In light of tragedy: To the weekend and the dancefloor - - Mixmag

In light of tragedy: To the weekend and the dancefloor

Stay true to the music

  • Valerie Lee
  • 13 June 2016

The weekend is a sacred 72 hours during which we head away from our daily responsibilities to enjoy food, music and each other - whatever makes us happy, really.

Many of us choose to spend our time in dark, strobe-lit rooms. We dance. It's an awesome, communal thing to do. It's about an escape, our own individual version of going to church and we're all in it together.

Recently, these spaces have been attacked. Towards the end of 2015 in Paris at the Bataclan theatre as The Eagles of Death Metal played to a packed crowd. And again this weekend, in a nightclub in Orlando called Pulse, where dozens of LGBT attendees were out enjoying a Saturday night.

90 people went out on a normal autumn evening in Paris with tickets and a loved one in hand and never made it home that night. 50 partygoers donned their Saturday night best in Orlando and instead, went on to become a statistic of the "worst mass shooting in American history."

It frightens me in a way that I've never really been frightened before. In November, I sat speechless as I watched the news flip back from images of sirens to crying people. Chills ran down my arms and my eyes brimmed with tears as I felt for people I'd never known, and now would never, ever have the chance to meet.

But what frightens me further is the idea that people might lose their own haven that they've come to love so dearly. For me, it's a show or a festival, where hundreds and sometimes thousands of people congregate to enjoy a band or a DJ. For the over 300 LGBT people that were out in Orlando last night, it was Pulse.

To people around the world, that safe space might vary in music or size, but together, we're now encouraged to fear. To choose to stay home and hide instead of enjoying and creating moments that define us as human beings. To avoid what really allows us to live.

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