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Political matters (of the heart) in keeping music and culture alive

Political matters (of the heart) in keeping music and culture alive
Despite global recognition for the the significant positive impact that music and nightlife bring to communities, we still need to do all we can to raise awareness and support areas faced with adversity.
Around the world there is a growing network that are working hard to create liveable, vibrant cities.
But in order to keep it growing, we need you and anyone who is interested in supporting music and culture, to take political action.

New York City, USA
In New York Rafael Espinal is running for the role as New York City Public Advocate. It is a citywide position that will be elected on February the 26th.
Rafael Espinal is on a quest to make NYC more liveable. A progressive community-led councillor, Espinal currently represents the 27th District of NYC. As of late, Espinal has been well known for voicing the concerns of NYC’s people, advocating for creative spaces in gentrifying neighbourhoods and securing the rights of those who have been disenfranchised by the city.
In addition to this, Espinal has created the Office of Nightlife, an initiative that has given NYC its own Night Mayor, Ariel Palitz. The Office of Nightlife, serves as a central point of contact between Cities agencies, the nightlife industry and city residents. Not only this but Espinal has also helped to abolish the sexist and racist Cabaret Law, which banned dancing in many of the cities clubs.
If Espinal wins his campaign to become the NYC’s next Public Advocate, he will become the youngest person in modern history to be elected into citywide politics. He would also become the first Latino elected into a citywide office in New York City. This role in Public Advocacy would be an extension of Espinals current position as a council member. The public advocate is responsible for receiving and investigating citywide and individual complaints concerning city services and other administrative actions of city agencies.
If you are a New Yorker, and you share his values for creating sustainable cultural spaces in a liveable city, remember to vote on February 26th. And if you are not a New Yorker, then share this video anyway, as it sets a progressive example for city councils worldwide.
A Livable City
A Livable City
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Meanwhile in Australia, New South Wales are experiencing severe threats to their music industry. 
The State Government in New South Wales has imposed punitive regulation that specifically targets music festivals and gatherings of music fans. Declaring a war on music and culture in NSW, the new laws proclaim that music festivals are high risk activities.
This is devastating news for NSW, not only are music festivals ‘a key part of NSW’s entertainment scene and economy’, (as the NSW government website admits), but they are essential places for ideas to be exchanged, for people to come together, and for communities to grow. The new regulations will severely impact this. Don’t Kill Live Music, have written an overview of the new Festival license, which you can read here.
NSW music festivals Mountain Sounds and Psyfari recently had to cancel their upcoming events as a result of unexpected costs stemming from the new regulation. Both festivals are signatories to an associated petition calling on the NSW state government to reconsider the policy.
A mass protest is being organised for Sydney’s streets next week in response to the recent round of music festival regulation implemented. Here is the Facebook link to the rally, where 18,000 people are currently interested in attending:
In a statement, Don’t Kill Live Music Australia, the organisers of the rally, state that the new regulations are “ill-considered”, will not save lives and are “decimating our music culture in the process”.
“Overbearing regulation, exorbitant police bills, a lack of respect for NSW businesses, and very little recognition of the significant positive impacts of music on our communities is forcing music out of NSW, the statement read.
We urge you to share and sign and share the petition, so it gains international recognition. After the Lock Out Laws, this would be the second blow to our music culture and it effects all artists, musicians, promoters and fans, across the world.
International recognition for this campaign is essential in order to show support for music communities across the world.
No matter where you are in the world, by sharing content, signing petitions, voting and protesting you can make a difference and help to create and maintain sustainable, diverse nightlife and music scenes. 
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VibeLab: Lutz Leichsenring & Mirik Milan

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