Napster Is Promoting Its Music Streaming Platform Through Fortune Cookies

Nearly 25 years after forever changing the fabric of digital music distribution, it seems Napster is still focused on innovation. This time around, they’re experimenting with a more unconventional form of marketing: fortune cookies.

Napster, which is now a streaming service, has partnered with OpenFortune, a marketing company whose mission is rooted in the promotion of brands via fortune cookies distributed to restaurants.

Their campaign will embed papers with QR codes into cookies to promote individual artists as well as the Napster platform, giving them a three-month free trial. Over 50 million fortune cookies will be distributed, Music Ally reports.

While it might seem silly on the surface, it’s tough to deny the creativity of promoting music through an after-dinner snack. We’re not aware of any data from OpenFortune elucidating how much of a boon a campaign like this can provide for streaming numbers, but time will tell if their strategy is worth baking into a music release rollout.

Sweden's Silent Maestro: The Unseen Artist Behind 650 Aliases and 15 Billion Spotify Streams

Fame is often synonymous with visibility, but Johan Röhr has become one of the streaming era’s most illustrious shadows.

Orchestrating a Spotify discography that outperforms the highest echelons of pop royalty without ever stepping into the spotlight, this Stockholm symphonist has been identified as the mastermind behind over 650 artist aliases on Spotify. Röhr’s compositions have amassed a staggering 15 billion streams, according to The Guardian.

Röhr’s prolific output includes over 2,700 songs. His music, a mainstay on Spotify’s mood-centric playlists, serves as the unseen backdrop to millions of daily lives. Much of the artist’s success is believed to come specifically from editorial instrumental playlists.

Critics argue that the dominance of a few, faceless artists undermines Spotify’s pledge to support small, independent musicians. Financially, Röhr’s windfall from his streaming success isn’t fully known, although his company did report a record-breaking year of 32.7 million kronor ($3 million USD) in the 2022 fiscal year.

In response, a Spotify spokesperson told The Guardian: “There is an increased interest in functional music created to enhance everyday activities such as relaxation, focus, or studying, and these playlists are created to match the listeners’ demand. This type of music typically exists in Spotify’s Focus hub which limits competition with artists from traditional genres of popular music.”

Fundraisers Launched for Victims of Deadly Rideshare Accident After Leaving Excision Concert

Fundraising campaigns have been launched after a tragic rideshare accident killed an attendee of an Excision concert in Buffalo and left two of her friends with severe injuries.

The group reportedly left the March 21st show, which was part of Excision’s Nexus Tour, around midnight and hailed a rideshare before their vehicle was struck by a car “at a high rate of speed with no headlights.” The man behind the wheel, Devin Ford, 23, was driving without insurance or a license, according to authorities.

The crash killed Morgan Ehrenbeit and hospitalized her boyfriend, Michael Rosenbaum, who is now recovering at home. Ehrenbeit, 26, is remembered as “an adored aunt to 13 nieces and nephews, a beloved cousin, a loyal friend, and a dedicated dog mom to her best buddy Moose,” per her obituary.

Morgan Ehrenbeit, who died after a tragic car accident after attending a Buffalo EDM concert headlined by Excision.

St. John Funeral Home

Another passenger, Luke Stempuzis, 31, was critically injured and placed in a medically induced coma at a nearby hospital. Doctors there had to remove his spleen due to internal bleeding, according to a GoFundMe campaign launched by his family, and treat life-threatening injuries to his kidneys as well as a broken jaw, collarbone and ribs. Stempuzis also sustained a severe brain injury.

Rosenbaum’s family also launched a GoFundMe for help covering medical costs in the wake of the accident.

“We’re really sad to see this news,” Excision Presents, the concert’s primary organizer, wrote in a post on X. “Sending a lot of love to the people involved in this accident and their loved ones!”

The totaled car that had been carrying Morgan Ehrenbeit, Michael Rosenbaum and Luke Stempuzis.

