The Sydney music and nightlife scene is quite obviously in a very bad way… Because so much of our energy has been directed externally at our government (who let’s be honest, have a lot to answer for), we haven’t focused enough energy looking inwards. Things were broken before the lockout laws systematically begun dismantling the scene altogether. A lot of ugliness had infiltrated a community and culture that has such an amazing capacity for goodness and positivity. This brings us to our point; We desperately need to revive the ideology of PLUR. Let’s do a brief history on PLUR to get you acquainted if you aren’t already.
The term PLUR and subsequent movement traces back to the 1990s rave scene in the US (if you want to go deeper you can get a history lesson from dance music legend Frankie Bones on the origins of PLUR). Put simply, PLUR means Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. It was the credo, the mantra, the philosophy of party people and promoters alike. Out of it’s early dance music roots, a movement was born. Back then it wasn’t something that was questioned, it was a requirement. If you wanted to participate in the party, you had to embrace PLUR. It wasn’t part of the culture back in those circles, it was the culture. Fast forward over 20 years and the term PLUR along with what it means varies depending on where you are and who you are speaking to. It has picked up a lot of negativity due to its associations to drug culture among other things. While it still lives on in one form or another in different subcultures of the electronic music scene, the interpretations vary.
We believe that when you strip down PLUR to its core values (the ones instilled in the early movement), it shouldn’t be in the shadows of our culture but at the forefront. Arguably the biggest player in global electronic dance music, Pasquale Rotella nailed those core values in an impassioned Facebook post last year. His definition of PLUR is as follows:
PEACE – To be in the same place as another, to exist simultaneously without conflict or adverse effects/reactions.
LOVE – To unconditionally feel great affection for a fellow being, and offer friendship regardless of race, sex, or creed.
UNITY – To come together and defend common interests and give a sense of well being among those who feel unaccepted, to allow any and all to be a part of you and your friends.
RESPECT – To allow yourself to be who you are without expectations, and allow others to do the same while helping each other, giving those around you the pride, courage, and honor you would yourself.
When you break that down it doesn’t sound like something to be dismissed and left to the ‘drugged up hippies’ (as some people would put it) who still subscribe to it. It’s everything our scene and the world at large really needs to embrace. Our nightlife was torn apart by a string of tragic events that demonstrated a lack of peace, love, unity and respect among people. We have extreme acts of hate and violence killing people all over the world. We are turning on each other uglier and faster than ever before both online and offline. Homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia everythingphobia! We are more divided than before… As the Black Eyed Peas put it best, ‘Where is the Love’? The world needs PLUR now more than ever before! The music scene should be about breaking down barriers, even if only momentarily. It’s an escape from the confines of reality for us to unite within a common interest.
How we can bring back the ideology of PLUR into our community
- Try to be more accepting of other people even if they aren’t necessarily from the same ‘tribe’ as you in some form or another.
- Don’t be a dickhead. Anti social behaviour, especially violence should have no place in our scene. If you can’t be accepting or or have conflict with someone then walk away instead of letting things escalate.
- Look out for people. Friends should be a given but it shouldn’t stop there. If you see someone at an event in some sort of trouble or looking like they aren’t well, try to help them or at least talk to them to understand the situation rather than ignoring them.
- Be friendly to others. Instead of being glued in a circle with your clique, make an effort to engage with other people at events. Wonderful things can happen when you step outside your comfort zone.
As you read this, these basic things are more about being a decent human being than anything groundbreaking. Plur was born out of troubling times… It’s time to bring back its ideology during our own very troubling times. If we all exercised a bit more PLUR not just in the music community but in our daily lives, the world would undoubtedly be a much better place. You don’t have to attach a label to it, just put its values into practice.
To read more about who we are and Mpire Entertainment’s values click here.
These images were taken from the Frankie Bones Tumblr which gives even more insight into the history of PLUR