The dance music community of Edmonton, Alberta has expressed outrage over a proposed legislation. The Edmonton City Council has called for an “immediate moratorium on electronic music and dance parties referred to as ‘raves’” using language that many find problematic.
According to CBC News the proposal is a response to lawmaker concerns about increasing incidences of drug overdose and sexual violence at electronic music events. A City Administration report published in conjunction with the motion defines raves as “after hour club parties, electronic music shows and electronic dance parties that feature fast-paced electronic music and light shows.”
Included in the report is a chart of statistics indicating that drug-related hospitalizations stemming from the city’s most prominent electronic music events increased from 78 in 2016 to 84 in 2017. The attendance figures for all events taking place each year totaled 31,939 and 29,362, respectively.
Alberta Electronic Music Conference co-founder Andrew Williams (who DJs and produces house music and downtempo under the alias Dunsmore Park) voiced concerns over the vague wording of the report via Twitter. “I’m extremely disappointed with [Edmonton City Councillor Scott McKeen’s] support for the rave moratorium,” he wrote. “This short sighted, overly vague, policy was created with no stakeholder consultation and is a threat to [Edmonton’s] economic and artistic prosperity.”
In a blog post intended to “clear the air” about the moratorium, McKeen explained that the Edmonton City Council was not proposing a permanent ban on all types of electronic music events. “The moratorium is not a ban,” he wrote. “It is a pause so we can come together and discuss possible solutions to the alarming rates of overdose and sexual assault happening at these events.”
The moratorium is to be discussed by the Edmonton City Council in a Community and Public Services Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 6th.