Kristina Stempuzis/GoFundMe

Police said the driver of the rideshare vehicle, Nasir Musazada, was also killed in the crash.

Ford has been charged with two counts of felony manslaughter, two counts of felony assault, speeding, failure to use headlights, being an unlicensed driver and operating a motor vehicle without insurance, Fox 8 News reports.

The City of Buffalo held a press conference to address the fatal accident, which you can watch below.

Tomorrowland Clarifies Speculation Surrounding Thailand Festival Expansion

Contrary to local reports, a Tomorrowland festival has not yet been confirmed to take place in Thailand, Tomorrowland spokesperson Debby Wilmsen tells EDM.com.

Citing Thai government spokesman Chai Wacharonke, numerous media outlets have reported that the organizers of the iconic, Belgium-based EDM festival have confirmed a new event in Thailand in 2026. However, while Tomorrowland’s proprietors are currently exploring an expansion into the country, they’re in the due diligence phase and have not yet solidified plans for a new festival.

“In December the Tomorrowland team had the privilege of engaging in discussions with various parties and exploring potential locations for a Tomorrowland festival in Thailand,” Wilmsen tells EDM.com. “Deeply touched by the warm support, we must clarify the recent speculation: nothing has been officially confirmed or signed at this time. The Tomorowland team is diligently conducting thorough research and exploration to assess the feasibility of hosting Tomorrowland in Thailand. There is still much to be investigated.”

Wacharonke also said Tomorrowland’s unconfirmed inaugural festival in Thailand is the first of 10 consecutive editions, per The Japan Times. That claim is also unfounded at the time of this writing.

“We continue to work towards bringing the magic of Tomorrowland to new destinations, but for now, all focus on the 20th anniversary of Tomorrowland in Belgium,” Wilmsen added.

She also noted that Tomorrowland is “very honored that the Thai authorities are eager to welcome us” as their team evaluates the viability of a new festival in the region.

“Tomorrowland has a real interest in Thailand and is seriously exploring the possibility of a festival in the Kingdom,” she said. “For now Tomorrowland explores the feasibility of such a project. At this stage, there is no confirmation yet on an actual festival taking place, this is what the feasibility study will make clear.”

Tomorrowland recently expanded to Colombia after announcing a new edition of their CORE offshoot in Medellín. That event is scheduled for May 11-12 at the Botanical Garden of Medellín.

Meanwhile, 400,000 people are expected to attend the flagship Tomorrowland festival in Belgium, which will take place in Boom across two weekends: July 19-21 and July 26-28. This year’s festival will celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary with a lineup featuring Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Hardwell and many more electronic dance music superstars.

How a Team of Creatives Developed Excision's Most Baffling Ultra 2024 Visuals

This is a guest column written by Gordon Droitcour, a co-founder and executive producer at COUR, a multidisciplinary creative house. He also is the co-founder of Syne Research, a brand that celebrates the visual side of the listening experience through digital album artwork displays.


Late last year, the Excision and Immanent VJ team approached COUR to handle the creative and execution for five songs of Excision’s newest tour, “Nexus,” along with Ultra Music Festival in Miami.

Elevating the tracks “Bass to the Dome,” “1 on 1,” “Death Wish,” “End of the World” and “Kern Happy Die,” COUR sought to create five distinct worlds that would seamlessly merge with the music. Aware of Excision’s reputation for creating electrifying performances, the team knew they had to deliver a spectacle that would not only enhance the music, but also leave the audiences wanting more.

The COUR team began work in December 2023, working with Excision and creative/video director Matt Medwid to develop the visuals for five tracks during the performance. Excision and the Immanent team were entirely responsible for the creative concept behind the Ultra Music Festival set and wanted the performance to be visually striking and appear as if the visuals were popping out of the screen towards the audience.

Alongside Matt, COUR drew inspiration from intense twists on nature, the pulsating beat of internet culture and the quirky realms of computer futurism to breathe life into the performance. We came up with unique concepts to accompany each of the five songs.

