“Spent months making new versions of everything for this and you wonder why I never play EDM festivals”: Calvin Harris responds to criticism that his Ultra Music set was “underwhelming”

“At least people I saw [in real life] had a great time and I can be happy with that”

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Calvin Harris on stage at the BRIT awards playing a keyboard

Image: Dave Benett / Getty

Calvin Harris has responded to criticism of his set at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival after people online called it “underwhelming”.

Harris played a headlining set on the main stage during the festival’s final day (Sunday 24 March), where he performed hits such as This Is What You Came For and Outside, but with some added live twists.

Being an artist in the age of social media means you’re bound to come across negative comments on your work. Most creatives will simply ignore, but sometimes it can be hard to let things slide when a lot of time and effort has gone into your craft.

Responding in a thread of comments on Instagram, Harris argued that no matter what he does, his choice on what to perform at EDM festivals such as this one will never please everyone. He also said he spent “months” making new versions of his biggest hits to appease those who aren’t so keen on mainstream music.

“You expect me to play none of my songs? Three songs since 2014, hmm, How Deep Is Your Love – billion streams, This Is What You Came For – billion streams, My Way – billion streams, Slide – billion streams, Feels – billion streams, One Kiss – billion streams, and the other five half a bill and before 2014, another 20, and not cheesy shit, proper fucking songs with real artists and you’d rather I play Fein trap edits today.

“Spent months making new versions of everything for this and you wonder why I never play EDM festivals… At least people I saw [in real life] had a great time and I can be happy with that but fuck, at this point whatever I do is gonna piss you off,” he said.

The original comment he is responding to appears to be deleted, and the commenter has apologised in the thread.

Calvin Harris responds to comment calling his set “underwhelming”. Says it’s part of the reason he doesn’t do EDM festivals
byu/pastrknack inEDM

Harris began his music-making journey with an old Amiga 500 Plus desktop computer left behind by his older brother when he went away to university.

Last August, Harris reflected on how working with limited gear was actually beneficial to his creative process: “There were some songs that I couldn’t put a crash symbol in and a chorus vocal at the same time, it would take up too much memory. So I had to decide, would I put in this riff, or would I put in this hi-hat, you know?” he told BBC Sounds.

“You can do anything now. And all the programmes are so advanced. You can literally go from doing nothing to doing an orchestral piece with 200 tracks, but I think it’s a good idea to impose your own restrictions sometimes, and work to that.”

View all upcoming live dates for Calvin Harris.


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