Saunders, a Chicago native credited as "the originator of house music," made history in 1984 with "On & On," the first house music record ever recorded and pressed on vinyl. Now over three decades into his illustrious career, Saunders has endless wisdom to impart, derived from his propensity to wear many hats as a music and film producer, record company executive, and radio show host.
Many fans and professionals alike are wondering how the pandemic will affect the future of music festivals. It was a question on the minds of r/electronicmusic subscribers, and Saunders didn't hesitate to respond. "I think the festival scene got a bit too big for its britches and will be brought down-to-earth when things get somewhat back to normal," Saunders weighed in. "What we have to remember as electronic music lovers is that no person, thing, club or entity is bigger than the music!"
Later in the AMA, Saunders doubled down on his sentiments. "I see things going back to the beginning when going out to dance and hear music were only just about DANCING and listening to MUSIC!"
In Saunders' view, the marketing and business sides of electronic music have created incentive for people to be seen rather than dance and appreciate the art form itself. "A break from festivals was a much needed reset. Events will have to go back to the basics," he wrote. "DJ booking prices had gotten way out of hand, and consequently so did ticket prices. I believe that supporters should pay a reasonable price to enjoy someone playing mostly other people's music. If anyone should make 5 or 6 figures it should be the artist singing the song...not the DJ!"
As many festival and event organizers have begun to set their preparations for return in 2021, it will be interesting to see how dance music comes out on the other side of this industry-wide reset.
You can dive into Saunders' full Reddit AMA here.