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Using EDM to Fight Global Poverty

global poverty
Philanthropist Hugh Evans, co-founder of the Oaktree Foundation and Global Poverty Project, organized an electronic dance music festival on June 26 named the Thank You Festival. This benefit show is working to engage the millennial generation in the fight against global poverty.

The show will feature one of the most popular electronic DJs in the world, Tiesto, as well as Above and Beyond and a Maryland local electronic DJ by the name of Alvin Risk. The festival will utilize a 15-foot inflatable toilet to bring awareness to water and sanitation issues around the world. Electronic dance festivals, which are commonly associated with drug use and experimentation, may not seem an ideal place to speak about global poverty.

However, Evans notes that to reach the millennial generation it has to be done through the people they listen to, in this case through electronic dance artists. His previous work with the Make Poverty History concert in Melbourne, Australia was highly successful. The concert, which occurred simultaneously with the G20 meeting, was responsible for Australia doubling its foreign aid efforts. Other concerts Evans has been involved with include the 2012 Global Citizen Festival for which Evans secured the Great Lawn in Central Park, N.Y. The New York festival also occurred simultaneously with another international meeting, this time of the United Nations General Assembly.

The concert raised $1.3 billion in programs to aid the global poor. The June 26 concert is aimed at getting the United States to continue its aid efforts for child survival services as well as double the U.S. government’s funding of the Global Partnership for Education, which would total $40 million. Previous concert efforts of Evans have been associated with rock and pop music. This will be his first effort utilizing electronic dance music.

The festival will feature DJs, Evans and top U.S. Foreign Aid officials who will speak about the cause of eliminating extreme poverty and encourage fans to get involved. Tiesto expressed in an email that the festival provides a unique possibility to produce effective change. “I know that my fans are thoughtful, generous and caring and this festival is a great opportunity to show Washington D.C. what our community is really about.” The festival, which is partnered with Club Glow, the World Childhood Foundation, The Global Poverty Project and Global Citizen, will begin at 4 p.m. on June 26 at Merriweather Pavilion in Columbia, Md.

– Christopher Kolezynski

Sources: EDM, Spin, Washington Post

Photo: Oh So Fresh