Raising EDM Culture: Spin the Vote on The Politics of Dancing

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For the last election in 2008, young people turned out in record numbers. To make sure that momentum continues, Spin the Vote, an offshoot of Rock the Vote, has been urging EDM fans to register, vote and get the word out. DJ culture, with its roots in disenfranchised populations, has long prided itself on being progressive and active. We caught up with Catherine Geanuracos of New Economy Campaigns to find out what the dance community can do to hang on to those bragging rights, both on Election Day and beyond.

Being part of Spin the Vote has been great. How else would we have gotten to see people registering to vote in tutus, banana suits and in the middle of enjoying themselves at incredible festivals.

How did Spin the Vote grow out of Rock the Vote? How did you get involved?

Spin the Vote is a national voter registration project created by Insomniac and Rock the Vote. It was a natural partnership: Rock the Vote is the largest youth voter registration organization, and Insomniac Events is the largest US dance music promoter. We partnered to register voters at all Insomniac Festivals, as well as sending volunteers out on tour with Identity Festival and participating at other EDM events this year.

What are some key memories from the past few months?

Being part of Spin the Vote has been great. How else would we have gotten to see people registering to vote in tutus, banana suits and in the middle of enjoying themselves at incredible festivals? We've been backstage looking out at 50,000 on the main stage at EDC Vegas, watching our community come together and enjoy dance music—that was definitely a highlight! Spin the Vote lists all our upcoming volunteer opportunities on Rock the Vote's "On the Road" page. Our next event is probably going to be a Tiesto show in LA in March.

It seems like festivals are better for registration—do you guys show up at smaller gigs as well? How do they compare?

Festivals are the best because they draw such large crowds, there's lots of space, and people spend time walking around, checking out our Spin the Vote lounge and taking time to register to vote. We also do smaller club events in LA and in other cities, but sometimes it's hard to find space for a table.

If you ask someone to vote, they are much more likely to go. Kinda like a party—people only come if they are asked.

How involved do DJs get?

We had a ton of great support from artists this year, from all the people who appeared in our video, especially Morgan Page who donated a track (“In the Air”) for our video and Paul van Dyk who's been a supporter of Rock the Vote since early in his career.

What has Spin the Vote been doing in the final days before the election today?

We're asking everyone to help get the #EDM community out to vote in this important election.

What can people do?

Tweet and FB the heck out of this election! Use our Spin the Vote “I’m Voting” graphic to help get your friends inspired. Set it as your cover photo! Tell everybody you voted (when you do) on social media today! We will be re-tweeting and sharing the love all day. Remind young people to vote. You see, if you ask someone to vote, they are much more likely to go. Kinda like a party—people only come if they are asked. Tell your friends in FL about our EDC Orlando ticket giveaway! They just need to follow @spinthevote on twitter and retweet this: “I'm voting on Nov 6th! Follow @spinthevote and RT for a chance to win 2 tickets to #EDCOrlando! http://t.co/U0USdsc2#dancefordemocracy.”Let’s face it, a lot of us will wait until Tuesday to cast a ballot, but making sure the EDM community’s voice is heard is so important in this election!

How do you think the storm on the East Coast will impact the election?

We are hoping that the impact of Hurricane Sandy doesn't keep too many people away from the polls, but we know that the recovery is just starting, especially in places that were hit hard. We're hoping all our fans and people we met at EDC New York over the summer are safe and are planning to vote.

What does Spin the Vote do once the voting is over? What other activities are you engaged in?

We are going to continue voter registration work locally in Los Angeles (where we're based) we have an important Mayor's race here next year.

Anything else you want to add about this election or Spin the Vote?

Remember to Vote today, November 6th, and tell all your friends that you're voting! #dancefordemocracy