New “Rave” License in Vancouver


DJ Sasha in Bucharest, Romania (Image by Barbu Cristian)

Two years ago the Vancouver City Council began a pilot program that has now come to a close, resulting in a vote by the city council to approve a new license for “late-night activities in industrial spaces.” In regular parlance, the license will make warehouse raves a legal activity in the city. According to The Georgia Straight,

The decision comes as a great victory for promoter Matt Troy. As executive director of the Vancouver Art & Leisure Society, Troy is a leading light for the policy. “Vancouver Art & Leisure started when a group of young people tried to create new experiences in unconventional locations,” he explains from his Vancouver home. “We couldn’t really understand why, say, a poetry reading at a bookstore was any different to dancing in industrial spaces.”

It is also a major victory for the EDM scene, alternatively known as the Electronica scene, house music scene, rave scene, or dance music scene, and so forth. After spending the first three decades of the music’s existence in Canada in the shadows, a series of events has led to the music’s rise out of the dark. It likely began in Montreal, with the city government openly supporting electronic music festivals like Black and Blue, but this license in Vancouver spreads the good will as far west as it can go.

EDM is big business, bigger than most other music scenes in any urban setting. The acknowledgement of the realities of the EDM scene in a city licensing schematic is certainly a positive sign for the industry’s health and acceptance into the mainstream in a way that jazz or rock & roll once were long ago.

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