San Luis Obispo is a college town like any other, offering many places and activities for students to partake in. Cafés are stuffed with caffeine-riddled students studying, bars and pubs come to life on the weekends and The Graduate hosts line dancing on Thursdays.
But sometimes The Grad transforms from hoedown to throwdown and SLO’s EDM scene shines through.
Last Wednesday, March 1st, Datsik, Crizzly and Virtual Riot made an appearance in SLO and tore up The Grad with their heavy bass. The sold out show was a a hit for all the ravers and EDM lovers in town.
Something I’ve noticed is that the frequency of an EDM show being put on in SLO is way less, about once a month, compared to the frequency of shows in the nearby Santa Barbara college market.
If the demand is the same here and the shows are successful, why so few shows?
Tyrone Galagno is the owner/ partner of Collective Effort Events, the company that brings some huge names in electronic music here to SLO, as well as other college towns on the West Coast.
Collective Effort isn’t the only local event organizing company in the area, it is one of the few that specialize in dance music events, according to Galagno.
You would think this would make it easier to pull in more artists to play right? Well, not quite. There are other factors that weigh in.
SLO doesn’t have a nightclub! In comparison, Santa Barbara has quite a few to choose from Downtown and this allows electronic dance artists to be booked on a more regular basis.
We are right in the middle of LA and San Francisco, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier for artists to play here. Many artists are based in LA and Santa Barbara just happens to be closer, making it a more routable. SLO ends up in the middle of multi-city tours when a stop can be made between San Francisco and LA.
Wondering why SLO EDM events always end up on a Wednesday? It has to do with when the artists are available. Weekend slots are usually saved for the big cities like LA and San Francisco, so we’re just blessed that they have the time to stop their tour bus in SLO for a show during the week.
Although weekend dates would logically be more ideal for attendance levels in a college town, the Wednesday night events don’t seem to be having a problem in that realm.
“Music fans are still very excited and willing to come out on week nights to see their favorite artists perform,”said Galagno.
Frank Hayes is a manager at Boo Boo Records in Downtown SLO. He helps with ticket sales to music events all over town, including the ones Collective Effort put on at The Grad.
The EDM shows here are very popular and tend to sell out, but them being spread out helps to build anticipation, according to Hayes.
Maybe sometime soon SLO will open up a nightclub so more artists can be booked. For now, keep looking forward to the shows we do get to enjoy right here at home.
“We’re lucky to be able to host many of these world-renowned artists in San Luis Obispo,” said Galgno. “Many fans are only able to see these artists in large festival settings, so being able to see them perform in a smaller, more intimate space, makes it that much more special and memorable for the fans.”