Below is a visual timeline of the early years of Electronic Dance Music.To view, simply roll your cursor over the right side of the screen or drag the progress bar along the bottom. Most pictures contain more information when clicked.
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Click the expand button if it is too difficult to readHistory of Electronic Music The early history of electronic dance music (EDM) dates back to the late 1970s in Chicago, New York and Detroit. 1977 +Early house music was born as a direct descendant from Disco when African American Disc Jockeys in Chicago began mixing Disco records and adding electronic drum loops. +The Warehouse in Chicago and Paradise Garage in New York created the foundation for electronic Dance Music in the late 70s and early 80s. DJs at both clubs began experimenting during all night parties that broke not only the barriers of music, but those of race and sexual orientation as well. Early 1980s +After meeting in the Detroit Suburb of Belleville The Belleville Three, a group independent from the club scene, created an interesting new sub-genre known as Techno. Techno grew to success underground clubs in Detroit, and was then adopted by those in Chicago and New York. 1981 +The Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer is produced. Although it was originally marketed as a a tool for guitarists to use to emulate a bassist during practice sessions, it was used by most early EDM producers to create their bass lines. 1984 +After The Warehouse closed in 1984, The Music Box in Chicago became the new hub for House in 1986 with Ron Hardy as the DJ at the helm. +Ron Hardy helped progress the genre by playing the records and tapes made by the many local producers. +Marshall Jefferson’s song “Move Your Body” quickly became THE house music song. In fact, it is often referred to as “The House Music Anthem” due, in part, to its methodic drum beats, piano riffs, and iconic lyrics of moving one’s body to the house music that will “set you free.” +Although House and Techno was wildly sucessful in select underground clubs in Chicago, Detroit and New York, it was isolated these areas and. The music was also viewed by the general population as belonging to the African American and Gay communities. +While House and Techno were confined to underground clubs in the US, it began to flourish in the UK. This expansion was lead by London radio stations, who repeatedly played music produced in Chicago, Detroit and New York. 1987 United Kingdom +In the summer of 1987 DJs Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson and Mr. Fingers toured the UK, and House music began to make the UK pop charts. Venues playing House began filling up and requiring more space as the genre became increasingly mainstream. +Steve “Silk” Hurley’s “Jack Your Body” became the first House track to chart at #1 on the UK Pop Charts in 1987. +After returning from a birthday getaway to the Spanish island of Ibiza Oakenfold convinced the owner of Project club in London to allow him to host weekly “Return to Ibiza” nights from 2am to 6am. The Acid House parties were so successful that police shut down the parties after a few weeks. 1988 +February: First underground Acid House party is thrown by Hedonism. +April: Heaven, a club in London, opened its first Acid House Night under promoters Paul Oakenfold and Ian St. Paul. Within three weeks the Acid House night drew crowds of over 2500. Heaven had the largest sound system in England and light riggs imported from the gay clubs in Chicago. +Articles condemning these events due to illegal drug use begins to surface in major UK publications, but events such as Genesis and Sunrise continue to attract thousands. +Police raids at such events were common, as the British government began to see the parties as being a dangerous nuisance. 1989 +The scene enters a period of change as the parties move from clubs and warehouses to large open fields in the country side. “Acid House Parties” becomes a dated phrase for the papers and the term rave is born. Locations remained undisclosed until only hours before in order to avoid police raids. +August: Sunrise’s Future Dance Festival sells 17000 tickets. 1990 +January: British government enacts Entertainments Increased Penalties Act, which made the penalty for organizing a rave £20,000 and 6 months in jail. +The Freedom Party is formed to protest the Increased Penalties act. Large protests ensue and many arrests are made. +Throughout the 90s illegal raves in the UK continued to attract tens of thousands of party goers. Although police in riot gear attempted to stop many, most remained successful. +In the US underground raves begin to grow in popularity, but still pale in comparison to those in the UK. Present +The success of rave culture is no longer limited to the UK. Legal electronic music festivals around the world continue to attract tens of thousands of attendees, although media reports of rampant drug use continue to circulate the EDM culture Sources + History of House by Phil Cheeseman  + Acid House History by Wayne Anthony  + Black History Month: Frankie Knuckles and House Music by Zack Rico  + Hardcorewillneverdie.com
Due to the underground and wide-spanning nature of the Electronic Dance Music movement it can be very difficult to find a full record of the movement’s events. If you were involved or have any information not discussed above, please use the contact page to have your story heard.