Home / The Origins of Dance Music – Part 2

The Origins of Dance Music – Part 2

The Caister Soul Weekend

The “Caister Soul Weekend” was famous for two things: creating the “Weekender/Festival scene” and the birth of the “Dance DJ”. The event crossed all boundaries in terms of social, economic and geographical. People amassed from every type of lifestyle and came from every nook and cranny of the country. For a nation as socially divided as the UK in the late 1990’s it was a potential powder keg, but one element and common thread held everything together, and that was the music.

Unbelievably, this unrelated mass of people showed the world that music crossed all boundaries and everybody joined in on the amazing atmosphere and came together as one. It was a successful recipe and one that is now being used all over the world. 

The DJs

The “Caister” DJs were gods among their fans, they played rare and new dance music that you simply could not hear anywhere else. However, they never achieved mass acceptance, and rarely broke into mainstream radio or TV. Bizarrely just like the artists on the records that they were playing. Was it that they were challenging the establishment? Or was it a case that the old controllers of entertainment in the UK were scared of something they did not understand? Many of today’s respected and most loved DJs in the Dance Music scene first cut their teeth at the “Caister Soul Weekend”. People, like Pete Tong who was barely twenty when he first DJd at the “Caister”, he took the energy from the Soul Weekender’s and started to get far more urban with the sound.

Dance Music and EDM Was Founded

As soul music and the whole scene was flourishing in the late 90’s into the new millennium, America was going through yet another musical revolution. Hip hop, rapping and electro were becoming more and more popular. These new genres were also being fused together and the music was evolving so fast that labels could not be put on it. Established music traditionalists were trying to desperately pigeonhole it as one style of music or another. But the dance music scene was constantly metamorphosing and refused to be labeled as a definite thing. Eventually, a blanket term was wrapped around dance music’s shoulders, it was named EDM or Electronic Dance Music.

New Breed of Dance Music

This new EDM was growing fast, and as their predecessors in the old soul music revolution, it was embraced by a whole new young generation. Mega clubs set up all over the world could not open fast enough to satisfy the demand. The major difference between this new revolution and the old one was that the establishment wanted a part of it. TV stations, mainstream radio and major record companies all joined on the bandwagon.

EDM has been with us for a long time now, to the testament of the old Soul brigade, there has been a renaissance of the “Soul Weekender” and the “Caister Soul Weekend” is as popular now than in its heyday, though the punters are a little older.