Is EDM About To Drop Its' Last Beat?

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It’s all rage and partying until a nipple slips out, someone dies, or both. This past weekend, the cultural crosshairs of the ban gods set their sights on the EDM (or electronic dance music) scene. The genre is no stranger to controversy and has faced bans in the past but this time, the beat looks like it’s about to drop for the last time.

Yesterday, the #EDM page on Instagram disappeared as the social media giant brought down their ban hammer. According to Instagram spokesperson Gabe Madway, the tag was banned because “#EDM was being used to share content that violates our guidelines around nudity.” With one brief comment, Madway made EDM lovers across the Internet way mad.

The social media sphere isn’t the only place where EDM is facing banishment. In Los Angeles, the city government is considering a ban on all EDM festivals held on land leased by the county after the tragic deaths of two teenagers at the Hard Summer festival this past weekend. Both teens died of a suspected drug overdose and are joined by a dark streak of festival deaths that have plagued EDM for years. Last year, Pemberton Music Festival in British Columbia, Glastonbury, and Electric Daisy Carnival all ended in deaths—usually due to dehydration caused by drug use.

Yet for all of this tragedy, it’s important to remember that the EDM genre is a wildly popular industry valued at over $6.2 billion with over $1 billion of that being made from music festivals, according to an Association for Electronic Music report. With an estimated 65,000 attendees per day for this year’s Hard Summer festival, statistical odds of drug-related deaths are an unfortunate expectation. As one industry insider explained last year to Billboard, “If you have 50,000 people for four days at an EDM festival dropping a lot of ecstasy, all weekend, in the sun, in the summer, you’re going to net out at the end with someone not surviving it. That’s just math.”

Is the ban on the #EDM hashtag and EDM music festivals going to stop fans from listening to the music, doing drugs, and posing topless on social media? Definitely not. Electronic dance music’s ballooning popularity has created a tightknit community of party kids ready to party hard to the music and connect through social media. Until Instagram changes their archaic and misogynist policies on nudity and until festival organizers develop better ways to protect fans, keep the nudity to a minimum and be safe about your drug use.

No amount of banning is going to kill the vibe. Let that beat drop and rage responsibly.

Photos via NRK P3 and Mathew Tucciarone.

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