The dance music industry has a massive amount of power in diffusing a message, and Blond:ish is at the frontlines of pushing this potential forward.
Through its steady growth in recent years, her Bye-Bye Plastic foundation has offered and facilitated right now solutions for all members of the dance music family. They break down the change needed on a global level into the small, actionable steps we can all step up and take collectively, particularly in regards to waste management and single-use plastics.
This week-end, she’s hit – and cleaned – the beaches of SXM Festival, continuing to push for change with fierce positivity, presence and eloquence. For the first time, all of the festival’s packaging is 100% biodegradable. As partners, SXM and Bye-Bye Plastic will carry on researching and activating solutions for future editions’s sustainability plans.
Blond:ish not only helps us see that change is within our reach, she makes the process a colorful yet responsible global dance party.
HS: Hi Vivie-Ann, thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and for working hard to bring the most positive impact out of the music industry. We were lucky to see a lot of you in Montreal last summer; how do you describe the city to people you meet that haven’t been there?
Blond:ish: Montreal and its music scene is what shaped me into the human I am today! It gave me so many life tools . The reason I moved to Montreal from Toronto, is cause I felt a sense of freedom in Montreal that my hometown didn’t have; it’s free and vibrant, anything goes! Growing up , Montreal was a wild town with endless parties so I naturally gravitated there! Montreal is an incredible foodie town, the restaurant scene evolves very grassroots and authentically like, you’ll have a restaurant open with a solid team, then it’s really normal to see the sous chef , open his own restaurant. So many plant-based options too! For those looking for the best burger in Montreal, Canada, and the world — try a Uniburger!
HS: Another Montreal reunion will see the day at SXM – you’ve been present at the festival since its first edition, how have you seen it evolve over the years? Will there be any Bye Bye Plastic initiatives happening on the island?
B: Yesss! SXM asked us to partner this year on Sustainability and we’re going to have some super cool things happening over the week. We’re hosting a Beach Clean on Thursday March 12th. The BBP Foundation will also be helping the festival understand the best ways to continue their plastic free journey, as we’ll be doing some data collection and observations onsite, spreading the word through our voices and our dancing feet haha, SXM has evolved into an international raver’s go-to destination each year in paradise!
HS: We recently saw the announcement of BBP growing into a foundation – can you explain what this has changed for the organization and its reach?
B: It’s been a very natural growth, from a tiny seed at the start of this journey, to a world-wide-known movement, to an organisation that is making true efforts to changing the industry for good. We became a foundation because when we saw the reaction of the community for this initiative from the start, we felt like we should make this more official, and there was a clear necessity for a foundation around this area of sustainability in our scene. Our actions will continue to be crafted for the music industry at large as a starting point, giving the tools for DJs, events, promoters and clubs as well as for the industry’s eco system to act upon the plastic in our scene.
HS: Where does BBP stand right now in helping festivals and venues transition out of using single-use plastics?
B: We’ve started with a focus on front of house items – cups, straws, water bottles… These are the most visible items where serious change needs to take place, so here is where we can bring the fastest social change. Sourcing alternatives for these items has opened up our eyes to other areas we can expand into, depending on the specific club or promoter; maybe they have a key issue with one item in particular etc. We’re working closely with venues and clubs in Spain, UK and the rest of Europe to reduce their plastic footprint. While this is an entire project for each of those entities and this requires some time and effort, we’re very glad for the motivation they have, and super happy to see them take big steps and take the transition seriously. We’re talking about significant clubs with BIG turnovers so it can really send a strong message to the industry – if THEY can do it, then ALL of them can!
HS: How have you observed major gathering spaces of the electronic music community, such as Burning Man and Tulum, work to regulate their levels of consumerism and waste over time?
B: I haven’t seeeen much for Burning Man, there are separate efforts, but from Burning Man organization itself, I would love to see more. Or maybe there is and I just don’t know about it!. With Tulum, the hospitality industry is coming together to make collective actions together, it’s a HUGE animal to approach. There’s so many things they need to work on from black water, generator use, education… some greedy people have moved into Tulum, so there are people there that are just capitalizing on the tourism there, so we have a lot to work on! butttttt there are some super dedicated individuals doing amazing things, like Mayan Warrior, Papaya Playa Project, GNP Festival Tulum, Storytellers, ZOFEMAT Tulum, CONANP, KA’AN Tulum, Nômade, Be Tulum, ABRACADABRA..
HS: Which BBP achievement are you the proudest about, and which milestone are you looking forward to the most?
B: There’s been so many stand out moments already! I’d say our PlasticFreeParty movement, where we announced that 1500 DJs had signed up for an Eco Rider. We pushed this out across socials and got over 3 million impressions and a reach of 1 million thanks to all the media, artists, industry and beyond who shared and jumped onboard – we were blown away with the reaction! I’m also really proud of the whole team; this started as a grass roots movement, ran by 9 women all over the world, who are bringing their passion and expertise to this initiative and making some real waves! Now there’s over 2500 DJs signed up!!!
Another key achievement is the results and feedback from the social campaign. We’ve sent a survey to the eco rider DJs and what comes out of it is that 75% of them are convinced that having an Eco Rider does provide change and does input change in the industry; it’s not perfect yet — butttt we’re moving the needle and will figure it out!
Phasing out all single-use plastics from the dance music industry by 2025 is a possible feat – but it takes agents of change like the Bye-Bye Plastic team and all the musicians, venues, partners and festivals that have rallied with swooping support to make it a reality.
Bye-Bye Plastic – Get involved as an event organizer, artist rep or eco-warrior + download the artist eco-rider.
BLOND:ISH’s remix of Foreigner ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ drops Friday March 13th on Spinnin’ Deep. Get it here: https://found.ee/WannaKnow