For some people, this blog is their guilty secret. They wouldn’t want to admit to ever reading it – a bit like the way UK opinion polls frequently underestimate support for the Tories – but they’re out there, avidly watching to see what comes up next. And occasionally, they inadvertently out themselves as fans.
It appears Yousef has been here at some point, too. Because I discovered earlier today that he has blocked this blog’s Twitter account. Like many of the terribly thin-skinned individuals which dominate this industry, he obviously found something I’d written which he didn’t like. He’s also been emailed a few times in the past for comment before publication.
I strongly suspect it was my criticism of him for inviting plague rave DJ favourite Sven Väth to his Covid test event in Liverpool which did it. I wrote about it extensively – even excoriating his attempts to rewrite history when Mixmag dared to ask him about it. A lot of DJs have opted to ignore the plague rave thing, hoping it’ll go away.
But why did Yousef choose to say nothing? After all, he’s not a man noted for remaining silent on things he’s passionate about. Back in March, he posted on Instagram about a Zoom meeting he’d had with UK Labour leader Keir Starmer. And last October, he was working hard to “save the events economy”, as he put it.
And say what you like about Yousef, but the man showed leadership by putting his hat in the ring when it came to staging a Covid test event – I understand that several other venues, including at least one in London, were approached but refused. But on the plague rave DJ question, Yousef remained, like most of his colleagues, silent.
Could it be because he wanted to avoid sabotaging his future work prospects? I note with interest that his tour of North America is due to start next week – the first of those gigs is in Mexico on September 30th, which was hit by a huge Covid wave earlier this year. Bar Américas, along with other venues in Mexico, might not have appreciated being caught in the crossfire of arguments about plague raves.
That would be understandable – but I don’t accept for one second this lets Yousef off the hook. He chose to be sensible and not do any plague raves – I understand many of the big DJs were offered such work, and he is most likely amongst them. And the USA is only marginally less sensitive – they were harshly criticised for opening too early as well.
But the harsh truth is when you’re in the public eye, people have the right to ask questions. And when they respond to such questions by blocking instead of engaging – just like Terrence Parker did when I asked him awkward questions – they have the right to draw their own conclusions…