Let’s face it, dancing without pants is a lot of fun. Dancing without pants for a good cause, is even more fun. That’s why the PLUR Collective from Victoria, BC are taking their FUNdraiser Pants Off Dance Off (PODO) on the road to the Knotty Burl in Squamish for a night of delicious bass-thumping beats, good vibes, and a lot of pants-less ass, all in support of HIV and HepC positive youth from across the country.
Formed in 2016, the PLUR Collective, comprised of Sarah Wilson, Geoff Plint, Shannon Lee, Kristie Signer, and Piotr Burek, started their foray into party planning with their first underwear party: Pants Off Dance Off; an event that raises money for Youth Unleashing Power (YUP), Canada’s only national symposium created entirely by and for HIV and HepC positive youth. Now, in its third year, YUP brings together positive youth from across the country for a four day retreat where they get to connect with each other, share their experiences of living with HIV and HepC, and heal as a community.
Inspired by Jessica Whitbread’s “No Pants No Problem” parties, which have grown to international fame in support of HIV positive folks around the world, PODO has become a staple in the Victoria dance scene, raising $3500 for YUP over the last two years. PODO is a queer friendly and body positive event that showcases amazing talent in the house and techno music scene and is founded on the principles of consent and harm-reduction. With beautiful sounds curated by past headliners like Squamish local Freebound, Vancouver duo Epitomic, and underground superstar Kasey Riot, PODO is an ode to raging good music and the curation of impressive electronic music sets.
However, it’s not just about the dancing. The PLUR Collective was formed as a response to the lack of queer party spaces in Victoria and the lack of events that acknowledge the history of activism within the dance community. In addition, the PLUR Collective saw an opportunity to create events that meet along the intersections of social service delivery, art, radical politics, and the “rave”. As lovers of house and techno, the PLUR Collective honors the history of those genres as having come from largely poor and racialized communities; communities that also face the brunt of the HIV and HepC epidemics. They recognize the rave/party as an inherently political act, which sometimes gets lost in mainstream narratives. It is with this understanding that the PLUR Collective aims to create events that not only give back to the broader community, but also build compassionate communities that become emblems of the rave scene.
By focusing on showcasing queer and femme artists, the PLUR collective is committed to providing opportunities for performers and artists that are often excluded from mainstreams events. The collective aims to provide a comfortable space where queer, trans, non-binary, and femme-folks can shake their booties and dance up a storm. Having said that, these parties are for anyone who brings good vibes and a commitment to community action, regardless of sexuality, or gender.
The Squamish edition of PODO will feature Victoria femme-superstar, TigRess, who also happens to be a member of the PLUR Collective, supported by Vancouver’s Kasey Riot, Whistler’s Evan Drops, and Squamish local Beatkeeper. Tickets will be available at the door on a sliding scale of $10-15 and all proceeds will support HIV and HepC positive youth from across the country to attend YUP. As always, the PLUR Collective will be stocked with harm-reduction tips, including safer partying information, naloxone kits, and safer sex supplies. We look forward to shaking our booties with y’all in March!
Ps. Don’t want to dance without pants? No worries, as a body-positive event, we encourage folks to show up however they feel comfortable, with or without pants.
Can’t make it to the party? Consider making a financial contribution to YUP. For more information about YUP, please visit www.youthunleashingpower.ca