Music and political movements have been synonymous for as long as we can remember, particularly in the counterculture era of the 1960s and the punk movement that followed (See: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Sex Pistols, The Clash).
In the present day, with our new administration threatening the civil liberties of many, we’ve seen bands, artists, clubs, and promoters fight back by raising money and awareness for valuable organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Yesterday, the popular music platform Bandcamp joined the good fight when they did something crazy: they actually got people to pay for music during a 24 hour fundraiser for the ACLU. The action was taken in response to Trump’s executive order to close U.S. borders to citizens and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
In just one day, over $1 million dollars in music was purchased (a 550% increase over a typical Friday), with 12 percent being donated to the ACLU, and over 400 labels and musicians, including Subpop, Epitaph, Run For Cover, Four Tet, Neil Gaiman, Xiu Xiu, Speedy Ortiz, and many, many others matching 88% of that number.
“Thanks to everyone who stood with immigrants and refugees by joining today’s fundraiser for the ACLU,” wrote Bandcamp founder Ethan Diamond. “We’ve been inspired and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the artists, fans and labels in the Bandcamp community, who rapidly and enthusiastically backed this important cause.” “Of course we didn’t do this just to raise money,” Diamond added, “we also hoped to raise awareness.”
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