Earlier this week, a collective of DJs and record labels teamed up to create Red Dot Relief, a "call to action" that asks DJs to donate a portion of their fees to the relief effort in Japan.
The main groups behind the campaign are Visionquest (Seth Troxler, Shaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss and Ryan Crosson), Crosstown Rebels and Jay Haze's Tuning Spork Efforts Team. Their goal is simple: raise awareness in the dance music community about the dire situation in Japan–where last week's earthquake and tsunami have caused a nuclear crisis and left an estimated 10,000 people dead with another 500,000 homeless–and ask artists to donate a portion of their fees to Peace Boat, a Japanese NGO that's working on the relief effort. The idea is that DJs should feel especially willing to donate thanks to Ultra week and its well-paying gigs.
Last night, Troxler got in touch with Resident Advisor to tell us about Red Dot Relief. Although he's an American living in Europe and the UK, the disaster hit close to home: members of his fiance's family live in Japan, and he's spent most of the last week trying to get them out. When we spoke he was in his London apartment, frantically ordering supplies for the campaign while he got ready for a flight to Colombia, where he had a wedding to attend. Here's what he had to say:
Tell me what Red Dot Relief is all about.
Basically it's a call to action. No money goes through us—the main point or idea is artists are donating money directly. A lot of us are doing really well and have the means to really make something happen. I mean, if we get 100 artists to donate 1K, we have 100K. I've raised nearly 7K so far, so it's coming along, and we haven't officially launched yet. But next week during Miami, I'm gonna give a lot of peer pressure to get DJs to donate. Asking big DJs, "how much did you make in Japan last year? Can you donate 10% of that?"
It's funny because it's falling on a lot of deaf ears, including from people who are all over Facebook with Japanese flags, but won't return an email. Right now we're waiting on The Shelborne, Sunday School and a few other big events to commit, and have them ask or pressure artists to donate some of their fees.
You want clubs and promoters to convince the artists they book to donate part of their fees?
Yeah. Damian [Lazarus] has gotten all 25 of the artists at Get Lost to commit. I'm donating 1K off the top. We also want the parties to have donation boxes for people on the guest list to contribute. We've been working on this since Tuesday so we're still figuring out logistics.
Are you expecting to see a lot of red dots around Miami next week?
Yeah. Actually I have to call this sticker company right now to place the order for shirts, buttons and stickers.
How can people get involved if they're not throwing parties? Just spread the word and donate privately?
Mostly spreading the word. Just talking to people, giving out stickers, grass roots stuff. The main point is for DJs to donate. People are making stupid money.
What's an average fee for a gig next week in Miami?
It depends. For smaller parties, maybe $300 to $800. But for a big event, the DJ budget is about $15,000. That's for all the artists, but still.
So the idea is basically, "you just got paid a shitload of money, wouldn't kill you to give some to Japan."
Exactly! It's like, don't be a cheap ass. People need serious help. I just had to get Soy's brother to Amsterdam from Tokyo. We're trying to get her dad out now. It's really hard out there right now—I have family there and can see first hand from them what the situation is. That's why I felt so strongly and got involved.
To learn more about Red Dot Relief, or to donate, head over to their official website.