A new era of "Protest Music"

Could this year possibly get any crazier?

Answer: Yes, always.


As we are in the midst of a global pandemic, the United States has been on national lockdown for months. For the most part we the people of America have all done our part to properly social distance, quarantine, and help "flatten the curve" so to speak.

Protestors take to the streets of Denver making chants for justice. (6/2/20)

The repercussions of this virus have taken a huge toll on our economy.

Small business owners have had to shut their doors indefinitely, or permanently, due to many different reasons out of their control. This is the first time in American History where all major sporting events have been cancelled or postponed; along with every single major music festival in the country. Every single tour, show, concert, comedy event, any sort of public gathering; all cancelled or postponed.

Peaceful Protesters gather @ the Denver Capitol to gather for a march. (6/2/20)

Some "Drive-in" shows and, other events are now being planned and scheduled as the economy slowly but surely opens back up. We are seeing some creativity from business trying to survive with new delivery options, extended patio sections for socially distant outdoor seating, and so much more beautiful innovation.

We have been going a great job adapting to the situation but most of us are getting a bit anxious. We are anxious because we are being given misinformation by major news organizations. We are anxious because the current POTUS has inevitably let us down throughout the entire pandemic.

While we are drowning in a sea of misinformation about the pandemic, we are also forced to watch our fellow brothers and sisters being killed in the streets of their homeland. Police Brutality, Systemic Racism, and Racial Profiling have gone on for too long and we the people will not tolerate this any longer.

We are currently seeing the rise of what seems to be the next big Civil Rights Movement in United States History. With the recent senseless murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, we have see a powerful wave of protest in America all across the nation. People of all ages, color, and religion are coming together in the streets to protest together shouting things like "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE", and "NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE".

Peaceful protests have been going on here in Denver for about a week now.

For the most part these have been well organized and non-violent compared to other cities currently being ripped apart by racism and police using brutal force against.

Protestors gather near the Colorado State Capitol. (6/2/20)

What does this mean for the music industry?

Are we launching into what seems to be a new era of "Protest Music"?

Musicians everywhere are currently without gigs, tours, and shows to play. They are sitting at home or at their new day job, watching videos of innocent black men and women being killed in the streets. We are dealing with an authoritarian POTUS who has tear gassed his own people. This is an unprecedented time to be alive and especially to be a young creative person who has never experienced anything like this before.

Protest music is nothing new. In fact one could even say that music at it's core has always been some sort of a protest to the way we think and act with each other. Examples include things like worship halls singing songs of faith, or even my friends and I at a Phish concert singing all the lyrics together. We were subject to some American treasures in the 1960s with Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead paving the way for a movement of young people coming together for a common cause.

*peaceful protest. March from Denver Capitol around 16th Street Mall and back. (6/2/20)

Protest music has taken many forms over the years such as folk, rock and roll, funk, metal, hip hop and more. Most musicians right now have the creative juices flowing. There is inspiration everywhere from our own personal struggles and coping mechanisms to our loved ones and fellow brothers and sisters fighting for freedom.

The fight for freedom will be done on the streets. The young creative people of this country will stand by each other in arms to defend our basic human rights and civil liberties. We will write songs about our experiences and our dreams. In the words of Gil Scott Heron,

"the revolution will not be televised"

Video of Gil Scott Heron on YouTube. Jungle Ruckus does not own the rights to this video.

this blog was written by Rick Van Patten



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Denver, CO 

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