During “1 on 1,” the team wanted to create a Tron and Tetris-inspired architectural wonderland for Excision that would match the perspective of the stage and extend it. It was a pretty special moment. Lasers were dancing across a wireframe landscape, revealing intricate geometric shapes against the night sky. It was architecturally-led but felt like a fast, rhythm-based cube-crusher game.

Excision’s Visuals for “1 on 1” at Ultra Music Festival 2024 (0:30)

Matching the futuristic bass beats of “Bass to the Dome,” Excision wanted to bring the performance to life with pulsating cubes of lasers rolling and crashing into the earth while unleashing a barrage of pyrotechnics, shockwaves and digital signals. During the track, the sides of the cube begin to fall away, revealing a futuristic bass speaker inside.

Excision’s Visuals for “Bass to the Dome” at Ultra Music Festival 2024 (0:30)

As the show progressed and the energy of the set increased, the team wanted to create an exciting moment for the audience that would match the energy of “Kern Happy Die.” During the track, a laser is emitted from the center of an LED wall, and a reactor core is activated in the centre of the screen.

As the core began to fire up, a bright green backlight slowly began to fill the screen, illuminating a vast array of people standing on a multi-story scaffolding structure. As the song builds, the people on the scaffolding begin to convulse and move frantically.

Excision’s Visuals for “Kern Happy Die” at Ultra Music Festival 2024 (0:30)

Another concept the team developed was a futuristic computer interface that visualized a cybernetic overlord’s voice through a stunning 3D lattice structure during “End of the World.” The computer interface was a thin glass with intricate HUD visuals displaying data.

As the song darkens, the overlord leaves the computer interface, breaking the frame and extruding towards the audience. This moment fully demonstrated Excision’s unparalleled creativity and technical prowess as artists at the top of their game.

Excision’s Visuals for “End of the World” at Ultra Music Festival 2024 (0:30)

Alongside Matt and Excision, COUR transformed the stage into a rocky, hieroglyphic-filled cave for “Death Wish.” An ominous “X” emerged from the darkness, accompanied by bursts of fire, lasers and the chilling proclamation “Time to Grant Your Death Wish” splashed across large screens, which engulfed the audience in an unforgettable sensory experience.

Excision’s Visuals for “Death Wish” at Ultra Music Festival 2024 (0:30)

Though COUR specializes in video content, they pride themselves in being a multidisciplinary creative house handling things from creative direction to design to content. The Ultra Music Festival performance was a testament to Excision’s raw talent and creativity to deliver one of the most forward-thinking and innovative live music experiences.

SLANDER Are Giving Away Full-Ride Music Production Scholarships to ICON Collective

SLANDER are helping pave the way for a new era of electronic music producers to unlock their potential by giving away three full-ride scholarships to ICON Collective.

The LA-based institution’s classes cover the fundamentals and application of music production, vocal performance and music business while emphasizing artistic expression and technological proficiency.

Announcing the scholarships on social media, SLANDER said the school’s programs “changed our lives.”

“Our time at Icon was pivotal,” the duo said. “When we started classes we only had 1 year of self-taught skill in music production, and after graduating there was a night and day difference in our music. It was amazing to learn so much in such little time, and the culture at the school was truly inspiring.”

View the original article to see embedded media.

“These scholarships aim to provide the education, guidance, and support you need to actualize your dreams,” ICON wrote in their own post.

To enter for a chance to win one of the on-campus scholarships, ICON is asking aspiring producers to share their story in a two-minute video. The content can touch on what fuels your passion for electronic music, your strengths and challenges, what makes you stand out and more.

Applications close on May 3rd and winners will be announced on May 31st. For more information, head here.

Follow SLANDER:

Facebook: facebook.com/slanderofficial
Instagram: instagram.com/slanderofficial
X: x.com/SlanderOfficial
Spotify: spoti.fi/3zpUP2P

Watch Never-Before-Seen Footage of Avicii's Final Sweden Performance at Exclusive Screening

Next month will mark six years since we lost Avicii, one of the most iconic electronic dance music producers of all-time.

