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The Friday Rant
DJs spin for charity
By Andrea Chiu
Known for Rick McGhie and Retro Night, The Spoke is opening its doors this afternoon to welcome something a little more contemporary FrostByte, a 24-hour electronic music showcase.
Organized by Western's Media, Information and Technoculture Student Council, the event boasts an impressive line-up of DJs from across Southern Ontario, said Katie Bedford, a first-year MIT student and FrostByte organizer. In addition to the organizers' promise of high-quality music. FrostByte will also be a charity event, with donations split between two local non-profit organizations: Changing Ways and the London Sexual Assault Centre.
"It's going to be a good party. We're asking for donations, but we're not demanding them. If people want to come in and party for free, that's okay, but it would be nice if we got some money as well," Bedford said.
According to Phil Arnold, a representative from Changing Ways, FrostByte gives the charity an opportunity to reach students. "We counsel men over the age of 18 here, and that's the beginning age of the university population. There is a problem with dating violence, dating sexual assault," he said. "It's a little more difficult because we're trying to get as many men to understand that there is a percentage of the population out there who do these things and that we should all speak out against it and not say that it's none of our business."
Like violence and sexual assault issues, raves and all-night parties have also been surrounded by controversy. But despite the negative press raves have received in the past, FrostByte is trying to radiating a positive vibe. For example, all the DJs on FrostByte's line-up are performing for free and remain enthusiastic about the event, Bedford said.
Both the DJs and FrostByte organizers are adamant about generating an eclectic audience, not only to entertain, but also to educate the public and shed positive light onto rave culture.
"Most people are just generally uninformed. I think that uniting charities into events like this is good, because it shows people that it's not just a bunch of kids who are just getting together to do a lot of drugs and listen to music," said Glenn Jeremy, a DJ performing both tonight and Saturday morning at The Spoke.
"It'll be a good experience for people who don't really know what the [rave] scene is, because it's actually hosted in an easily accessible place and it's free," said Kandis Andersen, another first-year MIT student and FrostByte organizer. "I think it'll be good for people who don't know about the scene."
FrostByte takes place at The Spoke tonight. There is no cover charge but there is a suggested donation of $3 at the door for the 24 hours of live music.