At least 27,000 species of plant and animal life die out every year – a rate unprecedented since the disappearance of dinosaurs. The strain we are putting on the planet’s eco-system cannot be ignored, which is why we are supporting another fantastic initiative born out of Ibiza, a non-profit organisation called Music Against Animal Cruelty (MAAC).
MAAC was conceived by Johnny White of infamous electronic music act Art Department, alongside his friend and founder of Pulse Radio, Wade Cawood and Jack Baucher, founder of bespoke wildlife travel and conservation company Tears for Tigers.
MAAC acts as a broker between musicians, the music industry and music fans to support organisations working to save animals facing diminishing populations and/or extinction. It’s a simple mission statement – to aid wildlife conservation – but with a big vision. As White puts it, “This isn’t just techno against animal cruelty. This is music against it.”
Since its launch event in Nairobi back in 2017, MAAC has been gathering pace with 2018 events in Toronto, Canada – White’s home city – and Ibiza at the International Music Summit (IMS) and its own ‘Wild’ event at Ushuaïa, headlined by legends such as Adam Beyer, Bedouin and DJ Sneak, in addition to special guest Black Coffee.
The MAAC Ambassador programme allows artists and promoters to get involved in everything from social media support and donating exclusive productions and/or mixes or memorabilia, to playing at MAAC events and organising their own MAAC fundraisers. The industry response has already been hugely positive and MAAC has a growing list of ambassadors that regularly grace the top spot on flyers around the World.
Ultimately MAAC’s objectives are to curate its own large-scale events, raising funds for its own projects. In the interim it operates as a fund, using events to raise exposure and selecting various grassroots initiatives as beneficiaries. For Baucher, there are clearly some big plans for 2019, asserting “I can’t go into too much detail other than we’ll be coming to New York, London and I hope Amsterdam, as well as Ibiza of course”.
MAAC’s primary focus to date has been on two amazing projects, those being Lion Guardians and Rhino Conservation Botswana. Lion Guardians is a conservation organisation that promotes the coexistence of people and lions in Africa. For almost a decade it has worked to improve community conservation by blending traditional knowledge with culture and science. MAAC’s other focus, Rhino Conservation Botswana, helps to increase and protect populations of black and white rhinos in Botswana through intensive monitoring and by engaging local communities in their protection. Another key focus of the organisation is a charity called Guerilla Tactics, which supports more urgent initiatives where a small donation can save the life of an animal in need.
To sign off it seems fitting that the final word should come from Johnny White, who is relentless in the pursuit of MAAC’s vision of a world where wildlife has a voice and the right to thrive and survive. “This is going to be a powerful movement when we realise its full potential. We need to be clear that this goes beyond just our community. This is a global force against treating animals like they have the same right to be here that we do. For now, we’re looking to our sector of the industry for support as we build the foundation, but the bigger picture is garnering the support of the music industry at large.”