Now, The Avicii Experience, an interactive tribute museum in the DJ’s hometown of Stockholm, will honor his life by hosting exclusive screenings of his final performance in Sweden. The never-before-seen footage was recorded at Avicii’s performance in Pildammsparken, Malmö on August 5th, 2016.

Taking place from March 28th to April 7th, the Avicii Experience’s special film screening will take place on a 100-square meter, 8K curved LED screen. Fans who purchase general tickets to the museum can catch the screening, which will air once every hour. They can pre-purchase passes online to be guaranteed a preferred time-slot.

View the original article to see embedded media.

In other Avicii news, a new remix he produced of Zac Brown Band’s song “Beautiful Drug” recently hit streaming platforms. You can listen to the track here.

Academy Award-winning film producer Lawrence Bender is currently developing a new documentary about the legendary DJ. The project, which Bender called “eye-opening,” will feature interviews with Avicii’s family and friends as well as “previously unreleased footage” recorded around the time of his discovery and rise to fame.

The documentary’s producers have not announced a release date at the time of this writing.

A Third of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment While Working In Music, Report Finds

A new report, which arose from research by the Musicians’ Union and the charitable organization Help Musicians, shines a light on the plight of women working in the music industry in 2024.

Over 2,500 female musicians were surveyed in the “Women Musicians Insight Report,” which suggests that work-related abuse and financial disparities significantly impede the career advancement of women in the music industry. The study found that half of women have experienced gender discrimination and a third have been sexually harassed.

Another finding in the study correlated women’s age and visibility in the music scene. While 47% of musicians ages 16-55 were women, they comprised only 26% of those over the age of 55. Age discrimination was found to occur much more commonly in female musicians versus males.

“The findings of the latest Census report show there’s still so much work to be done to make sure that working as a musician is equitable for all,” said Sarah Woods, the Chief Executive of Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter. “We hope these insights will encourage the industry to continue collaborating to reduce gender-based barriers and ensure gender equity in every part of music.”

“It’s alarming to witness the persistence of gender disparities highlighted by the UK Musicians’ Census, where discrimination, harassment and unequal pay remain prevalent issues faced by women musicians, demanding urgent action,” added Nadia Khan, founder of the nonprofit Women In CTRL. “This pivotal moment presents a unique opportunity for change ahead of the next musicians’ census. It’s vital that the industry makes genuine commitments and takes decisive actions to prevent the recurrence of the same data.”

You can read the full “Women Musicians Insight Report” here.

Tomorrowland Denies Reports of Thailand Festival Expansion

Contrary to local reports, a Tomorrowland festival has not been confirmed to take place in Thailand, Tomorrowland spokesperson Debby Wilmsen tells EDM.com.

Citing Thai government spokesman Chai Wacharonke, numerous media outlets have reported that the organizers of the iconic, Belgium-based EDM festival are developing an event in Bangkok in 2026. However, while Tomorrowland’s proprietors are currently exploring an expansion to Thailand, they’re in the due diligence phase and have not yet confirmed a new festival.

“In December the Tomorrowland team had the privilege of engaging in discussions with various parties and exploring potential locations for a Tomorrowland festival in Thailand,” Wilmsen tells EDM.com. “Deeply touched by the warm support, we must clarify the recent speculation: nothing has been officially confirmed or signed at this time. The Tomorowland team is diligently conducting thorough research and exploration to assess the feasibility of hosting Tomorrowland in Thailand. There is still much to be investigated.”

Wacharonke also said Tomorrowland’s unconfirmed inaugural festival in Thailand is the first of 10 consecutive editions, per The Japan Times. That claim is also unfounded at the time of this writing.

“We continue to work towards bringing the magic of Tomorrowland to new destinations, but for now, all focus on the 20th anniversary of Tomorrowland in Belgium,” Wilmsen added.

Tomorrowland recently expanded to Colombia after announcing a new edition of their CORE offshoot in Medellín. That event is scheduled for May 11-12 at the Botanical Garden of Medellín.

