On dance floors in 57 cities across 30 nations, DJs and ravers with a conscience can
party simultaneously for a cause Saturday at Earthdance '98, the second annual
worldwide rave to benefit the Tibetan people.
Among the better-known DJs scheduled to participate are mixers/producers Doc Martin
and Freaky Chakra -- who will preside together over the Los Angeles dance floor -- and
Barry Weaver and Hip-E, who will make the scene in Phoenix.
Proceeds from all 57 venues will go to benefit Tibetan causes.
"We're trying to raise awareness for the people of Tibet," said Kyle Carmone, director of
Earthdance North America. "It's time for the dance community to give something back."
Earthdance, conceived by U.K. DJ/rave producer Chris Deckker as a way to raise money
and bring attention to Tibetan issues -- particularly the oppression of that country's
people by China -- raised more than $75,000 in 1997. The Tibet House Trust used
some of the proceeds to build a home for children whose parents were jailed by Chinese
With an additional 12 countries added to this year's rave roster, and a bigger and
more-renowned DJ lineup, organizers expect Earthdance '98 to raise twice as much
money as this past year's event. Martin and Chakra, who do weekly club sets in New York
and San Francisco respectively, are best-known for their techno mixes of artists such as
D.J. Pierre and psychedelic Brit-pop band Cornershop.
"We're expecting 15,000 to 20,000 people in the U.S. alone this year," Carmone said.
"We'll have a few real big parties in L.A., New York and Philly. The rest will be smaller,
Deckker conceived of the idea for a worldwide rave after spending time in India. "Chris
is a passionate guy who's into Eastern philosophy. He's seen the problems," Carmone
San Francisco-based techno-producer Chakra said he's glad to be part of something
that goes beyond just a rave.
"It's an awesome attempt to create a collective consciousness that reaches halfway
around the world," Chakra said, adding that for the event he will debut unrecorded
material. "I won't be playing a lot of familiar stuff. I'm not a rock band. I can't learn by
doing the same thing over and over again like most rock bands do."
Chakra also expects to abandon his usual dark style. "I plan on lightening up a bit," he
Most of the Earthdance events will be linked via the World Wide Web. To allow
Earthdance organizers to transmit sound and images in real time to and from specific
venues, the starting times of the various raves will be staggered; some will start late at
night, while others, such as the one in Los Angeles, will begin earlier.
The climax will be a dance-floor linkup, with "Prayer For Peace," a song Deckker created
for the event, to be played simultaneously at each venue.
The Earthdance organization (http://www.earthdance.org) also has released a
double-CD set, Earthdance, featuring dance and ambient tracks by
trance-artists Banco De Gaia, the Orb, Loop Guru and System 7. The Orb even recorded
a new track specifically for the compilation, "Bedouin (The Sheik)," which Orb frontman Alex Patterson described
as "a very earthy African track with some piano."
Earthdance will be broadcast live over the Internet (at http://streetsound.pseudo.com)
and will feature live images from several international locations.