The city of Bloomington, Illinois has recently made the decision to ban all EDM-related events from coming to any venues owned and regulated by the city. This isn’t the first time a U.S. city has taken a stance against hosting electronic music events. A similar ban was also placed on Chicago’s Congress Theater, which has hosted numerous artists from across the electronic spectrum and is now closing its doors off to all electronic music acts.
This new ban put in place by the city of Bloomington on all of its city owned venues is a massive blow to the Illinois electronic community. At the top of the list of people against this rash decision is Lorin Ashton a.k.a. Bassnectar. This year would have marked his 4th annual appearance in Bloomington, which is always a massive event that draws in Bassheads from all over the state. Not only do loyal Nectar fans look forward to flocking to Bloomington every year, but Lorin himself has stated that it’s one of his favorite shows to play each year and he is extremely saddened by the town’s decision to expel all forms of electronic music. Lorin is looking to compensate for the absence by adding a special Halloween event in the nearby town of Peoria, however that doesn’t change the bigger issue at hand.
What makes matters worse is that the decision was based almost solely on the amount of drug related hospitalizations and arrests surrounding Bassnectar’s yearly event, further perpetuating the heavily stereotyped image of electronic culture. With the restriction against handy personal water sources like “Camelbak” type products at Electric Zoo and the banning of electronic music shows in two large cities, there seems to be a large calling for the education and spread of drug awareness for both those attending and hosting electronic music shows. A sensible move to make to prevent future mishaps regarding drugs at electronic music shows isn’t to start banning them from happening altogether, but to educate concert attendees and raise awareness when it comes to the hot button issue of drug use. Electronic music fans who live for the music and the EDM concert experiences don’t want to start seeing their favorite events disappearing from their hometowns, but unfortunately, these major cities feel that banning electronic acts from playing is the only way to keep people safe. Hopefully we don’t start seeing more cities taking such drastic measures that subsequently rob music lovers from experiencing their favorite events and artists, however, it isn’t hard to understand why major cities jumped to such serious measures to help prevent future drug hospitalizations.
Help revoke the ban and can sign a petition against it here.