In the shadow of a former Communist monument, overlooking the glittering city of Prague, @lunchmeatfestival threw a small benefit gathering to celebrate unity and condemn Putin’s war of aggression. DJs from Russia, Czechia, Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus played back to back sets late into the cold wintery night as a group of young revellers danced in defiance of the chaotic geopolitics shaping their generation.
The cynical may ask, what does a small techno event achieve in the face of war and devastation? Politics has always been a part of techno music. The underground thrives on anti-establishment sentiment and displays of international solidarity are more important now than ever. The lyric-less nature of techno and the way in which dancers can meld into one amorphous organism is a feeling that almost escapes description. You have to be part of it to understand it.
I find my circle of friends and raise my drink in a toast. The mood is cheerful yet reserved. A sorrow hangs in the air. The light display shines as a beacon, visible throughout much of the city. “Putin is EVIL. Stop His WAR. United We Stay. Divided We Fall.” We know there are tragedies amongst us. In this mixed crowd of techno hipsters, foreign nationals, arts and media students, and more, no doubt there are stories of families and friends in Ukraine or Russia right now. There’s no need to talk about it for now. For those precious few hours, we are one and together, happy to steal away these moments of rhythmic bliss.