So far, all of the DJs who are on the bill for the MDL Beast Soundstorm festival in Saudi Arabia next month are remaining quiet as the controversy over their appearances rumbles on. The collective strategy – accidental or intentional – appears to be keep their heads down, attend and get a big pay day just in time for Christmas.
They do this knowing the useless dance music press won’t call them out on it – mostly because the Saudis might refuse to advertise with them afterwards. Only one has stuck his head above the parapet to explain himself – and his defence is frankly so embarrassingly poor that a judge would probably laugh at him.
So last Sunday, self-declared baron of techno Dave Clarke posted about this subject on his Facebook page. The thread was deleted a few days later, with Clarke citing “racism and abuse” in the comments as the explanation why. But thankfully, this blog took a screenshot of Mills’s original defiant words…
The comment went down badly, to say the least. Clarke suggested Mills post about the subject on his own page to see what his followers thought. And last Friday – four days after Clarke’s proposition, Mills did exactly that. The length of time it took suggests in itself that Mills isn’t as confident in his arguments as he thinks.
His latest post – screenshots below – mostly uses deflection and whataboutery to avoid further criticism. For example, there’s his laughable insinuation that him performing in Saudi Arabia makes him complicit with the government’s human rights abuses.
Or his bizarre assertion his brand of techno would help people with their “need to mentally escape” from the “conditions [the government] impose”. Following that theory, Mills would be happy to perform a concert for Kim Jong-un in North Korea – the residents there could do with a few hours “mental escape” from starvation and torture, couldn’t they?
But probably his most dubious claim of all – and there’s plenty of competition here – is that these mostly multi-millionaire DJs not going to Saudi Arabia would “further isolate the young people there”. If Mills seriously believes that playing business techno to a crowd in their late teens and early twenties is a way of showing solidarity, I’d like to have a little bit of whatever he’s smoking.
You might wish to ask yourself why no one else in the lineup is using the same arguments in their own defence, Jeff. You might learn something…