One of my most passionate subjects that many will find is that of the music industry. Or rather – the industry and “outdustry.” The ins and the outs of music and the appreciation to a certain degree that music in any shape or sound is an art form. From the blissful sounds of Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson and Louis Armstrong to the twang of Kenny Chesney, George Strait and Conway Twitty. From the thoughtful lyrics of Tupac to the crassness of Rage Against the Machine. Elvis to Michael, Beatles to Nickels, and B-52’s to SR-71’s – music is the most diverse and universal language on the face of the planet known as Gaia (or Earth depending on your educational status).
This past weekend in New York City – a festival of electrifying proportions took place. I use that term in the best taste possible. The city hosted “EZoo” a Dance Music Festival (EDM Festival for the more mainstream viewers), a festival which promised to be in toe with the likes of the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) and the earlier years of Ultra Music Festival (UMF). Sadly, there were some rather unsophisticated individuals at the event – as typically happens at any music festival or concert who ended up ruining the event for everyone else.
According to news outlets and New York Presses – two fatalities and at least several injuries were reported after the use of drugs at the show. What this meant for some people across the nation was absolutely nothing. However, not all people took this lightly and in fact launched several campaigns not only against the festival, but against the music being presented at the shows within it.
Regardless of its status as either a hoax or “troll” Facebook page: “Ban EDM now” has begun making its way through the veins of the social media website. With almost 1,800 likes as of the time of this post, the page quickly has gained supporters. Whether or not that is because of people showing amusement at the entertainment of the posts of the administration or because of actual support is another question. The page, while unknown of origin describes at least several “actual” pages which are associated with the elimination of the “EDM” genre. For one to understand what this means we should break EDM down a little bit.
For those who don’t know, EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music. By any definition within those terms this could be made to encompass almost any genre of music. To list a few tracks that would be included in this list:
- The Rippingtons – CÃ´te D’Azur [Contemporary Jazz]
- Michael Jackson – Thriller [80s Pop Culture]
- Van Halen – Dreams [80s Rock]
- Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais – Summertime Sadness [2K10s Pop Culture]
- Bruno Mars – Treasure [2K10s Pop Culture]
- Chris Tomlin – Our God [Contemporary Christian]
- Above & Beyond – Every Little Beat [Trance]
- Tim McGraw – Indian Outlaw [Country]
- Scandal – The Warrior [80s Pop Culture]
- Chris Botti – Streets Ahead [Contemporary Jazz]
Ironically, if you draw the lines between the genres mentioned above you will also include the genres of music which were omitted from the list.
How practical is it to ban a music genre? As it seems that most of the individuals involved with this program on the serious level are undereducated and misinformed American citizens – we should probably start with some facts.
Did you know in several middle eastern countries, it is illegal to listen to American Country Music as it is a blasphemous sin? It’s true. Iran is the most particular country which exercises this limitation.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned Western and “indecent” music from state-run TV and radio stations.
Songs by artists such as Eric Clapton and George Michael will be affected.
This in fact did happen, but was poorly reported on. Most agencies did not see the importance of the story. Did this reduce any violence in Iran, or reduce any terrorist activities?
Activists involved in the “Ban EDM” movement have argued that the music leads to drug use, anti-social attitudes, mentalities which are promotional of rapists and murderers among other accusations. This links back to a widely used stereotype which originated in the 1990s in regards to “ravers” and “clubbers” constantly doing ecstasy to “heighten” their experience. While drugs are likely present in these environments – to postulate that the drug consumption or other crimes is worse at these festivals is pure ignorance with a lack of historical knowledge. One should need not look any further than 1969 during a certain festival in New York as well ironically.
Many adults who were born from 1947 to 1959 (I’m basing that on your best ability to memorize the times) will remember this festival. It took place in Bethel, New York on August 15th and lasted through the 18th. The name was the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. This event went on to be listed as one of the Fifty Moments That Changed Rock and Roll by Rolling Stone Magazine. There is no secret about the mass amounts of drugs being shared amongst the “hippie” generation at Woodstock and the amount of sexual “infidelity” – if you want to call it that – was extreme. Woodstock was one of the most obscene and outlandish musical events in the history of music. The goal of Woodstock however, was not to enforce the use of drugs, or the promotion of sex, but the promotion of love and unity.
It is understandable that EZoo is not necessarily a promotion of love and unity. However, to imply that a the culture fully endorses these mindsets of drug and alcohol abuse and sexual deviancy is deplorable and fully ignorant. The assumption can be used in several regards. If we are to assume that fans of “EDM” are being brainwashed into a certain lifestyle because of the music, we must also assume the following about other fans:
- Country music fans all own trucks, they love their dogs, are in constant battles with relationships and have problems holding steady jobs. Most who do not hold jobs in a “normal position” are all farmers and play guitar.
- Jazz music fans are all depressed. They have nothing but bad luck or nothing but good luck. Most either play in bars and drink heavily or play on beaches and drink heavily. Most who play wind instruments are a minority race.
- Pop Culture music is only listened to and enjoy by children.
- Rock music is only listened to by people who are angry at society and want to strike down the balance that things are perfectly placed in. Or they want to change the world.
- Rap music listeners are only thugs who do drugs and rape others. They always have guns on their person and must be in a gang.
You can see how ignorant these assumptions are. We could make ignorant stereotypes all day. Of course none of these things are true.
My point being. The people who are making arguments against this genre of music will not only find it impossible to ban as doing so is an encroachment on the Civil Right of Free Speech, but will also find that they are responsible for furthering a culture of ignorant masses. Lack of education of any specific topic leads to false accusations and the spread of ignorance, and that is exactly what is happening within the “Ban EDM now” movement. For now, I am going to sit back and shake my head watching foolish “adults” continue on a charade that will surely damn them and their children to the epitome of doom. Of course I’ll sit back with some tea and listen to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Mitchell’s “Woodstock” from 1970. EZoo/EDC/UMF is my generations Woodstock, and while I don’t like the music necessarily, I support them.
Carry on guys and gals.