A year after a lawsuit was brought against Bassnectar by four women accusing him of sexual abuse, grooming and human trafficking, a former collaborator of the producer has launched a project intended to curb sexual violence against female professionals and fans within the music industry.
Created by Mimi Page, Dancesafe and Good Night Out Vancouver, this initiative, Healing Is Power, is an eight-week campaign focused on building the knowledge and skills of fans, artists, management, venues and event producers to prevent and address sexual violence and support healing. A new information module will be published online and via social media every Tuesday through May 17, with the goal, organizers say, of “presenting knowledge and skills to help dismantle rape culture and build a consent culture within music and nightlife communities.”
Launching Tuesday (April 12), the third session of Healing Is Power will explore ideas related to public figure integrity and responsibility. The topic of upcoming sessions include grooming, bystander intervention, supporting survivors and societal healing. Materials from the first two Healing Is Power sessions are available here.
“While still traumatized by my own experiences, I’m incredibly passionate about bringing healing to the music industry and I believe education is a huge part of this healing process,” Page tells Billboard. “This specific campaign is not targeting any specific person or situation, it is targeting the collective toxicity that will continue unless we keep shining a light on these issues and evolve our understanding of what respect and healing look like.”
In July 2020 — as myriad allegations of sexual misconduct, emotional manipulation and other charges against the artist born Lorin Ashton were coming to light, which he has denied — Page published a sprawling open letter to the producer. Among other allegations, in it she claims Ashton persuaded her to take a one-time payment of $3,000 for her work on the 2012 song”Butterfly” rather than offering a split of the song’s master royalties. (The song has nearly 9 million Spotify streams.) The letter also addresses the alleged manipulation Page and many other women who’ve come forward with allegations against Ashton say they experienced with him in both professional and sexual relationships.
“As a female collaborator of his who was silently subjected to sexually inappropriate emails, emotional manipulation, and creative and financial abuse by him for many years, I personally experienced a darker side of this individual, which was a giant contrast to the ‘feminist’ and ‘social justice activist’ he projected to the public,” Page says. “As a lesser known, independent artist, the power dynamics ingrained within the music industry made me feel powerless in the face of his professional treatment of me, and I was conditioned to believe this work environment was normal and unavoidable when working with an artist of his caliber in the music industry.”
A lawyer for Ashton previously denied the allegations made in the 2021 lawsuit. “These outrageous claims — which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts — are completely without merit, and we eagerly look forward to proving so,” his attorney, Mitchell Schuster, said in a statement provided to Billboard at the time.
The electronic music producer himself has also denied the July 2020 misconduct allegations, calling them “untrue” in a statement at the time.
With Healing Is Power, Page is working to shift these dynamics through education. In the aftermath of the situation, Page was inspired to reach out to DanceSafe, a longstanding harm reduction agency within the dance music scene, and British Colombia-based Good Night Out Vancouver, a nonprofit organization focused on ending harassment during nights out at bars, clubs, festivals and other spaces. In the year since, the three entities have, Page says, “spent countless hours creating this campaign from the ground up, and I have never been more inspired by the work being done by these amazing individuals… Because of their knowledge, passion, and dedication, I do believe in a brighter and safer future for not only our collective industry, but the next generation of creatives and fans.”
The trailer for the campaign features Page’s ethereal vocals, along with a butterfly symbol, a direct nod to Page’s Bassnectar collaboration.
“Many of his fans have been traumatized by what’s taken place and removed his tattoos…and I had many female fans with butterfly tattoos reach out and tell me that while they were traumatized by their tattoos, it meant a lot to them that I was standing up for survivors and for collective healing,” Page says. “Using the butterfly in this campaign allows me to reclaim the love, light, and beauty that I intended, and for anyone who needs a symbol of hope in these dark times.”