Salvatore Ganacci is the performance artist dance music needs right now - Features - Mixmag

Salvatore Ganacci is the performance artist dance music needs right now

Just ignore them, Salvatore

  • Funster
  • 25 July 2018

You've seen the video, right? You must have done. Come on. You know the one I'm on about, yeah? Well here are four words for you in case you're not sure what's going on: Salvatore Mother Fuckin' Ganacci.

Here's a recap for you. The first weekend of Tomorrowland took place in Belgium recently and for the uninitiated it's a mind-bending, retina-burning festival that caters for almost every sound in dance music. In fact, imagine if there was a music festival in the Harry Potter universe where Ron and the gang all got absolutely steam-trained on every-flavoured beans and danced to weird, mystical bangers, that festival would be Tomorrowland.

Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, Sven Väth and a whole bunch of world-renowned DJs all appeared on the line-up but it's pretty common knowledge that the main musical draw at Tomorrowland is EDM. Steve Aoki, David Guetta (who could forget that moment) Axwell and all those other absolute monsters are the reason tens of thousands show up to the party.

This year however, it wasn't any of the usual juggernauts that made the headlines. Oh no, it's the Bosnian artist Salvatore Ganacci who's riled everyone up and if you hadn't heard of him before Tomorrowland then you sure as hell know who he is now. We could explain in full why people are up-in-arms but it's probably best that you check out his set below first.

We know what you're thinking, the guy is a fucking stallion. He's twerking, rolling around, throwing himself across the stage and dancing like nobody's watching except there's hundreds of thousands of people watching both at the main stage and online. Boy, oh boy has Salvatore caused a bloody free-for-all online but before we delve into the general public's wild disdain for Salvatore's behaviour, can we please take a moment to admire some of his most beautiful moves.

Actually they're not moves, they're flourishes of brilliance.

The flailing, punching arms, the luscious, soft, long hair moving in the wind and a sign of rabid intent that says "I am me, I am Salvatore, I am legend".

Imagine thrashing around like in front of your mates. They'd think you were a moron.

Imagine dancing like that in a club in front of people you don't know. They'd think there might be something wrong with you or that you'd taken too many power gurners.



This one's a particular favourite and can be broken down into several different stages. First, of course, there's the speaker smooch; tender, almost gentle. Then there's the ever so slight look back to the crowd before realising "oh fuck, people are watching". He then stops and resumes DJing.

Yep, those are his legs in the air.

This one's just fucking baffling. To be honest it's pure genius. He's sleeping, he's sleeping, he's still sleeping and then BANG, he's only just flipped himself to an upright position. Not only that, but he's launched straight into another unstoppable flurry of dance moves and the crowd goes absolutely wild.

So here's where you come in, the dance music fan, the Mixmag reader, the keen surveyor of clubland. It seems people aren't very happy about Salvatore's set, they aren't very happy at all. The Bosnian has received an absolute barrage of hatred, ill-wishes and general bile from anyone who's watched the video.

Cries of "this is a disgrace to dance music", "he's not even mixing" and "EDM sux" have filled up my echo chamber to boiling point. People seem genuinely affected by Salvatore's set, I think they feel like they've been personally attacked by his dance moves, ethos and behaviour on the main stage of a major festival.

The fact that people are saying "this is a step too far" and "how could he do this to our precious underground scene" is pretty absurd. It's not our scene – EDM is so separate from everything else and it's a part of dance music so far removed from DJs like Omar S, Marcel Dettmann and Courtesy that it doesn't have to upset us.

Undoubtedly, Salvatore's schtick is going to ruffle some feathers but honestly, we need to lighten up. I just don't see how you can't be entertained by that video. It's fucking ridiculous, his dance moves are hilarious and he's doing it, without a care in the world, in front of nearly 100,000 people. You don't have to be a fan of the set, you don't have to even like Salvatore, but to get so worked up about it and to be angry about his existence is kind of unnecessary. The crowd at Tomorrowland loved it, his fans love him, so why again, must we shit all over something that's clearly born from the tongue being firmly in the cheek.

Through looking at recent videos of Salvatore's sets, it appears this isn't a new thing, he's being putting on this show for years, no-one has batted an eyelid before, so let's not start now. Dance music needs more performance artists like this, and I don't mind being the fall guy to say it. Much like old Salv, I expect to be called every name under the sun after writing this, but then I don't care either.

Salvatore, I for one, salute you in your endeavours and you know what the funniest thing about all of this is? You're going to do it all again for weekend two of Tomorrowland.

Give 'em hell, Salv.

Funster is Mixmag's Digital Editor, you can tell him he's an idiot right here on Twitter

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