Love Music, Hate Racism.
Or not, as the case may seem
So, a few weeks ago we were booked to play an anti racism gig at a local venue, that was going under the name of ‘Love Music, Hate Racism’. We were looking forward to it. It was our first gig with our drummer, we’d written a set that showed how our music had evolved. For weeks, bands were being added to the lineup. Myself and some of my good friends were filling some of the later slots — we’d been sharing it around & preparing to show the audience a damn good time. But lo and behold, shit went to shit.
Earlier this year the EDL (English Defence League) & UAF (Unite Against Fascism) marched on the same day, and although accusations were thrown around it was a peaceful day.
Today, however, has changed rather rapidly. This morning I rose early & played through my set, chatted to a few friends about their set for the evening and decided I would wear a TesseracT shirt tonight because TesseracT are goddamned brilliant. But then my Macbook blooped with a facebook message and being naturally curious I twizzled my chair to check it out, only to find this:
“Unfortunately we have to announce that the ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ gig tonight is cancelled due to violent threats from the EDL. The police have told us that the event can’t go ahead under any circumstances.” — Paraphrased, the original has since been deleted.
Now, I understand that letting the event go on would be a risk — but the police have chosen to stop a bunch of teenagers from playing a gig rather than discouraging the EDL from protesting an entirely peaceful event.
Racism is, whether we like it or not, an everyday occurrence. It’s not right. It’s never been right and it’s never going to be. But as a teenage white guy I tend not to receive much racist abuse directed at me. What has hit me in my home, however, is this attack on the music scene.
Earlier this summer myself and some friends put on an all day music festival in our town and it was a huge success. We’re trying our damnedest to get the music scene in this town alive and kicking again. Most of the bands playing & people going weren’t even going to be preaching anti-racist scripture — the event was only raising funds for charity. If a gig like that can’t go ahead then there are some serious issues with where priorities lie.
Myself and close friends of mine have been personally insulted over social networking sites today because we expressed our (Polite, mind) displeasure with the fact that this event was cancelled.
Apologies for the harsh language below, this is an example of what we’ve had thrown at us.
To clarify — we never said anything about politics. This was after I was insulted for having long hair (As a man) and soon after I was told it’d be ripped out. I think that this not only brings to light the fact that he was simply insulting us based on our appearance but also the fact that he does it so lightly — it’s those kind of comments that cause social anxiety, among feelings of alienation/etc… but that’s a topic for another day.
Remember that I’m going solely on what I’ve seen & been told — it’s possible it’s all a big misunderstanding. But the point remains that our music scene is just trying to get back up and it’s already being put down, for one reason or another.