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Over the past few years, there seems to have been a growing sentiment from certain groups that empathy and compassion are signs of weakness. Apparently they prevent our development, and make us counterproductive in a world that is entirely hostile and self-serving.
At Keep Hush we dispute this notion entirely. Empathy from friends, family and peers is what has pushed us to where we are today. Motivation and help from others has been fuel for achieving all that we have so far, and our communal philosophy only confirms that a more connected, compassionate community is a more efficient one.
With this in mind, we’d like to present to you some of the forward-thinking platforms and club nights across the UK that raise money for charities. The benevolent ravers who have taken matters into their own hands, to increase knowledge, raise awareness, and donate funds to the issues they believe to be important in today’s turbulent social conditions.
Although it feels like the world is getting increasingly absurd, these club nights remind us that music is still the most universal tool to power through it.
New Scenery – London
New Scenery is a London-based party that donates to different charities each night they put on. Being a platform for “women/non-binary DJs and producers to showcase their talent”, this club night employs a safe space policy for an entire evening of undisturbed raving, while all proceeds are donated to the charity of choice. Started by Sarah Fewtrell and Marnie Hamilton, New Scenery has boasted plenty of dangerous lineups broadcasting the likes of Coucou Chloe, Manchester’s Jungle Joe, and as usual, their very own resident Lockhart, proving it to be one of the most unique parties that London has to offer.
While supporting charities like Brook and Refuge, there’s a clear understanding of the power of community; yes, music often unites those who feel the most alienated, but this club night exemplifies how music can do even more than bring together the disillusioned. With all proceeds being donated to charity, it’s incredible to see that music, raving, and community all playing a part in providing structure and hope to the lives of the less fortunate.
Love for the Streets – Manchester
The problem of homelessness in Manchester is ongoing. Although there have been numerous measures to deter the levels of rough sleepers and provide a glimpse of hope into some greying futures, the issue persists with an expected rise in homelessness of 60% in the next three years. Being a city as large as it is, Manchester’s size and magnitude is a stark pull-factor for many of those looking for better opportunities, but this over-saturation of those in poverty is matched somewhat by the compassionate individuals who have moved to the city for other reasons.
Love for the Streets is a charity brand which aims to provide long term solutions to those in desperate need. Using a variety of measures to combat the problem, raise awareness, and generate donations and funding, the organisation has partnered with Big Change Manchester to aid the homeless in assimilating back into society: through paying for deposits, travel to their homes, practical utensils, and even fresh, clean clothes for job interviews.
Though the council have been struggling for years to curb Manchester’s homelessness, the group of young people at Love for the Streets have used every medium to their advantage: selling charity merchandise, upholding panel talks with experts on the issue, and hosting numerous nights of music in styles as diverse as disco, dub, jazz, hip-hop, and sound clashes, as well as collaborating with Mancunian promoters like Off Beat and Strange Riddims. Love for the Streets recognise the severity of the situation, and with their compassion, concern and attentiveness, their charity continues to flourish and regenerate some hope for Manchester’s future. Catch their next party on April 17th.
Huck – Leeds
Partnering with Leeds Mind – a charity catering to those struggling with mental health – Huck is a club night in Leeds which aims to improve awareness of the ubiquity of mental health issues in society today. With Leeds being an incredibly student-orientated city, the demand for mental health services and the imposition of knowledge of such issues is imperative: a study collated last year showed that in 2015-16, approximately 15,000 first year students expressed concerns over their mental health. In 2016, a study also showed that 1 in 4 students in the UK suffer from mental health problems. These statistics are not to be taken lightly, and with the growing concerns over young people’s well being, it is soothing to know that club nights like Huck are emerging in densely student populated areas to offer an avenue of comfort to those in desperate need of companionship.
Taking a strictly organic approach to their community, the four founders of Huck make simple posters to attract the concerned, benevolent ravers, and with no social media, online presence, bookings or set times, their word of mouth appeal relies on the heaters brought forth by their resident DJs. Speaking to founder Elliott Finch, he told me that they “wanted to go a bit back to the roots sort of thing, for one we did we wrote a postcode on the wristbands and everyone was welcome to an after party down the road that they had to find”. With enough hardwork, co-operation and humility, it is very easy to progress forward and improve ourselves a little at a time.
Room for Rebellion – Ireland
Hosting three different parties in three different cities in March, Room for Rebellion is a ‘political party’ run by Isis O’Regan, Hollie Boston, Anna Cafolla, Jess Brien and Cáit Fahey who feel very strongly about exercising one’s right for choice in abortion. A sensitive topic for all, abortion is illegal in Ireland – unless it endangers the life of the mother – largely due to the pious laws of the country. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 Irish women have to travel abroad every year to access safe and legal abortion services.
As the referendum to reverse the abortion law draws closer in sight, Room for Rebellion’s proactivity in the political sphere of the issue at hand has continued to raise heaps of money and awareness towards the pro-choice movements already in place in Ireland. Sporting all-female line ups with technocratic selectors like object blue and DJ Moxie, Room for Rebellion’s penchant for individual talent and the velocity with which they assert their activism are astounding.
Long Live Southbank – London
The Southbank area has been a hub for a blooming circle of skaters, creatives, photographers and videographers, who’ve come together to protect one of London’s most beloved, culturally significant, skateboarding spots. In 2013, the Southbank Centre unveiled designs for a complete regeneration of the area – but this was met with a strong backlash from the skateboarders who had turned a previously dead, drab space into a thriving, cultural community, which had grown out of friendship, mutual interest, and shedloads of talent.
Using panel talks, summer schemes, and now even rave-orientated fundraisers to increase knowledge and support for their cause, Long Live Southbank has continually remained in touch with the culture that it represents, the culture that it was born out of. Booking the likes of Benton, Will Bankhead, and house DJ/producer Will Lister at their last party in February, we hope that the festival season will mean even more instances of raving for charity with Long Live Southbank.
Keep Hush was founded with a vision to bring a community spirit to underground music, in an increasingly fragmented scene. Based on our own experiences and values, and inspired by groups such as these, creating a more connected, compassionate community is our mission. Join in! Becoming a member is free, and so are all our members’ events. We hope to see you at one soon.
– written by Saagar Kaushik, @_saagark –
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