The Beatport Group are keen to tell us how much they love Pride – but wait until almost the end of the month to declare themselves…

Pride Month is something that gives us a bit of a chuckle at Ears To The House. Not because of the cause – celebrating LGBT rights and culture is absolutely fine by us – but because corporations around the Western world still don’t quite know how to relate to it. Remember, the first Pride month was all the way back in June 1970.

This is why a lot of companies that come out in support of Pride end up in trouble, usually with their more conservative minded customers. And those corporations that do get a backlash usually have no idea how to respond – even though they now have literally decades of case studies to examine for clues.

However, the book of case studies may now have to be rewritten – and it’s all because of the curious new strategy taken by The Beatport Group. An email sent out by Loopcloud yesterday – June 29th – was titled “Amplify Pride with The Beatport Group” and provided a link to this article

The article itself is nothing much to speak of, pointing out that “the foundations of electronic music have been fundamentally intertwined with the rich history of LGBTI+ culture since the very beginning” and that “house and techno were initially born out of the dance scenes in New York and Chicago, where clubs like Paradise Garage, Studio 54 and The Loft created revolutionary spaces for members of the gay community to express themselves”.

Later on, they state that Beatport Group are “proud to be working with” the Kaleidoscope Trust – described as “connecting activists, organisations, and human rights defenders with those in power so they can advocate for themselves and their communities” – and ILGA Europe, who monitor LGBT rights across Europe and central Asia.

DJs and producers “in our community” are subsequently invited to “consider donating to one of these two organisations in order to assist with their work” – but at no point does this article explain precisely how Beatport Group actually works with these two charities. Ears To The House has contacted Beatport for comment to see whether they can provide any clarification on this.

Nonetheless, we find it downright strange that this statement is dated 29th June 2023 – the last but one day of Pride Month. Beatport has had a whole month to declare this, but hasn’t said anything until now – yet a quick search online reveals the company wasn’t so reticent in previous years.

And given dance music’s history – thus meaning that any backlash to supporting Pride would inevitably be more muted than elsewhere – Beatport’s decision to issue this statement over four weeks into the month makes even less sense. Perhaps the explanation can be found courtesy of a botched article by dance music press doyenne Annabel Ross, published in August last year.

The article featured, amongst other more important things, a disgruntled former Beatport employee berating the company for not commenting publicly on the death of George Floyd. Ever since the article came out, Beatport seems to have got really reluctant to comment on anything at all – and it appears this is the result…

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