With U.S. election season in full swing and the Democratic National Convention launching last night (August 17), the dance scene is getting in the political mix as well.
This past Friday (August 14) saw the second installment of Rave The Vote, a voter registration initiative that aims to get dance fans to the polls this November 3. Using music to raise awareness to key political issues and the importance of voting at large, acts including Inner City, Justin Martin, Ardalan, Kaleena Zanders, DJ Heather, Walker & Royce and more participated in the livestream.
“I’m voting because our planet cannot afford another four years of an administration that denies climate change and science,” Los Angeles-based producer and Rave the Vote artist VNSSA tells Billboard Dance. “We need elected officials that care about the planet, embrace environmental protection policies, and most of all, care about the people. I’m voting because we need to eradicate racial and gender inequality and we must work together to achieve it.”
While the dance world is often criticized as escapist and apolitical, in fact the roots of the genre are acutely revolutionary, with the early rave world largely created by, and creating a safe haven for, LGBTQ+ people. With freedom of expression and the importance of community still key scene values, it follows logic that the dance world should rally to protect, strengthen and participate in our democracy. Artists including Diplo and Kevin Saunderson emphasized the important of voting in a recent Rave the Vote PSA, with the next installments of the event happening this September 11 and October 2.
Below, check out ten Rave the Votes sets from many of the participating artists and get their thoughts on why they’re heading to the polls this November — and why they think you should, too.
“We are rapidly approaching one of the most important elections in the history of the country. The world is very intense at the moment, and we need solid leadership to make sure we come out better and stronger on the other side. Help be the solution, please vote!”
Walker & Royce
“I’m hard pressed to find any negative character trait that Donald Trump does not exemplify. Here are some that come to mind: incompetent, spiteful, arrogant, misogynist, liar, petty, racist, ignorant, corrupt, polarizing, hypocritical, destructive, petulant, bully. Any person in the country chosen at random would be a better choice for president. But we don’t have to go that far: we’ve got a highly capable alternative in Joe Biden. Please vote for him to end this nightmare Trump presidency. And by the way: your vote matters. Often elections are tipped by only a handful of people — make one of those people be you!” – Sam Walker
“We don’t need to remind people of the terrible mess we’re in. We need change. We need strong leadership. And now, more than ever, we need to fight suppression. I am voting for Biden/Harris. If you don’t think that is the answer, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.This might be one of the most important elections in our lifetime. We need to decide as a nation how we want to move forward.” – Gavin Royce
“Now more than ever, the importance of voting is pivotal for the future of the dance scene and the country. We the people have the power to vote in the lawmakers that are in touch with our voices. We the people have the power and right to vote for a better future for ourselves, our kids and our dance floors all around the country. The power of music, dance community and culture depends on your vote.”
“The current administration has failed the U.S. on every conceivable level. Now, they have given up on governing and are actively engaging in voter suppression to hold onto power, with an onslaught of misinformation and systemic interference with the USPS. Our votes in this election will determine if our country survives or slides into a new dark age. No pressure!”
“Dance music has always been about community, love and pushing music forward. It’s influence is heard in many genres across many cultures. With that said, our community coming together to help influence people to vote feels like a natural progression that I am very happy to be a part of.”