What Could You Do with 10,000 Hours? These Dance Music-Lovers Have the Answer
Doing good on the dancefloor.
Anyone who’s been to a music festival knows the feeling of euphoria and unity that sweeps through the crowd. Unfortunately, this sense of positivity often evaporates as soon as you leave the festival gates.
But 10,000 HOURS, a foundation based in the Netherlands, believes the power of the dance floor can be a force for good. Launched six years ago, just after the recession hit, the organisation works with music festivals and world-class DJs to connect music fans with voluntary projects that can make a difference, hour by hour.
“There’s a powerful feeling of unity at music festivals,” says co-founder of 10,000 HOURS, Nienke Basslé, who is a die-hard music lover. “We wanted to get this feeling and share it with the vulnerable people around us.”
When the recession hit, Basslé noticed that the elderly and children with special needs were being hit hardest by government cuts.
“They are weak and can’t speak up for themselves, so we thought, can we do something? Can we share the positive energy of the dance floor with these vulnerable people?” she asked. Joining forces with fellow music-lovers, they set themselves a challenge: “Can we donate 10,000 hours of community work to those vulnerable people?”
They partnered with festival Welcome to the Future for their first event, inviting fans to volunteer to plant trees and bake pancakes with the elderly. The demand was overwhelming, with more than 600 fans signing up to help out.
Since then, the innovative project has encouraged music fans to donate more than 35,000 hours to vulnerable people in the Netherlands — and they aren’t prepared to stop there.
The impact of the initiative on individual lives is palpable. When DJ Nicky Romero visited a home for children with special needs, he gave one child a memory that will last a lifetime. Born a boy, Yuriko desires to be a girl and uses music to express the challenges she faces with her identity. When Romero heard about her passion for music, he offered to record a song with her — and the rest is history:
In the lead up to this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event, 10,000 HOURS is inviting music fans to #TakeAuction for children with special needs. Allowing fans to bid for items from their favourite artists, the funds will go towards the 10,000 HOURS Festival Tour — a chance for vulnerable children and young people to enjoy the energy and positivity of a music festival in an environment completely adjusted to their needs.
It’s a simple but powerful idea. In the words of Nick Romero:
“People always look forward to buying new things, but giving people a great day means so much more.”