This Saturday bedroom DJs and producers of all ages will have a chance to take a peek behind the curtains of electronic music. After a year off and two reschedulings Beat Camp returns for its third edition and will fill both levels of Commonwealth with clinics workshops and panel discussions. The event put on by music production school Beat Drop is a condensed experience of the school’s offerings which has a mandate to facilitate connections in the scene.

“People are creating music at a younger age these days and the way we create it is very different” says Beat Drop director Mitch Lee who has a history of producing music for TV commercials and video games. “Even more so in today’s music industry networking and relationships are even more important. And as people are making sick beats in their basement they’re getting less and less engaged with the community.”

“I look at it kind of like a replacement for the way record stores used to be” adds Dan Murray Beat Drop operations manager. “When I was a kid I would hang out in a record store all day long and I would talk to the older DJs and try to get information. I was there to listen and learn and that doesn’t really exist anymore. Beat Drop is kind of a modern-day successor.”

Not only has the sense of community in the electronic scene dwindled since Murray was younger but recording gear can now be purchased on a tight budget leading to more youth taking up the hobby. And with a noticeable lack of all-ages venues in the scene a point was made to have this year’s Beat Camp open to all ages for the first time going so far as to foot the bill for the rental of the venue and allow youth to attend for free.

“When I was a kid it was an impossible dream to build a studio and now anybody can do it but getting that knowledge is the hard part” says Murray a prolific DJ and former label manager of Homebreakin Records. “There are lots of kids interested in making music and DJing and producing. Being all-ages was a huge priority for this year for us. To have kids come out and learn from some of these people that they wouldn’t be able to see yet is pretty awesome.”

Throughout the day attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to produce on the road create classic synth sounds and get an in-depth look at the pros and cons of different live set-ups. But Lee and Murray are most excited for the Women in #YYC Music panel featuring local talent from a variety of backgrounds including Miesha Louie from Miesha and the Spanks HiFi Club regular DJ Reece and Substation Recording’s Isis Graham.

“The things that they do I admire them so much for and I think it could be very interesting for people to hear about their experiences working in Calgary” says Murray. “I’ve had so many conversations with all these different women and they have some pretty crazy stories. All these women are super talented and are doing really cool things in Calgary and any little girl boy or person in general should be listening to what they’re saying.”

Capping off the festivities at Commonwealth will be a remix competition and beat battle after which the party will move on to the HiFi Club for an all-ages after party featuring Curses and Neighbour.

“Most of the kids that are going to come have never been to something like this” says Murray. “We just want them to be exposed to what they’re interested in.”

While the duo has big plans for future instalments of Beat Camp hoping to one day become a multi-venue festival right now they’re just happy to provide Calgary’s young DJs with a place to come together.

“I want them to be wanting to run home and make music jump on their laptops and turntables and create just because they heard something inspiring that day” says Lee.

“Calgary is an awesome city and there’s so many people doing creative things here” adds Murray. “If we can be a part of that that’s just the best thing ever.”

Beat Camp takes place on Saturday October 18 at Commonwealth.