Dystopian Dancehall

Have you got your ticket yet?

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Recently there has been talk of Ticketmaster requiring concert-goers to prove they have been vaccinated, or that they have tested negative for coronavirus; along with having them download the Covid Tracker App.

(You can read the Billboard article here. )

Not long after this article was published, unsurprisingly there was uproar across Twitter and the rest. When is there no uproar among the internet armies? Even more, unsurprisingly, Ticketmaster then took to Twitter themselves to state that these claims were completely false.

“Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That would always be up to the discretion of the event organizer, based on their preferences and local health guidelines,”

Read that quote again, “That would always be up to the discretion of the event organizer, based on their preferences and local health guidelines,” as if these people aren’t working together to figure out how to get gigs up and going again! As if the folks at Ticketmaster and their pals at MCD aren’t sitting in their ivory towers deciding which one of them has more legal authority to demand your data. To be fair, they’re probably not. (they probably really are though.)

It’s hard to not get really pissed off. “Virtual Gigs”, “Drive-In Gigs” and now this? It’s all very well and good if you’re happy to do these gigs. But why can’t we have the choice? The choice to go to a gig and take that risk into our own hands? Why can’t we develop spaces that exist for the people who either don’t care or don’t believe? Why do we immediately call them “selfish” or “anti-maskers”? Or “anti-vaxxers?” When did it become so wrong for people to fight for their choices without seeming like an extremist? 

I am not anti-vaccine. I’m not keen on having to get a vaccination just to see a gig. I am not keen on having that choice taken from me.

(Source: pexels.com)

Everyone is rightly very on edge and its dangerous territory I’m going into here. I don’t want my words to be misconstrued as an attempt to spread misinformation. I don’t want to be afraid to ask these questions either. Surely I am not the only one who feels this way? 

We have to be careful moving forward, we have to be mindful not to create groups and risk devolving into a mentality of tribes. It’s very easy for us to assimilate into groups when looking for a sense of belonging in an increasingly disconnected world. Human connection is key, compliance is not. There may be safety in numbers, but by increasing the number you decrease the individualistic nature of the self.  You decrease the value of individual thought.

You may think that we are encouraging individualism more than ever before, this is not true. Look around you. Not only is everything and everyone slowly becoming more uniform, from McDonalds to Starbucks, every street looks the same. More and more apartments, everything the same. Society has been and will continue to change rapidly. It’s happening so fast it couldn’t possibly be planned, right?

Where did choice go? Whether you see it or not we are trapped on a hamster wheel.

Wake, consume, work, consume, sleep, repeat.  And so, we accept it, because it’s easier than fighting.

You should have the choice. 

(Source: pexels.com)

You should have the option to exist outside of this and the saddest truth is that you never will. There is no way to fully exist outside of society as we know it unless you are willing to live in total poverty. You should have the choice to live your life in your own way, without doing harm to others.

One answer should not be more correct than the other. An option should exist in a world where we claim every man is free. It is not one or the other. It needs to be both in order to be fair, to be just and to be democratic. You cannot deny the freedoms of one for the freedoms of another. We are fuelling an “us versus them” mentality in so many different ways.  Those who think differently to you, may not always be right but are not always wrong. Thinking differently sparks conversation and creativity.

How do we come together and create a community? Where art is worth creating, music is worth playing, life is worth living and vegetables are worth growing. There has to be a way for us to co-exist with the modern world? Where we can run gigs and dance and live and dream again? 

Surely there has to be another way? Surely the world is big enough for us all to co-exist?

The hippies had it right and I can’t help but wonder how much different the world might have been if it hadn’t been for Charles Manson.

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