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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Waits

Noir Fever Fest: What This Means for the Black Dance Music Community


If you are Black and have ever been to a dance music event, you won’t be shocked if you are able to count the amount of Black folks on the lineup on one hand. Year after year DJs and producers that make Dance music within traditionally Black and Brown subgenres like New York City’s Ballroom, Jersey, Chicago and Detroit House, Hyper Pop, and New Orleans Bounce Music go unbooked. This active overshadowing through vanilla lineups, pay discrimination, and mismarked accountability of celebration of Black Dance music leaves entire genres of Black Dance music to stay out of mainstream. Black Dance artists aren’t asking for White saviors - they want respect. Continuing to not acknowledge the intentionally diminished history of Black folks' creation and continuous contributions to Dance Music as well as failing to compensate Black and Brown artists equitably for their work does nothing but keep the stereotype of Dance music being something for ‘white girls in flower crowns.’ Despite the long used excuse of Rave and party curators not having enough Black talent who participate in Dance Music community to choose from, creating the base of what would be Dance Music, and uplifting artists of all backgrounds on the way - Black Dance artists can’t seem to make their way to mainstream line-ups. As Aluna detailed in the Noir Fever announcement via Instagram,

“Since most mainstream dance/electronic festivals have decided to remain boringly un-inclusive I’ve decided to book an all Black lineup to make my dreams come true. By honouring Dance music’s heritage and getting a taste of the future I want to reignite a much needed connection back to what Dance music is all about – creating a space where people from all different communities can come together, dance their hearts out and feel free to be themselves. This festival is for my BIPOC and LGBTQ+ family and our ALLIES. Let’s celebrate and come together. “

That’s right.

Aluna is throwing an all - Black dance music festival in the city of souls: New Orleans, Louisiana.

Courtesy of @aluna Instagram

Noir Fever New Orleans, is set to take place in NOLA from May 27-30, 2022 in partnership with global marketplace Pollen Presents. Now Aluna wanted to make a statement with this fire line up. Yeah, a dance music festival can be all - Black and be better than any mainstream festival. Grammy nominated artists like Kaytranada, UNIIQU3, and Aluna. DUCKWRTH, Jayda G, and Kaleena Zanders just to name a muthafuckin few. This festival follows New Orleans Black funeral tradition - pay respects and party like there is no tomorrow. Noir Fever directly acknowedleges the Black gay ass past of Dance Music history while simultaneously leaving space for Black futures in Dance Music! This festival serves as a ritual - energies colliding to manifest the energy of the dance floors of the future. The choice to turn up smack dab in the home of voodoo was definitely the right choice.

New Orleans is all things Black, Gay and Dance. The center of the Atlantic Slave Trade, home of the second line, birthplace to Bounce Music, swiggle dance culture, and the biggest party in the World: Mardi Gras. New Orleans is loud, eclectic, warm, and mysterious. The perfect place for Black Dance music to be blasted through warehouses and hotel lobbies. This three day romp houses itself in the Warehouse District of New Orleans - about a twenty minute walk from the infamous Bourbon or Canal St. Shoutout to Noir festival goers do not have to worry about lodging. Every ticket purchase comes with hotel accommodations so you never miss the party and don’t have to travel far. The Ace Hotel NOLA, Hotel Fontenot, The Moxy, The Troubador, Hotel Vinache, and The W New Orleans will ensure party goers are right by live music, casinos, clubs, parties, and restaurants while also have a safe, relaxing, and luxurious place to come home to. With three parties, pop ups, keynote speakers, and vendors included it’s safe to say Noir Fever thought of everything. Are you watching Dance Community or are you participating?

To love Dance Music means to love Black Art. However, time after time people run to celebrate the art without paying homage to, or actually paying the Black people that create it. This festival sends the message: we don’t need you - you need us. An all - Black line up forr strictly Dance Music is practically unheard of. Other Black Women emcees like UNIIQU3 have hosted festivals before. But never at this scale. This is the beginning of the boycotts - Black people learn to take their money where they are appreciated instead of wasting it trying to be seen by those who refuse to acknowledge their humanity. All ravers, party goers, and music lovers of all genders, creeds, and backgrounds are welcomed as always because everyone should celebrate Black people, period. This festival leaves me hopeful that other mainstream festivals will start to support artists like Aluna and others. Black dance artists will get the respect, paychecks, and recognition they deserve despite the likeability of their music to the white majority. Black Dance music will continue to open doors for all sorts of people, just speculating.

So are you heading to Noir Fever or will you be on the wrong side of history?

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