Why The Punk Community Should Stand Against Concert Cancelations Like Electric Zoo
The final day of the Electric Zoo Music Festival was cancelled this past weekend due to two drug-related deaths, and the news has reached major mainstream outlets. Jesse Cannon, author of Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business and the man behind Cannon Found Soundation, has written a special Contributor Blog article for us with his view of how this past weekend’s events could begin to leave major marks on our music scene and others as well. Read it, and let us know your thoughts, below!
I know PropertyOfZack is not where you go to hear about festivals where idiots like Steve Aoki serve up watered down remixes to what you might consider drug addled morons. But after local government insisted that Electric Zoo cancel their festival this weekend when two concert goers overdosed on a truly excessive amount of MDMA, I got to thinking that this is probably the beginning of a truly awful trend in music that I have also seen affect the punk scene.
As a punk kid you’ve probably experienced the thoughts of those who don’t exist in our scene don’t understand the truth about our community. Adults see a bunch of weird looking kids hanging around and figure everyone is worshipping Satan while doing meth in order to listen to the screams that come out of your favorite singer. You know this to not be true and that even if some people are drunk or stoned at a show, the real high you are going for is the music.
You go to shows for the music, the community, the friends you make and the release that it gives you. In fact, many people say this community is what has kept them going, kept them from committing suicide and taking drugs that outsiders think happen at these shows.
As a punk kid, you probably don’t think too highly of dance music culture, but let me tell you this: as someone who grew up as a punk rocker, I also spent my fair share of time in the dance music scene. As a teenager, while I was promoting shows for Dillinger Escape Plan, Saves The Day, and Kid Dynamite, I also spent my free nights going to underground dance shows. I have known both of these scenes well all of my life and while punk was always my first love, dance was my second home that gave me a community punk didn’t always fill.
While the sounds of Lifetime gave me a way to fill my teenage emotional voids, Refused an outlet for my frustrations with capitalism, and Rancid a way to express my anger, the dance sounds of Atari Teenage Riot entertained me with their innovation, Aphex Twin challenged my musical mind with what composition could include and Plastikman gave me a way to dance away my thoughts that a mosh pit never did. All of these groups gave me something different and none of them were seen by those on the outside the way I actually saw them being a part of it.