Nightlife Organizations Around The World Are Fundraising For Aid In Gaza
In Canada and around the world, promoters and collectives like Boiler Room, ISO Radio and Bijou are waiving fees or throwing events to provide humanitarian assistance.
Resident Advisor (RA) announced that it is waiving service fees for fundraising events associated with humanitarian assistance for Palestinian people amid the ongoing violence in Gaza.
In a statement published October 20th, the online magazine, community platform and electronic music ticketing site said “We support those calling for an immediate ceasefire and for urgent and essential humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people.” It also compiled a list of charities, fundraisers and organizations advocating and donating to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
As the death toll rises in the conflict that's followed Hamas's attack on an Israeli music festival on Oct. 7, artists such as Dua Lipa and Kaytranada have urged American President Joe Biden to facilitate a ceasefire. In Canada, singer and poet Mustafa has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak for Palestinians and “defy this active genocide and imprisonment that is levelling Gaza.” Artists like Brakence, meanwhile, have donated tour proceeds to humanitarian aid organizations.
Now, organizations, collectives and broadcast stations around the world are joining to provide solidarity and direct aid.
Boiler Room, a major online DJ broadcaster and music promoter that’s coming to Montreal on November 10 and 11, raised £100,000 (approximately CAD $170,000) within 48 hours. The organization re-sold Boiler Room Palestine t-shirts from their first event in Ramallah in 2018 with donations going directly to the relief organization Medical Aid for Palestinians. Designed by Mukta-feen, the t-shirts don the Boiler Room logo alongside the words "Palestine" and "Boiler Room" written in Arabic.
“For many years, Boiler Room has stood in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation,” their statement says. “We condemn the horrific attacks by Hamas on civilians in Israel. This cannot justify the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians, who are paying the price for a crime they did not commit.”
Within Canada, organizations have been creating their own ways to support those directly affected by the crisis.
Montreal collective Bijou raised funds for Medical Aid for Palestinians through their October 21 event with Greenhouse that featured local DJs Sako, okleave and DJ Frog. In Toronto, party and rave collective Ismzz donated the ticket sales from their Oct. 20 event, ‘MOTIONS’ to The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. Local community-led online station, ISO Radio, meanwhile, made a donation to Islamic Relief Canada alongside a public statement regarding the Palestinian conflict.
“Donating is one way to support but something equally important that we can and must do is pressure our politicians to take action,” ISO Radio’s statement says. “We must urge our elected representatives to advocate for an immediate humanitarian corridor for the delivery of vital aid into Gaza.”
For Biba Esaad, co-editor-in-chief at Toronto-based collective LOTION Magazine, advocacy for Palestinians is a personal cause, with her family being Egyptian and Palestinian.
“Stewing with my friends here in Toronto, hearing first-hand stories from our friends and family back home, losing our voices at protest after protest,” Esaad says, “we found ourselves gathered with similar feelings of frustration, uselessness. [We’re] in the midst of an era, where once again, art proves to be synonymous with revolution, [and it has an] ability yet again to employ cultural change.”
Working alongside queer, BIPOC and Middle East and North African (MENA) artists, DJs and friends in the city, the magazine and collective is hosting a fundraiser event for Palestinian aid on November 2 at Boketto, a local sustainability-driven vintage store. The event will raise proceeds through art sales, photo booths with personal styling and general donation and will feature music from local DJs such as Litney, HVN, Angelphroot, TEENO and Canadian-Palestinian DJ Mythboy.
Esaad says the collective is in the midst of deciding which mutual aid fund their proceeds will go to, as rapid aid with a reputable organization is at the forefront of their initiative. “I think our personal connection to Palestine only strengthens our commitment to the cause,” Essad says. “Perhaps selfishly, to support our respective homelands is the most valuable type of work we can put our creative efforts to.”