Long-time Shaw neighborhood locals refused to be silenced by a noise complaint from a high-end condo resident about go-go music, and hence was the birth of the movement: #DontMuteDc.
Earlier this year, an unidentified resident of The Shay complained about the loud go-go music coming from the MetroPCS at the corner of Georgia and Florida Ave NW (U Street). What this new comer to the neighborhood probably didn’t realize is that this store has been playing this music for 24 years, making it a neighborhood institution.
Residents of these luxury condos pressured the city and T-mobile to force the owners to stop playing the music. Locals were outraged and quoted saying things such as, “Tell T-mobile, the city, and residents who don’t understand the cultural significance and history of go-go- music in Washington, D.C. that this is unacceptable. Bring back the music!” and, “Whenever I pass that intersection, I put the windows down and it makes me happy. Gotta love the go-go. Keep it.”
Following the outrage, the hashtags #DontMuteDc and #Moechella rapidly started trending on Twitter and Instagram, petitions were created, protests occurred, and the music that was put on mute returned.
The rise of this movement has inspired local artists, bands, and activists to collaborate and create initiatives in an effort to support the cause and the culture of Washington, D.C.
Go-go band Rare Essence released a new song “#DontMuteDC,” which is a collaboration between the lontgtime go-go band, producer Tone P, and local rappers Lightshow and Noochie. Activist Ronald Moten is developing plans for a go-go museum and the return of the “Go-go Awards” that he presented from 2007-2010. Members of the boucebeat go-go band TOB are planning a June “Bouncebeat and Peace Tour” of DC neighborhoods in an effort to stop gun violence, and a music rally #Moechella, a spin-off from the popular music festival Coachella, was created and held to reinforce the importance of go-go music to the culture of DC.
According to Yadiya, go-go artist and leader of the activist group Long Live Gogo,”…the music is the glue to the city. The music is the common ground. A vehicle and a tool to basically create a platform for people to have their voice heard.” He has also announced via Twitter, Instagram and the Long Live GoGo website that he will be hosting a “#Moechella Megafest” in August.
Thus far, there have been three #DontMuteDC go-go protests and reporters say the movement “has yet to hit its crescendo.” Organizers and attendees alike say that the aim is to continue rallies into the summer and beyond.
Sources: popville.com, WUSA9, thedcline.org, Washington Post