Diplo recently announced the ban of kandi at his touring festival, Mad Decent Block Party. After this controversial decision, he took to twitter in hopes of dispelling the subsequent backlash and criticism by tweeting, “i don’t got nothing but love 4 u and your kandi i just want to take steps to make sure everyone is there 100% for the music. not other stuff”. After getting wind of Diplo’s announcement, Insomniac head Pasquale Rotella decided to speak out against the decision by saying:
“One of my favorite aspects of dance music culture is the freedom of self-expression. Since the early days, dance culture has always been a non-judgmental environment where you could express your individuality through art, music and positive energy. It’s been especially amazing to see how the making and trading of kandi has evolved over the years. Kandi started in Southern California, and is now a tradition embraced by ravers all over the world! I love that these beaded works of art create a special bond between the giver and recipient when traded. Although I don’t wear kandi regularly, I save all of the pieces I’ve been gifted by Headliners and remember the stories behind each one. Whether you’re from SoCal or Singapore, wear your kandi proudly and continue to spread the good vibes!”
Diplo’s decision to ban a pivotal insignia of rave culture from Mad Decent Block Party was not taken lightly by Rotella, nor should it have been. Although kandi has nothing to do with the actual creation and performance of EDM music itself, it has long been an essential symbol of rave culture, as it is known for bringing people together, building community ties and making memories with fellow ravers. By regulating how attendees of MDBP dress, Diplo is banning an essential part of the rave community’s identity and is unnecessarily taking away not only the freedom of expression for many concert-goers, but also removing a key component of many ravers’ identities.
EDM Maniac posted on its Facebook page a video of Diplo denying a kandi trade with a concertgoer: