Effective immediately, Drug Education Consulting is ending our client relationship with Bassnectar after frontman Lorin Ashton’s history of abusing young women became public. Any affiliation we have with his team, volunteers, or his former collaborators or employees going forward is completely disassociated from him and will be for the foreseeable future.
We stand in solidarity with his victims. We support accountability, transparency, and restorative justice that prevents further harm while centering the needs of the people he has harmed.
Part of what makes this situation so confusing and traumatizing for everyone involved is the incongruous nature of Ashton’s personal life when compared to Bassnectar’s advocacy and community service. Ashton’s former fan base and volunteers - the Ambassadors - take care of each other and set an example for how direct service in nightlife should be done. Bassnectar’s nonprofit project Be Interactive has donated and facilitated the donation of hundreds of thousands dollars in cash, winter coats, food, and other goods to worthy causes. During shows, he has handed the mic over to indigenous voices working for clean water justice. Ashton’s behavior does not negate the importance of that work, nor does his project’s charitable giving excuse his behavior. We hold these two contradictory aspects of the Bassnectar project at once, however difficult, and invite his former fans to do so as well.
Ashton is just one of many powerful men in the music industry to be exposed for relationship abuse recently. Women have never had this much power to stand up for ourselves, within and outside of the traditional justice system. Famous musicians have a long history of abusing women, but only now are we in a position to do something about it. Women are refusing to accept manipulative, abusive behavior and mistreatment in our chosen communities, and finally have the tools to be effective. That gives us hope.
By supporting victims and abuse survivors, we change the landscape of trauma. This sends a loud message to influential people who have yet to do the work of unpacking toxic masculinity in themselves. When men see other men lose respect and power for causing harm, they think twice before doing the same. This is shifting the climate in which women live, work, and thrive.
The Ambassador volunteers may go by a different name at some point and serve a different function in a different space - we don’t know. But we do know that the thousands of people who were positively inspired by Bassnectar will find a way to reorganize around common goals and shared interests. We have every intention of being a part of that and supporting their future in whatever ways we can. We will go where our services are needed and do what we can to bring people together, either virtually or in-person, to learn, grow, evolve, and create safer spaces.