E is for Empathy

Apr 28,  2023
Music is an empathic art form, creating bridges of understanding across dance floors democratized by oneness, streaming baselines, and familiar words that carry us above and beyond our worries. That sense of sweet harmony, which, if we’re lucky, can be taken with us into our outside lives.

Our House, Our Rules.

Events are about creating temporary worlds, and we have the power to make them what we want them to be: the spaces we find ourselves in, the people who surround us, and those who provide us with the music that transforms our lives. The power of creating these spaces is worth celebrating in itself. With that comes the responsibility of making these sanctuary moments places of listening, not only to music but to each other and ourselves.Then comes the question of safety and, with it, the unspoken but ever-present standards that dominate some facets of the industry. When breaches of personal safety happen in any way linked to events, morals can become cloudy — since art finds life within the soul: can we separate the art from the artist in these situations? Undeniably events are also a business, and boundaries crossed can deteriorate reputations, lineups, paychecks, and, most importantly, safe spaces. Sometimes collaborations need to be ended, lineups shuffled, and partnerships reconsidered. Making concessions is also a part of the game.

Vibe Check

Empathy in the face of adversity can come as a surprise in the events industry. In the wake of social movements reexamining tired power dynamics, the events industry finds itself in a privileged position to make consistent, sustainable changes regarding the emotional and physical well-being of its guests and personnel. Where these were not always prioritized when it comes to parties, we are now in a place where it’s necessary to protect our energy more than ever. As promoters, event planners, and essentially creatives — accountability is key to creating and maintaining the ecosystems we hold so close to our hearts. Some of these entities already exist, and they’re doing their genuine best to keep guest lists, lineups, and entire experiences in line with their values.In recent months, I have been pleased to discover a newfound empathy within the events world, with less unspoken tolerance for shady behaviour. Change comes in waves, and whether they mean to or not, music and the scenes it births become instruments of this change. We should lead with empathy, not wait for awful things to happen to start listening or speaking up: weaving a more balanced future for the scene together, one measure at a time.Written by Anissa Jousset — Long time friend and always supporter of arts.