Cult Marketing

EDM is Demanding Justice for Black Lives

The murder of George Floyd sparked an outrage so deep, that it spread across the EDM community as a whole. It is no secret that the black LGBTQ community created electronic dance culture. Despite this, diversity lost its voice in the scene throughout the years. The dance community and mainstream media has evolved into a complex landscape that many push under the umbrella of “EDM”. The EDM community is evolving in the right direction to authentically embody the meaning of PLUR (Peace. Love. Unity. Respect), which is still the core identity of culture values. Support continues to emerge for equality and representation of POC within the community, proving a long awaited future for EDM.


The electronic dance community has gone through various cultural shifts within the last few decades. Black culture continues to be embedded through rave fashion, DJ sets, remixes and sub genres. The industry collectively addressing racism and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is something that needs to be celebrated in the media despite negative feedback. To name a few, popular EDM DJs like Sullivan King and UNIIQU3 participated in BLM protests while others encouraged their followers to donate and have respect for culture origins. Electronic music producer RL Grime raised over $16K for the Minnesota Freedom Fund, on top of matching the amount and donating to the Black Vision Collective. Diplo postponed his regular stream with Dillon Francis, and instead opened a donations page and forum on Twitch in honor of Black Lives Matter. In addition, top rave festival brands and event production companies advocated for equality for black people via social media and donations. Regarding the limited amounts of media outlets within the EDM industry, it was positive to see these platforms address racism as well, by celebrating black artists and educating their platforms.

EDM media outlets traditionally stick to covering the latest music releases and festival news, rarely diving too deep into political issues and alternative topics. I believe a lot of artists resist speaking out on political issues due to the fear of backlash and disrupting their brand image . I believe that the notion of PLUR runs very deep, and although the acronym has been clear for decades the idea is not always practiced within the festival experience.

In 2016, Huffington Post shared an interview with Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac production company detailing the meaning of PLUR:

The term PLUR is silently becoming a political movement where everyone is being held accountable for its true authentic meaning. My feed has been filled with support from both mainstream and underground EDM culture, that was unapologetic in a social media climate that values aesthetic. Many artists and EDM tastemakers had no problem addressing their loss in follower count due to excessive posting or negative feedback from fans. As a publicist, I want to encourage black artists and POC to continue to be vocal about their love for EDM and their experiences. There is an amazing article that has been circulating on Twitter for about two years detailing the history of gay black men and the history of EDM. Although the article is informative, a simple google search reveals limited media addressing POC and representation within EDM in recent years. Sharing stories with the media that highlight black influencers and pioneers in the dance community is essential and it is exciting to see the scene demonstrate solidarity.

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/pride/8460757/gay-black-men-edm-influence-history

Some organizations to which you can donate: ❤️❤️❤️

Minnesota Freedom Fund: minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate

Minnesota ACLU:
https://www.aclu-mn.org/en/donate

George Floyd’s family GoFundme:
gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

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