(Content Warning: Themes of sexual violence)

If you are a survivor of violence, and/or harassment and wish to contact Four 4 Consent for support, resources, referrals, or processing, please email survivor@four4consent.org to be set up with a Nationally Credentialed advocate.

Most dance music fans, myself included, found ourselves gravitating towards the scene because of the music, but we ultimately stayed because of the music AND the culture.

It started with Disco in the late ‘60s, where Black Americans both inspired and created the music while Queer folks found a place where they could openly be themselves for but a few hours at night. Both groups, and those at their intersections, faced extreme discrimination and aggression in society but built these spaces and communities where they could be themselves sans judgment. As Disco inspired Techno and House, which eventually evolved into what we know today as the all-encompassing term EDM and into the mainstream, so did the crowds and community.

As the country reacted to Disco nightlife, they violently extinguished these safe spaces and then recreated them for the larger society built on the same racist, homophobic, and sexist views our society holds. Unfortunately, this pattern continued in one way or another, crowds continue to be diluted from underrepresented folks who came for the music and freedom to those who see the scene’s nightlife as an opportunity to recklessly party and get wasted.

We now know and see the effects of this expansion upon our community. It has brought us to arenas and stadiums, but along with this growth and shift in demographics has come sexual violence and overall safety issues. Statistics tell us that:

  • One out of every two people in the U.S. attends one or more music events each calendar year (Nielsen Music 360, 2017).
  • Over nine out of ten (92%) female music festival attendees report experiencing harassment (Our Music My Body, 2017).
  • The Music Industry Research Association reported that two-thirds of female artists claim to have been sexually harassed (Music Industry Research Association, 2018).
  • Additionally, the Musician’s Union found that nearly one of every two musicians has experienced sexual harassment while working (Musician’s Union, 2019).
  • Out of 5,000 people surveyed by Musicians Union, 55% claim that workplace culture is the primary reason they do not report the sexual harassment, 41% stated they feared losing work if they reported the sexual harassment, and 33% said they believed no one would take their sexual assault allegation seriously (Musician’s Union, 2019).

While the current reality of our community and the music industry at large is harsh, there is hope found in organizations like Four 4 Consent. Four 4 Consent is a femme, LGBTQI2S+ led organization with the goal of “creating nightlife culture where all people are free to express themselves without discrimination or violence.” The organization knows not any one person can shift a culture that normalized sexual harassment and assault on their own, but also believes that each person in nightlife holds some of the answers to creating a safer tomorrow.

This is where we, the community, come in. Four 4 Consent is hosting a 12-month Nightlife Safety Summit where they hope to educate and mentor over 140 music industry ambassadors to be a part of that change. Whether you are an event attendee, artist, manager, promoter, or venue owner, there is a place for everyone from every avenue of dance music to participate. When we are educated, we are empowered. If you find yourself called to commit to nightlife safety and hold a position of power in the music industry, we highly encourage you to participate!

Ambassadors who are selected will commit to a year-long program where they will spend eight hours a month, across groups and independently, learning scene-specific education and processing through Zoom. Ambassadors will be asked to attend ten of the twelve sessions to complete the course and education, but more hours are available for those who have the extra time. Ambassadors will pay a monthly fee of $25, but there are 36 scholarships available to those who may not be able to afford the fee. Applications from Black, Brown and POC, LGBTQI2S+, women, and those with disabilities will take priority for scholarships.

If you are interested in participating in Four 4 Consent’s Nightlife Safety Summit you can visit the Summit’s website or text “Ambassador” to (313)-367-1228.

If you don’t have the time or resources to commit to Four 4 Consent but still want to contribute to their organization and/or the Nightlife Safety Summit here are a few ways:

  1. Contribute to the scholarship fund to provide additional scholarships to the Nightlife Safety Summit here.
  2. Join Four 4 Consent’s Throw 4 On The Floor campaign and contribute to providing essential financial support to their staff as well as to support survivors and teams alike by signing up to donate $4 monthly here.
  3. Follow, support, and share Four 4 Consent’s mission and content across all their socials (linked below)

“In the beginning, there was house music…and it was about being free to express yourself without discrimination and violence.” -Four 4 Consent

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