong release is most definitely the way to go. It helps both in marketing terms and when it comes to the impact the release can have inside the scene.

ASW Highlights The Uniqueness Of Live Performance

The Awesome Soundwave catalog is certainly one of the unique proposals we’ve heard of recently. Artists included in this compilation belong to a wide range. From afrohouse act Digital Afrika to experimental electronic house artist Stimming. From the legendary and prolific Robert Babicz to the spiritual explorer and player of modded toys Giorgia Anjiuli, and from the French superstar Vitalic to the underground live concept artist Hybrasil. These are some of the examples of the stuff you can find on this unique release. Artists known not only for their underground style and persona but for their mastery of live performing.

On this new album, you can find different sounds, genres, and the same quality in every single one of them. Listening to Carl’s mix of 25 tracks from 25 artists highlights the range of talent and diversity of output from the Awesome Soundwave family. Certainly, a strong, well-thought-out, and quality-crafted release.

ASW is Live mixed by Carl Cox is out April 26 on Awesome Soundwave.

The post ASW Releasing New Album Mixed By Carl Cox, Featuring 25 Tracks From Their Label appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Sebastian Flores Chong
Title: ASW Releasing New Album Mixed By Carl Cox, Featuring 25 Tracks From Their Label
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Published Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2024 17:35:43 +0000

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Bio-Music: New Bionic Arm Allows Plant To Play Instruments

Today on inventions that feel extremely surrealistic: Bionic and the Wires invented a machine that allows a living plant to “play” a musical instrument. The group will debut their performance featuring the “bionic robot arm” and a plant this weekend at the city’s Castlehead Viaduct venue on 20th April.

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A post shared by Bionic and the Wires (@bionicandthewires)


Bionic and the Wires, led by Manchester based Andy Kidd on the keyboard and Jon Ross on the plants via the robot arm, combines botanical rhythms with atmospheric textures and soundscapes created by synthesizers. The art encourages “new ways of thinking about the natural world”.

The invention harnesses electrical bio-signals that plants generate by natural processes such as photosynthesis. The sensors attached to the plant leaves capture such pulses. In consequence, electricity transforms into power that moves the robotic arm.

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The machine builds upon precursors by the duo, such as Plantwave. This past bionic robot arm, however, enables the plant to directly “play” musical instruments. These include the steel handpan, drum, and the violin.

Speaking on the new invention, Jon Ross said: “We’ve spent many months researching and developing the new bionic robot arms. It’s exciting to think that with this invention we may have opened up the opportunity for a whole new genre of music. Maybe it’s called bionica!?”

Tickets for the upcoming gig at Castlehead Viaduct are available now. You can secure yours here. What do you think? Is this the right direction to take away power from AI and technology and bring back the sounds of nature? (Source)

The post Bio-Music: New Bionic Arm Allows Plant To Play Instruments appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Jay Seabrook
Title: Bio-Music: New Bionic Arm Allows Plant To Play Instruments
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Published Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2024 13:35:08 +0000

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Coachella Weekend 1 Saw Decrease in Arrests

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Weekend one of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. But nothing could dim the shine of the triumphant sets delivered by Doja Cat and No Doubt. They proved all the doubters wrong and showed that the festival had true headliners after all. However, the latest police arrest reports for Coachella 2024 show a surprising trend – a decrease in the number of arrests compared to previous years. According to a report shared by the Indio Police Department with SFGATE, there were only 81 arrests throughout the weekend, along with 47 parking citations. These numbers mark a significant decline, with arrests down by 20% and parking issues reduced by 43% from the previous year.

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Despite the overall decrease in arrests, the majority of the incidents were still related to drugs. Intoxication accounted for 28 arrests, while possession of drugs for sale resulted in another 28 arrests. Additionally, 18 individuals were arrested for using false identification, most commonly to purchase alcohol. While these numbers may seem high, Officer Guitron from the Indio Police Department highlighted that this year was relatively uneventful in terms of crime at Coachella. However, he did emphasize the ongoing concern of phone theft, urging festival-goers to be vigilant.

One interesting detail from the arrest reports is the mention of recovered phones on the IDP Facebook page. A post revealed that 49 phones had been recovered, although it is unclear how many were lost rather than stolen. Despite the high number of recovered phones, there was only one arrest related to phone theft so far, indicating a potential disconnect between the number of thefts and the arrests made.

Decrease in Arrests

While drug-related arrests still dominated the statistics, it is worth noting that the overall trend of crime at Coachella seems to be stabilizing. Officer Guitron’s assertion that drug citations were no more prevalent than in past years indicates that law enforcement is effectively managing this recurring issue. However, the continued concern over phone theft serves as a reminder for festival-goers to safeguard their belongings and stay vigilant in crowded areas.

As Coachella continues to evolve and attract a diverse crowd of music lovers, it is essential for both attendees and organizers to prioritize safety and security. The decrease in arrests and parking citations at Coachella 2024 is a positive step towards creating a safer environment for all participants. By staying informed about the rules and regulations, respecting fellow attendees, and taking proactive measures to protect personal belongings, festival-goers can contribute to a more enjoyable and trouble-free experience at Coachella.

Addressing Phone Theft Concerns


Replying to @highrow10 how to avoid getting pickpocketed at a festival!!! #pocketcor #fyp #festival #musicfestival #festivalfit #pocketbelt #coachella #coachellaoutfit #edclasvegas #edctiktok #okeechobee #bonaroo #howto #festivaltips #musicfestivalszn

♬ The Last Goodbye (feat. Bettye LaVette) – ODESZA

One of the persistent challenges faced by attendees at music festivals like Coachella is the threat of phone theft. The recent arrest reports from Coachella 2024 highlight the ongoing concern over stolen phones, despite only one arrest being made in connection to phone theft so far. The recovery of 49 phones, as mentioned in the IDP Facebook post, raises questions about the prevalence of theft versus the effectiveness of law enforcement in addressing these incidents.

As festival-goers navigate the crowded grounds of Coachella, it is crucial to take precautions to prevent phone theft. Simple steps such as keeping phones secure in zipped pockets or bags, avoiding leaving them unattended, and enabling tracking features can help deter potential thieves. Additionally, staying aware of surroundings, reporting suspicious behavior to security personnel, and using password protection on devices can further enhance the security of personal belongings.

While the decrease in overall arrests at Coachella 2024 is a positive development, the issue of phone theft remains a pressing concern that requires continued attention and vigilance. By working together to protect personal belongings, stay informed about safety measures, and support law enforcement efforts, festival attendees can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable experience for all at Coachella and similar events.

The post Coachella Weekend 1 Saw Decrease in Arrests appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Oscar Yerushalmi
Title: Coachella Weekend 1 Saw Decrease in Arrests
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Published Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2024 15:20:43 +0000

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