No matter if you have been a lifelong listener or just a casual fan of our music, undoubtedly you have seen the overwhelming emotional connection that the EDM community cherishes so deeply. From the global festivals’ “armies” to the local lounge’s crowds (and even to the online “comments” discussions), EDM supporters have always lived positively– no matter what. This positivity will never wane, even in most challenging and uncertain circumstances.
It is just those challenging and uncertain circumstances that drove two remarkable members of our community to establish EDM Gives Back, a cause that aims to aid those in need by utilizing the strong senses of compassion and charity already prevalent in our worldwide community. After David Guzman, founder of the group EDMNYC, learned that Jessica Gonsowski had lost nearly everything– her home, belongings, car, etc.– in the catastrophic events caused by Hurricane Sandy, he reached out to her. Together, the two formed EDM Gives Back with the hopes of assisting not only those affected in New York City (and nearby areas), but also anyone, anywhere, who may need a helping hand in the future.
Amazingly, Gonsowski felt driven, not discouraged, by her losses to set up an organization in EDM that will exist, on a global scale, to support our community even further. “As an EDM listener, you’re a world citizen,” she tells me. EDM Gives Back hopes to establish itself within our international community as a source of aid and support for those left in need in harsh and trying times. The group seeks to partner with the Red Cross (among other organizations and charities in the future) to remain an invaluable presence in our worldwide network. With all of our support, EDM Gives Back will grow into a group that provides the one great gift that will heal any ailing heart: hope.
Presently, EDM Gives Back is active in the New York-New Jersey (“Tri-State”) area of the US, promoting its goals to assist in the relief of the many people still struggling after the recent storm. If you are in the area, EDM Gives Back will be sponsoring a show on Friday, November 23rd, in New York City- featuring trance artists M.I.K.E., Michael Myers and Rory James (follow this link for ticket information).
For others not in the area, you can still support EDM Gives Back by connecting on the group’s Facebook page and Twitter account. On these sites, the group will post information on how to help as well as links to other relevant venues for aiding those in need of love and support. You can also purchase these EDMGivesBack t-shirts to support the group’s efforts. “It’s more than us just asking for donations. We want people to feel comfortable, so if that means pointing them in the right direction, that’s amazing. Every little bit helps,” Gonsowski explains.
Within our music community, we tend to delineate ourselves by artist or by genre– hell, sometimes we even take to the offensive to argue for-or-against certain styles or figures (see: dubstep vs. house; house vs. trance; Guetta vs. Armin; Deadmau5 vs. anyone who isn’t Deadmau5). But, ultimately, we all comprise one damn powerful international force for good, despite those outside who may hold the narrow-minded view that we are a horde of drugged-up, neon-frenzied freaks caught up in some ethereal ‘fad’ in music. To that we pay no mind. Sooner or later EDM will chisel itself in musical history as a global movement fueled by our connection and positivity, and EDM Gives Back embodies this sentimentality. “For us, this is a movement to get people interested in giving back. There are so many disparaging stereotypes about our community that need to be dispelled. When my EDM friends–particularly my Trance Family–found out about my hardship, they reached out right away. But this isn’t about genres or labels. It’s about making a difference.”
I ask all of you reading this to support EDM Gives Back in some form or another, even in some way as simple as supporting the group on social media and thanking these caring and selfless people for their righteous efforts. Many of us may never know the desperation and vulnerability that follow a catastrophe, but unfortunately major events that test our strength are inevitable rites of life. For all of those who have been and will be challenged by certain hardships, we can provide some form of compassionate support simply through our common bond of music. Our music brings us together; our empathy keeps us so.
The great power of our music comes not from how different it is–nor how different we are–from the outside world; it comes from how unifying it is–how connected we are–inside our own world. At times, especially these times, we may feel that the world map is just a geographical puzzle of borders drawn by differences and defined by exclusion. Through music we have erased these borders to amass our own special worldwide community bound by shared love and defined by inclusion. From House-Nation to the Trance Family, Carl Cox’s “Global Radio” to Above & Beyond’s “Group Therapy”, our message remains consistent: togetherness, worldwide. And together, in an epoch plagued by hardship, distrust, aversion and violence, we must stand to champion the virtues that inspire and empower us every day in every way: peace, love, unity and respect.