Electronic music is mainstream in America now. The ascendancy of dubstep, the neo-rave culture surrounding acts such Deadmau5, and the warm embrace of high BPMs by hip-hop has given teens in suburban shopping malls vital access to big beats. But that doesn’t mean electronic creative culture isn’t still cutting-edge, which is what makes D.C.’s Forward Festival special. This five-day event is heavy on music, of course, including Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills (shown) and about 50 other acts your kid brother in the Skrillex shirt has never heard of, including headliners Jeremy Ellis, Daniel Bell, and FreQ Nasty. But Forward is also interested in the ideas behind electronic artistry, which is why the fest is hosting panel discussions and highlighting several art installations at venues around town. The full schedule is at ForwardDC.com, but in case anybody asks: No, Tiesto will not represent.
The Forward Festival runs from April 25 to April 29 at various venues. See a complete schedule of events at forwarddc.com.