Diversity & Inclusivity On The Dancefloor

Shaping DEI thought leadership in music culture

A Safer, Fairer Future For Music

Ballantine’s True Music platform has been representing and broadcasting, often in partnership with Boiler Room, music culture since 2014. With calls for DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) reform rebounding across all areas of culture – from football to fashion to far beyond – it’s little surprise that there would also be a spotlight on the dancefloor.

True Music isn’t shying from its responsibilities, committing to actions around representative line-ups, fair pay and treatment of artists, and creating safe and inclusive fan experiences. They came to Crowd DNA wanting to support their pledges with a thought leadership programme that could be communicated successfully across diverse media channels. Time to reset the dancefloor.

Project Design

The work combined quantitative methods from our Crowd Numbers team, a series of expert interviews, and our editorial capabilities.

+ We designed a survey that carefully and sensitively explored discrimination in music, canvasing views of fans in Spain, South Africa, Brazil, the US and UK. This created powerful headline stats, and also highlighted the importance of thinking in intersectional terms, rather than assessing D&I issues in isolation of each other

+ Our interviews with a range of music sub-culture insiders - including DJ and producer Honey Dijon, and rapper and drag artist Dope Saint Jude - presented us with informed and provocative opinions from the frontline - both examining current challenges and what meaningful progress could look like

Editorialising The Themes & Recommendations

The task from there was to reflect all of this amazing material in a report with strong editorial sensibilities. The resulting 34 page output, called Resetting The Dancefloor, presented a revealing, no-holds-barred account, but also flagged positive actions that could be taken by brands, fans and the music industry alike.

Resetting The Dancefloor has been distributed extensively through PR and media partnerships, resonating powerfully with both a trade and consumer audience.

“The insight we gained from this report was invaluable. It gave us a depth of understanding that resulted in a significant evolution to the heart of what True Music is about. Supporting and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion is now the single most important objective of True Music and we hope that our long-term commitment can help bring about the much-needed change to the industry.”  

Tom Elton, global head of culture and partnerships, Ballantine’s