Things seem to be heating up for the DJ way of life in Toronto, and not in the good way.
A few weeks ago the city of Toronto banned Electronic Dance Music (or EDM) parties on all city owned National Exhibition grounds. This movement was spearheaded by rightwing councilors Giorgio Mammoliti, Gloria Lindsay Luby, and Frank Grimes. Reasons for the ban focused on the possible gathering of pedophiles and drug dealers to the popular dances held at such events.
The ban has been a source of major controversy sue to the large involvement of Muzik Nightclub owner Zlatko Starkovski in the ban. Dance events held on Canadian Exhibition grounds compete directly with Starkovski’s nightclub, though the club owner stated that “events such as raves… not only damage our good work, but that of the Exhibition Place being a location for top notch entertainment and hospitality events.”
Regardless of his supposed selflessness, Muzik has been the focus of a citywide boycott in order to bring back the right to hold EDM parties on exhibition ground. EDM parties already face an uphill battle due to strict real estate laws that limit the acquiring of a building for dance space. This is mostly due to the spike in Condo construction during the 90’s and early 2000’s that replaced large vast spaces previously used for dancing.
The voices of the people have not gone unheard by the politicians entering election season. Mayoral candidate David Soknacki has compared the ordeal to the unjust banning of dancing in the 1984 hit movie Footloose. Sharing similar outrage is Mayoral frontrunner Olivia Chow, who has long been a strong supporter of the EDM culture in Canada.
“There should be electronic concerts on city property.” A chow representative told The Huffington Post Canada. ‘The recent decision by the Exhibition Place board puts youth at risk by driving events underground. It also costs the city revenue.
The upcoming election may change things eventually, but for now EDM enthusiasts will have to look elsewhere for the culture that has made Toronto very popular in recent years.