Most people can agree that music sounds pretty amazing, but it’s so much more than rhythm, instruments, and rhyme. Music has the power to bring people to tears, to make people dance all night long, to push harder in a workout, to connect with a community, and to be understood in a way that doesn’t come from anything else.
Stories are told, feelings are expressed, and adventures are had, all within the confines of a few minutes of instruments and vocals. The limit to what music can accomplish doesn’t exist. Thus, when it comes to activism and inspiring impactful change, music is the perfect channel. Let’s take a look at why activism and change are so important and how places like the Ohana Festival that have people come together to listen to and celebrate music can change the world.
Why It Matters
Activism is essentially engaging in an action to bring about meaningful change. This can take place in many different forms. Maybe it’s organizing and getting a bunch of signatures; maybe it’s joining a peaceful march and protest. It can be petitioning, donating, or going against the status quo to get an important message out.
The link between successful activism can be seen time and time again. The United States civil rights movement was a huge case of coordinated activism that led to the end of segregation in the country. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, also used as a hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge, became one of the most successful fundraisers of all time, raising over $115 million and getting millions of people on board.
Even environmental activism has worked by petitioning pipelines that would be detrimental to the planet and wildlife health, such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Without brave people stepping up to organize, get momentum, involve others, and often put their safety and reputation on the line to accomplish their goals, many of these things would never have happened. But because people did step up, the world has and is becoming a better place.
Changing something that has been ingrained in society for a long time is never easy. Thus, activism is no walk in the park. Sometimes, it can be hard to see the direct result of impressive bouts of activism as well. There’s no doubt that when it comes to changing things and making decisions, there is strength in numbers and community– but even a single individual has the ability to make a difference.
The Bridge From Activism To The Cove
The Ohana Festival brings together dozens of incredible musicians and artists in Dana Point, California. Not only is the weekend jam-packed with some of the best musical performances of the year and filled with excited and passionate people, but it’s more than just a bunch of songs.
A key aspect of the Ohana Festival is storytelling in a cove dedicated to non-profits, art, and, you guessed it– speakers driving the movement in activism. The Cove curates a collection of stories and panels from environmental leaders, researchers, conservationists, and people that care deeply about the health of the planet and securing a livable future. The most recent Ohana Festival took place at the end of September and beginning of October and was one for the books. Memories were made, songs were sung, stories were told, and perhaps most impressively of all, people were inspired to take action.
Key Players That Inspire Change
The Ohana Festival was home to over 35 performances, each special in its own way. Yet, some focused specifically on storytelling and inspiring activism to make the world a better place. With climate change being a pivotal global issue, these talented leaders successfully told their message to a wide audience that will now carry it on and continue to spread it far and wide.
From Faine Loubser, Natasha Benjamin, and Max Bello discussing the importance of conserving nature and, in particular, the world’s kelp forests, to Mike Coots discussing the film “Sharkwater” and the importance of preserving these beautiful creators, it’s safe to say that inspiration took place all around.
Change comes from community, comradery, and hope, and that’s exactly what great music has the power to build. When you see someone rocking your favorite band on their t-shirt, you have an instant connection with them. When a song you heard years ago plays on the radio, you’re instantly transported back to a memory made from it.
The power of music should not and cannot be underestimated. With an issue as important as climate change, we need all hands on deck to get on board with making a substantial change. To protect the future of humanity and all life on Earth, activists, artists, and citizens will work together to make it happen. Ohana Festival was a great sneak peek at what the future may hold. It’s up to the rest of us to keep it going.
What An Individual Can Achieve — Even From Their Own Backyard
There is no one-size-fits-all to activism. When something as important as climate change needs help to be stopped, it takes all hands on deck and many different approaches to reach meaningful change. If you’re looking for ways to take action and help contribute to making a difference, here are several ways you can get started.
Register to vote and vote for politicians aligned with your values.
Sign petitions on websites like Change.org.
Donate to charities, campaigns, and people that are working on projects you care about.
Make your purchases from responsible businesses that prioritize sustainability, are local, and/or minority-owned.
Have hard but important conversations with your family and friends about why you care.