Meanwhile, 400,000 people are expected to attend the flagship Tomorrowland festival in Belgium, which will take place in Boom across two weekends: July 19-21 and July 26-28. This year’s festival will celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary with a lineup featuring Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Hardwell and many more electronic dance music superstars.

“Things Had to Change”: WORSHIP on the Drum & Bass Revolution in the United States

Drum & bass has functioned as the heart and soul of the UK electronic music scene for decades, but we’ve only recently seen it blow up in the United States. Why has its emergence taken so long?

Enter Dimension, Sub Focus, Culture Shock and 1991 of WORSHIP, a supergroup of influential drum & bass artists redefining the genre for a new generation of fans. We caught up with the collective and their manager, Sebastian Weingartshofer, to discuss the genre’s stateside boom—and its longevity within the electronic music scene.

“For a long time, a lot of drum & bass artists were drawing huge audiences around the globe, then traveling to the U.S. and playing to half-empty clubs,” Dimension tells us. “Artists were left demotivated. I had the same experience. After a bad show in New York, I remember phoning Seb and we agreed things had to change.”

“I remember the moment of driving back to the airport in New York City with Rob [Dimension] and saying, ‘It shouldn’t be like this,'” adds Culture Shock. “We then really made a conscious effort to put our heads together and present the music the way we thought it should be. We’ve had to invest a huge amount but it really feels like it’s working and the momentum is building.”

Amid drum & bass’ volcanic rise in the U.S., the group developed a master plan. They saw major potential in North America, Dimension says, to “create something fresh” by joining forces.

“Our goal was to help bring the genre back into vogue by encouraging a fresh, young, inclusive community of fans into the genre through investing heavily in production and creative, while working with top venues and promoters,” he explains. “It’s been unbelievably humbling seeing a new community of fans grow, with crowds and venues increasing in size. We like to think we’ve played a key role in this growth.”

1991, Culture Shock, Dimension and Sub Focus of WORSHIP.

Sam Neill

When it comes to each of WORSHIP’s members, it’s clear they believe drum & bass culture is a priceless part of the electronic music zeitgeist, and its spirit simply can’t be captured anywhere else. They’ve always lived and breathed the genre, and they’re now positioning themselves as lynchpins of today’s movement.

“I got into drum & bass pretty much at its inception, as it morphed from jungle,” Sub Focus recalls. “It means so much to me to now be a part of its story. I love how it’s like a secret subculture that we are all a part of.”

“My love for drum & bass started around 15 years ago,” 1991 adds. “What largely drew me to it was how much of a rogue genre it is. It’s not always been the coolest genre, but it’s certainly the most fun. For the most part, it’s an inclusive scene where anyone is welcome. I think that’s why I’ve always stuck by it. It feels like a family.”

Taking the necessary risks

Ever since drum & bass first piqued their interest, Culture Shock, Dimension, Sub Focus and 1991 have spent years climbing to its upper echelon at breakneck tempos of over 174 BPM. Getting to the top, however, was only the beginning of their widespread influence.

While their dedication to the culture is an important factor, many risks needed to be taken in the States for drum & bass to have real staying power.

“Big homegrown acts are a big part of what leads the scene to thrive in different areas,” says Sub Focus. “There’s Pendulum and Luude from Australia, Netsky from Belgium, Camo & Krooked in Austria and many more examples across the globe. Homegrown drum & bass acts from the U.S. flourishing will help the scene no end here.”

As artists like REAPER, Kumarion, AIRGLO, Justin Hawkes and so many more lead the charge in the U.S., the growth of drum & bass has continued to skyrocket. WORSHIP are doing their part too as their current tour continues on as one of the electronic music scene’s most in-demand.

Sam Neill

They’re immensely grateful for the stateside promoters who took a chance on them in the beginning.

