Does EDM exist in a ‘non-judgemental’ space? A Case Against PLUR

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Does EDM exist in a ‘non-judgemental’ space? A Case Against PLUR

Following the rejection of Diplo and the Mad Decent crew’s rejection of Kandies (and subsequently, all things ‘plur’) at Mad Decent block parties – many members of the EDM community have been quick to jump to the ‘judgemental’ connotations of these actions. Despite Diplo banning them to make sure attendees of the Mad Decent events are there ‘100% for the music’ (read full article here), backlash has ensued.

Case in point, Pasquale Rotella, the grand-daddy of EDC (Electronic Daisy Carnival) released this statement in response to the ban…

“One of my favorite aspects of dance music culture is the freedom of self-expression. Since the early days, dance culture has always been a non-judgmental environment where you could express your individuality through art, music and positive energy. It’s been especially amazing to see how the making and trading of kandi has evolved over the years. Kandi started in Southern California, and is now a tradition embraced by ravers all over the world! I love that these beaded works of art create a special bond between the giver and recipient when traded. Although I don’t wear kandi regularly, I save all of the pieces I’ve been gifted by Headliners and remember the stories behind each one. Whether you’re from SoCal or Singapore, wear your kandi proudly and continue to spread the good vibes!”

Yeah…I call bullshit.

Oft regarded as an insignia of rave cultures, Kandi has long been referred to as a symbol of union and some even attribute it’s wearing to ‘building community ties’ ( Established as a trend in South LA in the early 90s and growing to be indicative of the ‘EDM raver’ community – kandies are a trend growing in popularity faster than you can say ‘obnoxious’.


To begin with, the essence of any ‘trend’ is one of cultural conditioning and more often than not a socially forced way of being or behaving. Those who don’t engage with trends often find themselves outside the field of societal commonality in minorities – something which used to be an integral part of electronic music fans. Everything fetters down into the mainstream eventually, and now kandies are a global fiasco – those without somehow excluded from the exchange of ‘plur’ . Essentially, there could not be more resistance against ‘freedom of expression’ or individuality than a global permeating trend.

Rooted in the practises of drug dealers at raves in the early-90s, kandies, fluffies and similar fashions have developed into a direct reference to plur, somehow suggesting that peace, love, unity and all the rest are at the forefront of ravers intentions. Not to mixed up with an excuse to show skin, touch strangers or pick up chix, no no; plur is all about ‘community’, ‘identity’ brought together through the ‘love’ of music.

Why does it take people so long to release that these garish nuggets of anti-bio-degradable materials are simply symbols of meaningless ’emotional’ exchange, anti-intellectualism and consumerism at it’s most menial – all masquerading under the banner of ‘PLUR’. Someone’s been enjoyin the ol’ disco biscuits a few days too long methinks.


Lets be real about this, the majority of people attend festivals and raves to listen to and enjoy music. Another large percentage attend to to pick up, get incredibly munted and wile the day away via fist pumping. I draw absolutely no issue with whatever you intend to do at these events – but making it about peace, love, unity and respect? Lets call it what it really is – escapism, hedonism and primal enjoyment (if only EHLE was a fun acronym, right?). Giant mega raves such as EDC are also still in the headlines for violence, dangerous drug use, sexual harassment and general disorder – how’s that for a non-judgemental environment?

As Diplo suggests, the ban of kandies and ‘plur’ and similar obnoxious fashions has absolutely zero impact on the amount one might enjoy music – but their use and the culture of ‘plur’ might be damaging the diverse culture of music lovers and trends across America and the world.

I think it would be best if we threw caution to the Kandi winds and took the great man’s advice;


We’re not saving the world here people, we’re here to listen to tunes and have a good time. Leave all plur at the door.


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