As the weather starts to get colder and we bundle indoors under the covers, tune into these must-watch EDM documentaries. They’re engaging, eye-opening, and for some, emotional.
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
2016 | 1h 19m
This intriguing Grammy-nominated documentary lures you into the rollercoaster of Steve Aoki’s career. The cake throwing DJ knows how to turn his shows into a party, but this documentary uncovers the pressure he carries with exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. His drive and ambition stems from his father, Rock Aoki, Benihana founder and praiseworthy daredevil. The movie title itself portrays the mindset of Steve Aoki from his youth to where he is now. From his weekly Vegas shows to his world tours, watch how the ambitious artist broke the Guiness record for “Most Traveled Musician in One Year” in 2012 with 161 shows in 41 countries.
Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime
What We Started
2017 | 1h 35m
Starring Martin Garrex and Carl Cox, What We Started is a must-watch documentary for all EDM fanatics. The film showcases Martin Garrex’s rise to fame as he prepares to perform at the mainstage of Miami Ultra at 17 and Carl Cox’s talent of mixing across three decks while on his feet for hours at a time. While using the humility and respect for the two artists as a narrative, the documentary also illustrates how EDM started, how it’s going and what’s coming.
Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, Youtube
Coachella 20 Years in the Dessert
2020 | 1h 43m
The historical documentary of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is entertaining and enlightening. The popular festival wasn’t always a success, and the film discloses some of the failures and mishaps that arose such as having no accounting, forgetting trash bins and funding the festival with money collected from illegal activities. Over the years, however, Coachella has prospered with an eclectic line up. Live performances of underground punk rock in the early years of the festival soon expanded as the rave scene evolved and rave culture was introduced into the event. Although the rave scene was shunned upon and authorities were cracking down on venues and promoters, Coachella persisted. The documentary features interviews from Insomniac founder, Pasquale Rotella, who claims that his business models for EDC and other festivals were heavily influenced by Coachella.
Where to watch: Youtube
Avicii: True Stories
2017 | 2h 19m
Although this EDM documentary isn’t as uplifting as the others on the list, the poignant film directed by Avicii’s long time friend, Levan Tsikurishvili, unveils the struggles of his physical and mental health. Archived footage displays the ups and downs of his musical career. Despite the release of Tim Bergling’s documentary prior to his passing, viewers can anticipate his passing due to the building stress and anxiety he felt throughout his life.
This Was Tomorrow: Tomorrowland
2015 | 1h 17m
This beautiful film starring monumental artists including Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas, David Guetta, and more, portrays the mecca for festival goers. The unity of hundreds of thousands of attendees creates an atmosphere that people describe as “life changing”. German DJ and producer Topic, Indian-born world renowned 50 best chef Gagaan Annad, Kenyan mother and business owner Vicky Tah, and mainstage dancer Kelly De Clercq, share their personal stories that are puzzle pieces making up the grand picture of Tomorrowland.
Where to watch: Apple TV