“We’ve been building this project for four years now,” Dimension explains. “I remember for the first tour we literally had to create a presentation explaining who we are, what country we were from, and list everything we were doing differently in order to make the tour tickets sell. We had to put ourselves out there with the very real possibility that the whole WORSHIP tour could be a complete failure.”

“Deep down, all of us really believed in the idea, but in hindsight, it was the promoters and agents that took on the most risk,” he continues. “The North America drum & bass scene was in such bad shape that we arguably had nothing to lose, but the promoters and agents deserve a massive amount of gratitude for backing us and believing in our concept.”

Keeping the drum & bass revolution alive

Ultimately, WORSHIP did become a key player in drum & bass’ growth in the region—but their work isn’t done yet. Trends, especially in electronic music, can be hot and cold.

However, something as addictive as drum & bass has major staying power for a multitude of reasons.

“The energy of the genre is addictive and unparalleled, whilst constantly pushing boundaries and setting the standard,” says Weingartshofer, WORSHIP’s manager. “Generally the demographic of the genre remains young, which helps refresh engagement in consumption and event attendances over many generations.”

Culture Shock agrees, calling the energy of drum & bass crowds “unmatched.”

“As an artist, it’s a really fun genre because you can incorporate any style you like,” he says. “I feel like other genres within electronic music can be more restrictive and don’t allow for as much expression.”

WORSHIP North America 2024 Tour (0:17)

The unbridled energy of drum & bass isn’t its only cornerstone—its origins are just as pivotal. The underground is crucial to any genre of music, considering its artists challenge boundaries when things above become stale.

“Drum & bass is completely on its own in terms of style and speed—there really isn’t any other genre like it,” says Sub Focus. “It’s got a rich history and a fertile underground scene, which has given it huge staying power. Whilst it has had moments of commercial success, it has always had a large group of people pushing its limits and boundaries away from the glare of the spotlight.”

Hitting the road (again)

With a great deal of both experience and passion, the WORSHIP collective are flying the flag of drum & bass in the States. It’s their third collaborative North American tour, which culminates in their biggest show to date on March 30th at Los Angeles’ famed Hollywood Palladium.

A few months later in May, the entire crew will return for one of the most anticipated performances at EDC Las Vegas, one of the world’s biggest electronic dance music festivals.

“Being part of this tour has been one of the most satisfying projects I have had the pleasure of been involved in,” Dimension gushes. “It’s been so rewarding seeing the community explode. I’m predominantly a solo artist, so achieving something together with your friends has made it extra special. Personally, I would love for fans to walk away from our shows feeling that a drum & bass party can be a crazy amount of fun for anyone. Everyone is accepted.”

“The more people who enjoy what we do, the more fulfilling and inspiring it is for us as artists,” 1991 adds. “I’ve left the two previous WORSHIP tours feeling inspired to come back bigger and better, so that’s all I can really hope for again this time around.”

View the original article to see embedded media.

While WORSHIP’s crusade to embed drum & bass into the American electronic music terrain has been a long and tortuous uphill battle, 2023 was a breakthrough year for the genre. And we’ve only seen it take off further in the early months of 2024—a trend Weingartshofer believes is here to stay.

“We’re now seeing both fans and DJs who are more open-minded to the genre, as well as other genres in dance music in the post-dubstep/EDM boom,” he explains. “Headliners like Tiësto, John Summit, David Guetta and Dom Dolla are playing drum & bass in their sets and getting great reactions.”

Weingartshofer also credits grassroots artists and brands in North America for propelling the scene forward with unabashed passion.

“Brands like Brownies & Lemonade are creating culture on the ground with their DNBNL series, exposing impressionable dance music fans to the genre,” he continues. “Record labels like Deadbeats and Monstercat are getting behind the music and supporting artists from around the world. A decade ago this infrastructure didn’t exist. It’s great to see more confidence towards drum & bass in all areas.”

You can purchase tickets to WORSHIP’s North American tour and find out more about the collective here.

Follow WORSHIP:

Website: worshipartists.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/worshipartists
X: x.com/worship_artists
Instagram: instagram.com/worshipartists