“We’re a community that wants to get up and dance,” veteran DJ Paul Oakenfold told Variety backstage at the first ever Electronic Music Awards. Indeed, dance music isn’t designed to be a seated affair, so Oakenfold has been trying for the last few years to bring the EDM sector together for an awards show that reflects the spirit of the dance world.
That vision was realized on September 21 in Downtown Los Angeles’ Willow Studios as Oakenfold’s “labor of love” came to fruition, with a three-hour-plus show that felt more like a ’90s rave than an awards show, to the delight of the crowd.
“This feels like a warehouse party,” was uttered multiple times by the industry-heavy contingent in VIP, which included managers, Grammy Awards officials, journalists and more on hand to relive their raver past.
That sense of nostalgia was reflected in the performances, which saw a trio of dance music heavyweights. British act Orbital made their first U.S. appearance in five years; Detroit legend Juan Atkins, who was deservedly honored with the Innovation Award, dazzled in a rare appearance; and Moby, who took home a Lifetime Achievement Award, reminded yet again how, when he chooses to play live, he is one of the best acts in music.
The show partnered with Twitter, who streamed the event live. And Oakenfold says he already is planning for future ceremonies next year and beyond. It may have taken years for the show to come to life, but for an inaugural event, it went off remarkably smoothly. It all bodes well for future editions of the EDM Awards, which Oakey, as he is known to friends, said he sees continuing with a home in Los Angeles.
See the full list of winners below:
Rufus Del Sol – Best Live Show
Sasha – Record Of The Year for his remix of Rufus’ “Innerbloom.”
Bonobo – Album Of The Year, Migration
EDC – Festival Of The Year
Diplo and Pete Tong (tied) -Radio Show Of The Year
Eric Prydz – DJ Of The Year
Cashmere Cat – Producer Of The Year
Alison Wonderland – Best New Artist
Illenium – Best Remix Of The Year
Juan Atkins – Innovator Award
Moby – Lifetime Achievement Award