EDM IS CHANGE – Written by Crystal Garcia

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
Do you still remember the night that changed your life forever? The night you let go of the judgements, fears, worries and instead allowed your mind and heart to be open and free? The night you realized there is so much more in this life than you could have ever dreamed possible?  I do.

The night was ARMIN ONLY: IMAGINE LA 2008. It was New Year’s Eve and I was barely able to convince a friend to go with me extremely last minute. I suddenly decided the day of that I just couldn’t miss seeing Armin Van Buuren live for the first time.  At 10 p.m. we’re speeding down Interstate 5 through downtown Los Angeles, hoping to enter the LA Sports Arena before 2009. We arrive with just enough time to purchase our tickets minutes before midnight. Hearts pumping and adrenaline rushing, we race through the arena to the top level of the only open floor, dodging the masses of bodies that stand in our way. It’s seconds away from the stroke of midnight, and finally we see the light. We enter the arena just as the countdown reaches 1, and the massive energy of the sea of bodies in the crowd rushed me like a tidal wave. I was in absolute awe. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move, I could only feel.  I felt an internal shift inside me, as if time and space had coincided to bring me to this exact moment in time. All of the worries, regrets, insecurities no longer mattered, I was free. Free to express, think, feel, act in any way I pleased. This is the night that changed my life forever, I found what I never knew was missing.

This is the power of Electronic Dance Music

I think dance music is a beautiful thing, it’s a great thing, and that’s what I want to show the world: dance music can really bring people together. We’re living in a very tough time, and tough times have always been. Its just about showing people we should not be sitting at home being scared for whoever we should be scared for, its about going out, its about meeting people, having a great time with your friends. That’s what life is about. It’s not about bullshit or whatever. So I challenge people to come to my shows, see what happens, not to me, but to your friends, to all the people in the club.

Armin van Buuren

The collective energy of thousands upon thousands of dance music fans at one gathering, during one moment in time, on one location of the planet, is like nothing else imaginable on this earth. EDM events aren’t just festivals or concerts, it’s an alternate reality. Daily life can be filled with a bunch of bullshit day in and day out, but once we arrive to the destination of our utopian reality, all of that disintegrates, even if only for the night. It doesn’t matter who you are or what’s happened to you in the past, here you are accepted just as you are. No judgements & no expectations, just you in all of your perfection & uniqueness.

It’s not uncommon to have a transcendental experience on the dancefloor. I have, and I know many others that have. You may be packed in a stage like sardines, but when this experience comes, which it will at one point or another, none of that matters. It’s just you and the music, and maybe the DJ. EDM not only speaks to the ears, it speaks to heart and soul. Epiphanies and revelations occur, creativity and inspiration are unleashed, and you find yourself wondering where on earth all of this has been your entire life until now.

Life is made of small moments like these.

Above & Beyond

As fans, we participate in a lifestyle that allows us to express our individuality, uniqueness, creativity, style and most importantly ourselves, without fear of judgement or punishment. This community supports each and everyone of us and has opened our eyes, minds and hearts to the possibilities we could have never imagined ourselves. It gives us hope in the present moments that may otherwise seem impossible to deal with, the inspiration to follow our dreams, and faith in knowing that the future will be even brighter than we can imagine it. Some people search their entire lives for something like what we have and never find it, but here it is accessible to us each and every day. No wonder we realize that we are HOME when gathered with thousands of others that are a part of this vibrant community.

The life changing occurrences that we experience on the dance-floors ignite and nurture inspiration, hope,ambition, dreams, creativity, healing, friendships, new relationships, motivation and a desire for change. Years ago, I found myself asking why these experiences are limited to a utopian reality at festivals and events, and brought to mind only as a distant memory once the night is over?

We want to create something truly different; a colorblind world of make-believe. A place free of judgment where you can wear whatever you want, dance however you feel, and just be present. We want to take you on an adventure to places you’ve never been, and we hope that you take a piece of the world we create together back into your daily life.

