At the end of April, ten dance music superstars launched an initiative called Tour Managers Not Touring (TNT) to raise funds for their out-of-work tour managers amid the COVID-19 crisis. Following a public callout video by trance figurehead John Askew, they appear to have taken the campaign’s dedicated pages offline.
Each edition of TNT’s The Sofa Sessions would see mostly globetrotting techno/house DJs match a mix delivered by their tour manager. Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, Dubfire, Seth Troxler, Hito, Paco Osuna, Joseph Capriati, The Martinez Brothers, Carnage, and Alan Fitzpatrick participated in the series. The first installment came out on April 27th and comprised 27 podcasts totaling over 31 hours of music. Fans who donated €5 or more were granted access to all the recordings.
In a since-deleted video shared from the Stadium Artists Facebook page on Sunday, Askew criticized the aforementioned artists for requesting donations from the general public despite being among the richest DJs alive. “Why aren’t they covering their tour managers’ costs and giving these mixes away for free, or charging money and giving that money to the medical services, the NHS and every other country’s equivalent?” he pressed. “These are guys with multiple millions of pounds, euros, dollars in the bank, and they’re asking the general public to keep their tour managers afloat?”
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Askew’s video garnered nearly 40,000 views and 600 shares before it was taken down. A cursory search reveals that TNT’s Instagram account is no longer online, nor is the Bandcamp page on which the mixes had been hosted. None of the participating DJs have issued public statements on the matter, although Troxler wrote that his tour manager is “being taken care of” in an Instagram comment.
In a post to his Facebook page, Clarke wrote that the economic fallout could bring with it a return to the electronic music community’s core values. “I am quite hopeful for this reset regarding the music scene,” reads a passage. Prior to that, he had remarked that Resident Advisor‘s “Save Our Scene” initiative should have been called “Save Our Hierarchy” during an interview for Serato’s “Keeping Busy” series.
DVS1 (real name Zak Khutoretski) echoed similar sentiments in an interview with fellow Minneapolis DJ and producer Steven Centrific for the latter’s live stream event, Distant Future. “I’m really hoping that this starts to grow local scenes again,” he said. “When clubs reopen, does anyone really need to book a headliner and spend a bunch of money? The reality is we have a lot of amazing locals in a lot of territories around the world who have never had a chance to shine, and those people will now be able to pack a club.”
Spokespeople on behalf of the aforementioned Tour Managers Not Touring participants have not responded to Selector‘s requests for comment at the time of writing.