Music is just one part of the live EDM experience. To create an experience that completely transports fans, you need to go beyond what they’ll hear — and focus on what they’ll see.

That’s where Steve Lieberman comes in. He was first introduced to the scene while cleaning glasses at a nightclub in the Hamptons in 1986. Today, he’s witnessed the rise of festivals, and has become the top EDM lights expert in the industry, working on the lights and visual design of festivals like Coachella, EDC, Insomniac, and Ultra.

Keep reading to learn Lieberman’s take on the industry’s history, the top edm festivals scene, and how lighting can turn a festival or a room into an unforgettable rave.

The birth of the EDM concert scene

Lieberman was in New York when raves started to gain popularity around 1990. “My friends were doing lights for raves, underground illegal events in New York,” he says. “I remember one in particular. They set up a show in an abandoned warehouse on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. We went inside and there were abandoned cars within the building. The party didn’t last more than two hours before the fire department threw us out.”

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