Insomniac Events founder & CEO, Pasquale Rotella

This one question has led me to question other possibilities in the past few years, to explore the immense power that the global EDM community unknowingly shares. What if we took from the experiences that we collectively share, out into the world and into our daily lives? What would life on this earth be like if we treated each other the way we do on the dancefloor? What if the ideals of PLUR: Peace, Love, Unity & Respect, existed not only at events, but if we practiced those beliefs on a daily basis and inspired others to do the same by our own actions? This may all sound far-fetched, but I truly believe this is possible, because I believe that Electronic Dance Music IS change.

BE the change you want to see in the world

Mahatma Ghandi

EDM IS change in so many ways. It allows listeners to feel their emotions through the music as never before. To act, think, and feel in ways that may otherwise have been unknown. It contains the ability to heal people from depression, self harm, addictions,trauma, etc. Once the lifestyle has been discovered, it ignites a desire for change deep within us and motivates us to live to our truest and fullest potential. It inspires us to represent the ideals of the culture in our daily lives, and embody all that which is PLUR.

Now I realize you may be rolling your eyes at the mention of PLUR, but humor me for just a minute if you will. When I first began attending events, I thought PLUR was just a cheezy and super corny acronym that nobody actually believed in or practiced, despite what they may have claimed. It wasn’t until Electric Daisy Carnival 2010 at the LA coliseum, that I experienced PLUR in action.

Until the sun rises to burn our eyes by revealing the distopian reality of the world you’ve created for us, we dance fiercely with our brothers and sisters in celebration of our life, of our culture, and of the values we believe in: Peace, Love, Freedom, Tolerance, Unity, Harmony, Expression, Responsibility and Respect.

Excerpt from A Raver’s Manifesto

It was Saturday night of the last EDC to take place in Los Angeles, and the day that crowds in the stands rushed the gates to get past security to the arena floor. My group and I were one of the many to be stuck on the stairs in the rush of the crowd pushing and shoving to get to the floor. Before I knew it, I was pinned between two corners of a wall, as my leg felt it was about to break being pulled in opposite directions. I began screaming in fear and before I could blink twice, everyone that surrounded me worked together diligently to pull me out of that corner as quickly as possible. It was as if angels had suddenly come to my rescue, at the right moment and place in time. I was shaken up in tears as mascara ran down my face, my hair was a hot mess, I was missing an earring and my necklace fell off, but nonetheless I was extremely grateful for every single person that made an effort to save me in those frightening moments.

After the chaos was over, we all went about the night as usual, but the kind actions of strangers stayed with me forever. Throughout the night, I reflected on what had just happened, and I began to believe in the message of PLUR. To believe that there are still good people in this world willing to lend a hand, to believe we still look after each other in moments of despair, and most of all to believe in a mutual understanding of the ideals that Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect represent. This led to an entire shift in the way I perceived myself and others that are a part of this community. It inspired me to be an inspiration for change, to inspire others to aspire.

WE are the Electronic Dance Music generation.

Above & Beyond 

My goal is to inspire social change in our current society to do good, be good and feel good by sharing the collective stories experienced through the power of EDM.   The Electronic Dance Music generation IS the future. WE are the future leaders, scientists, innovators, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs and change makers of this beautiful planet. The global EDM community holds the power to change the world, we just don’t know it…yet.

The experiences by way of the music, culture and community have transformed our lives, and it’s time to give back for what we’ve been fortunate enough to discover. This isn’t just music we’re a part of, we’re well beyond that point and there’s no turning back. This is a movement, a transformation, a revolution. An awakening to create the ideal world we all envision. The reality is no longer limited to your experience on the dance-floor, the time has come to dream it alive. This is a call to do your part to change the world, in ways that you already know how to.

The phone’s ringing, will you answer it?

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.

John Lennon

This is only the very beginning of the Electronica Life dream… every goal and intention we strive for revolves around these beliefs. Got a story to share? Leave it in the comments below or email to info@electronicalife.com and we might just post it here on our site! Until then, keep on doing what you do best by spreading the love & good vibes. Catch you soon…and don’t forget to dream on little dreamers  😀

We got this planet it keeps evolving, It keeps on
Even when our hope is broken, We keep on
Keep on, There’s so much for us to prove
So keep on, There’s so much for us to do
Cause we could start a revolution
You and me, So start a revolution
Just you and me, I say start a revolution
People, Start a revolution!

R3hab & Nervo & Ummet Ozcan – Revolution

Related: “The State of the EDM Address