How Electronic Dance Music is Leading the World Through Social Change

The battle for human rights and social acceptance is something that the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) industry has been founded upon. The movement has grown from being a crowd of 20 people partying in a small field in the UK to selling out massive stadiums across Europe and in North America. Some of the most influential human rights lawyers in Europe are using the coat tails of the EDM movement to promote and advance disability rights across the globe.

I come from a background in EDM that spans back from the mid 1990’s. I was fortunate enough during my gap year to be a part of the Pirate Radio crew with Chris Sheppard. I worked and apprenticed alongside of some Canada’s top DJ’s and producers at the time. I was eventually pooled by Universal Music Canada, and in 2005 I was the first “industry sanctioned” DJ to go viral online. I was a pioneer back then in what is now called podcasting. All of the top EDM DJ’s now have their own podcasts and these podcasts have become a critical link between DJ’s and fans.

The EDM industry was founded on acceptance and human rights. Whether you’re gay, strait, bi, black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Palestinian it doesn’t matter when you are at these events. There’s no judgement only unity on the dance floor.

In this part of the music industry we go by a four letter acronym. P.L.U.R. Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. In promoting this acceptance and unity the EDM industry has become a major engine for social change across Europe pushing for the rights of the LBGTQ communities, and women’s equality rights.

Back in October 2020, I took a course on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through Arch Disability Law. A lot of the human rights lawyers who are fighting for people with disabilities across Europe are using this title wave of social change that is happening on LGBTQ and equality rights to push for meaningful change in law across the continent for the disabled. None more so than in ultra conservative Ireland where this country has been forced to accept a change in its way of thinking towards LGBTQ and women’s rights. Disability rights lawyers in Ireland are using this change to advocate for the disabled in court and in politics.

EDM isn’t about a bunch of kids getting high on drugs at a rave, it’s about people of all ages, and all backgrounds wanting to be accepted and loved for who they are without any judgement. If we could just all take a little bit of that positive energy and imagine creative solutions to make the world a better place and less judgmental for all.

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