This is part one of a series where I break down the major issue we are facing within our EDM community: The death of PLUR. Through each article, I will analyze the issue and reveal PLUR in a different light. Along the way, I’ll share my own experiences with this. I have decided that one of my missions in life is to destigmatize EDM, so writing this series is the start of my efforts.
Thanks in advance for reading, party people.
Let’s face it. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has exploded within the past few years and made its way into mainstream which makes it, now, a part of popular trends. EDM is global. Thanks to the internet, media, and social media, a massive number of people are wanting to be apart of the “excitement” that comes with the EDM rave/festival/event (or whatever you want to call it) experience: The good music, the good energy, and the warm and fuzzy feelings you get from attending these events. No, I’m not talking about the feelings of euphoria that one gets while on substance. I’m talking about the the good feelings induced by the music and PLUR. Yes, PLUR and as you may already know, it’s the acronym that represents Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect which is a big part of EDM culture: A culture which promotes acceptance, freedom, self-love, mutual understandings, friendships, networking, enjoyment of life, and all that hippy goodness (just kidding about the hippy part). It’s our understanding of this culture and these basic principles which allow us to connect and accept each other within the EDM community that extends from opposite ends of the world. PLUR is more than a trend. It’s an ideology.
With that being said, the overall environment of EDM events have always brought me back to festivals, but as time goes on, I find it to be quickly changing due to the changing dynamic of the crowd. A popular phrase I’ve been hearing from people who have been going to festivals long than I have is: “The scene has changed”, and it’s not exactly said positively.
The reason being: Not all people entering, or even within, “the scene” views PLUR culture in such a way – neither does the majority of the public who accepts stigmas, or is ignorant of what EDM and PLUR is truly all about. Yet, I don’t exactly blame them.
On the surface, people see glow sticks, beaded bracelets, scantly dressed people, crazy dancing, vaporub, songs that implicitly and explicitly talk about molly/drugs, etc. They don’t see the amazing things about it (as mentioned earlier). When people buy into these stigmas, and not understand, it contributes to the image and PLUR loses it’s meaning. People can look, but not act the part. With that being said, PLUR can be abused.
As an effect, many people are rejecting PLUR and anything associated with it. There were are many event holders who prohibited entering with kandi . Kandi holds a lot of meaning as a symbol of PLUR. And… not to mention a few artists who don’t agree with it as well (not to be named).
While the EDM community is growing at an exponential rate, the culture is quickly falling behind. Basically, PLUR culture is not being shared and understood as quickly as the community is growing.
What does this even mean?
Take these “unPLUR” trending statements for example: “PLUR is overrated”, “PLUR is bullshit”, “PLUR is gay”, and much more which points to the common report that “PLUR is Dead”.
How does this affect us and the future of EDM and festivals?
As dramatic as this seems, the debate on whether to PLUR or not to PLUR, and its overall lack of understanding, is tearing our community apart. For many, festivals are havens where people are able to let loose, and expect to express their individuality in a safe and non-judgmental environment. People go to festivals to enjoy themselves, but it becomes hard when people don’t understand and respect each other and their interests. How many of you can think of instances during an EDM event which provoked you to say or think, “dude, that’s not PLUR”, “that’s not cool”, “wtf, man”, “seriously?”, or anything to that effect?
While PLUR is a promotes a basic principle of acceptance, we can’t just accept the way things are as it is now. There are limits to this. If we do, can pretty much say goodbye to PLUR as it gets lost in the hype of it all and let it die along with the other good things in our world that have come and gone. Well, again, there are a bunch that already believe it to be dead already, right?
This calls attention to an issue that we must address within our EDM community. But the question is: Where do we start?