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Brexit: The impact on dance music so far

Article 50 has yet to be triggered, but the scene has already felt repercussions because of the leave vote

  • Words: Sirin Kale | Illustration: Patch Keyes
  • 30 January 2017

In my experience, British clubbers have a relatively narrow set of concerns: am I going to start coming up in the queue (again)? Is security going to check inside my shoes? Will shivering in the smoking area while a bouncer-slash-Stormtrooper screams at me to smoke faster ever actually worth it? (It’s not.) But what UK clubbers rarely consider is how the dance music industry will be affected by Britain leaving the European Union.

“It’s already happening!” laughs Pete Monk from Westend DJ, a leading equipment retailer. I’ve called their London headquarters to find out how much equipment prices have risen since June, and Monk’s candour surprises me. “Pioneer’s prices in particular,” Monk goes on, “have had a massive hike. Some of them are eye-wateringly different.” He cites the Pioneer XDJ RX, beloved of bedroom DJs everywhere, up from £1149 to £1315.

The reason prices have gone up so sharply is because of what’s happened to exchange rates since June’s vote. Deciding to leave the EU caused the pound to slump faster than a foam hand at an EDM festival: At one point, the exchange rate for pounds to Euros was 1:1, compared to 1:1.35 a year previously. And experts have warned that we can expect more volatility as government negotiations to leave the EU continue.

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