Peace, love, unity, respect. PLUR. It’s the beating heart of dance music, the ideological basis of a countercultural movement. It’s a philosophy that stands in stark contrast to the self-indulgent narcissism that seems to define this millennial generation.
At least, that’s the dream. In reality, nothing really works out quite according to plan. As the EDM scene grows, new bodies join the festivities, and many of these newcomers lack any knowledge of PLUR. They see the drug use, the scantily clad dancers, the bright lights and psychedelic images, and assume that that constitutes the experience.
Take a look at any dance music forum, and you’ll see scores of experienced, bitter fans complaining about how the scene has been ruined, how every concert is filled with ‘roided-up bros and geeked-out teenagers. But there’s a problem with that mindset—it’s every bit as counter-productive to spreading PLUR as anything newcomers do.
For PLUR to survive, it must be applied in everyday life. If the only time you decide to treat other people with dignity and respect is when you’re trying to impress the cute raver girl/guy standing next to you, you’re living a farce. Compassion and human decency must transcend revelry, not be limited to it. After all, many of us are still dancing just because this music, and the people that love it, have transformed our lives in a positive way.
Because, despite constant claims to the contrary, despite the frequent editorials that herald ‘the death of PLUR’, it’s very much still alive. I have a housemate who just moved to Seattle from Wisconsin, and who had never been to a dance music show in his life. Through Reddit, a local EDM fan gifted him a ticket to Friday’s GRiZ show. It made his weekend. Human compassion defined his very first experience with dance music. With behavior like this, we can reclaim PLUR.
It’s not a concept limited to grand gestures, however. A needed sip of water, a genuine compliment, respecting the space of others, these are all little things that do wonders. Keep faith in the ideology, and don’t write it off without even trying to keep it alive. Let us know how you spread PLUR on our comments, Facebook, and Twitter!
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