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Ballantine’s launches dance music diversity project

By | Published on Thursday 9 September 2021


Ballantine’s Scotch whisky has announced a new initiative to improve diversity and tackle discrimination in nightclubs, both in DJ line-ups and on the dancefloor.

Part of the alcohol brand’s ongoing True Music project, the centrepiece of this is a new report, titled ‘Resetting The Dancefloor’. That found that one in three clubbers had experienced discrimination in clubs, while 84% had witnessed it. As clubs begin to reopen post-pandemic, it says, now is the perfect time to address this.

As part of its own efforts to make a difference, Ballantine’s is launching a new fund to support emerging music collectives, and will hold its own events in partnership with Boiler Room. It has also brought in a team of advisers in the form of DJ Honey Dijon, SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, He.She.They’s Sophia Kearney and Steven Braines, DJ collective Chica Gang, art collective Afrobapho, and musicians Dope Saint Jude.

“All of these things we’re fighting for – diverse line-ups, diverse dancefloors – this is simply us wanting our humanity and our creativity to be considered as worthy as other people’s”, says Honey Dijon. “That’s an expectation no one should be able to stand in the way of”.

Ballantine’s Head Of Music Tom Elton adds: “The past eighteen months have seen the live music industry suffer, as lockdowns have forced fans to stay at home and repress desires to be on the dancefloor. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, we have the opportunity to press the ‘reset’ button and club together to rebuild a music culture for everyone”.

“A commitment to inclusivity is part of Ballantine’s DNA – the motto ‘a friend to all humankind’ has been on the crest of every bottle for over 100 years – and we are committed to putting our pledges in to practice to help drive tangible change”, he goes on. “We all have a part to play in the journey to creating a truly inclusive music industry and this is just the start”.

Download the ‘Resetting The Dancefloor’ report here.