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Interview: Parties4Peace Founder Emilie McGlone

Electronic music festivals have sustained themselves as being places where music enthusiasts can engage in the euphoric and transcendent power of music, which happens to be brandished most effectively when experienced in a large crowd. It’s the sense of collective togetherness that is the foundation of every music festival. Essentially, without people music festivals are nothing more than green spaces or deserts full of food trucks, security guards, and entrepreneurial enthusiasts.

These days music buffs can explore the experience of a music event in a more in-depth manner, melding all areas of the Arts and tapping into all of our senses, as opposed to treading the same well-travelled ground of wide open spaces, large stages, bar stands, food stops, and security guards, that music festivals are usually associated with.

As such, musical festivals continue to change, grow and evolve, always striving to uphold a more substantial and meaningful relevance in the industry. Yet, for those of us who see beyond the lights and special effects, there still seems to be a void in their purpose in our world. Surely we are more than the sum of our festival parts? Surely the undulating energy that comes from conjointly experiencing an event can lend itself to having a greater impact in and on our world, than merely one big dance party?

Enter Parties4Peace, a completely “off the grid” so to speak, way of coming together in a festival format, with the sole intent of creating a better world whilst leaving our dancing footprints along the way. A trailblazer when it comes to current approaches to music festivals, in the past 13 years, P4P has positioned itself as a non-profit event production and fundraising organization hosting music and art events to support various global initiatives focused on education, sustainability, equality, and disaster relief. All the while understanding that without people, without a collective initiative, the goal of global peace cannot be obtained or sustained.

p4p1Gavin Stephenson from Ebb+Flow supports Parties4Peace in New York

P4P unites people to create a culture of peace through dance and music, emphasizing collaborations with those individuals who seek the platform to make a difference. Sound familiar? P4P exemplifies the true meaning of PLUR (peace, love, unity and respect), and challenges the typical festival goer to put their desires, thoughts, and words, wanting to see a more peaceful world, into action.

A completely different, and necessary way of approaching a music festival, P4P was founded by Emilie McGlone, who has made it her purpose to use music events to spread insight on environmental awareness, human rights, and global sustainability, P4P is set to change the very way we look at and experience music festivals. Connecting people through music, creating environments whereby intellectual ingenuity and artistic creativity can safely come together to create a path to a peaceful world.

Born in Southern California, Emilie was compelled by her environment, at an early age to “be the change” she wanted to see in our world. On a philanthropic mission, she began traveling and producing cultural events spending time volunteering in Mexico in the 90`s, working with local communities in Guatemala, Chile and El Salvador.

Emilie continued her peace journey by exploring new horizons in Tokyo, Japan where she created Parties4Peace as a way to raise funds for her community-based projects abroad. In 2004, Emilie began working in Tokyo as the International Coordinator for Peace Boat, an International non-profit (non-governmental) organization that promotes peace education and seeks to create awareness and positive change in the world during their global voyages for peace.

p4p2   Dr. Shingo from Tokyo plays at the P4P event in Montreal /  Atom Heart plays for Parties4Peace in Chile

Emilie has been consistently concerned with the effects global warming has had on the region of Patagonia, at the southernmost point of South America. It has been the deterioration of numerous fjords, glaciers and lakes, over the past ten years that prompted Emilie to collaborate with the non-profit organization Peace Boat to create the PATAGONICA collective in 2009. Each year the group tours Chile with a team of international DJs, focusing on a campaign to help inspire the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to recognize Patagonia as a World Heritage Site.

Recently Emilie has moved to New York City to work as the Director of the Peace Boat US office based in the United Nations plaza, and has begun organizing Parties4Peace events and fundraisers in New York, Detroit, Miami, Montreal and soon San Francisco. Clearly, this is the “shift” in consciousness that we need to see and BE, in order to improve our environment and our global relationships.

EG was fortunate enough to catch up with Emilie to ask her a few questions to learn more about her phenomenal capacity to creatively meld humanitarian assistance with the Arts, to help bring about the peace and change this world needs.

Electronic Groove: Where did the idea to start Parties 4 Peace come from?

Emilie McGlone: In 2002, I started working with local residents on a project in El Salvador to create a community center, and we needed to fundraise about $10,000 for building materials. I soon moved to Japan, where I began making relationships with artists and musicians in the city where I lived. I was trying to think of a creative way to raise funds while living in Japan for a project in El Salvador. Parties4Peace became my vehicle to raise awareness about the project and also help reach our goal to purchase the materials needed. I invited local Djs to volunteer their time and talent and the venue donated the space. This was the beginning of the Parties4Peace method of fundraising. Everyone volunteers and puts their heart into it, and we are able to fund projects for social good, helping communities worldwide and supporting local projects that promote peace and sustainability.

Emilie McGlone

Electronic Groove: Where do you see P4P in the next 10 years?

Emilie McGlone: As the founder of Parties4Peace and also the Director of the Peace Boat US office in New York, I have created a new project called the Music & Art Peace Academy (MAPA). We are seeking ways to invite young people to travel with us on the Peace Boat and learn about peace and sustainability through the arts. We have already begun organizing programs on the Peace Boat with youth from New York City and Latin America to further enhance and develop their creative talents. We invite aspiring young creators to join the Global Voyages onboard the ship to participate in workshops, lectures and hands-on learning opportunities. I am dedicating myself to organizing various programs each year, including the PATAGONICA project, MAPA and productions such as the music album we are currently working on with Chilean producer Pier Bucci and local musicians in Rapa Nui (Easter Island). We will continue to be creative in our event production and outreach through art and music. We always welcome new collaborations along the way, so please contact us if you are interested to be part of our community.

Electronic Groove: How did you get involved in the Peace Boat?

Emilie McGlone: I was working as the Coordinator for an environmental organization called Bicycle for Everyone’s Earth (BEE). I organized a two-month trip throughout Japan with a team of 10 volunteers, raising awareness about sustainable development and camping all along the way. We were in the middle of our trip when I saw that the Peace Boat was traveling to Chile on the next voyage and I was intrigued by the idea of traveling to Patagonia, once again, but by ship! I applied as a volunteer Spanish teacher and I got the job. As soon as I finished my bike tour in Japan, I was soon sailing on the 47th Global Voyage of Peace Boat for three months as a volunteer staff. During that voyage, I gave lectures and workshops about my projects in El Salvador, Chile and Ghana. There was a lot of support for Parties4Peace and our projects around the world, and I was hired right after the voyage as the next International Coordinator for Peace Boat. I have now been working for more than 12 years with Peace Boat and I’m looking forward to the ship’s visit to New York this fall on October 20, 2016!


Electronic Groove: What other ventures can we expect from P4P in the future?

Emilie McGlone: For Parties4Peace, collaborations are key. I am looking for music producers, party organizers and festival owners who would like to collaborate with Parties4Peace to donate a percentage of what they earn from each event to our organization. Through the non-profit organization, Peace Boat US, we are creating projects for the Music & Art Peace Academy (MAPA) that can be a tax-deductible donation via our 501(c)3 status. We welcome all partnerships and donations to make our projects a success and hope to involve more people in our movement this year.

Save the date: Thursday, October 20, 2016 when the Peace Boat docks in New York as we are planning something special onboard the ship!

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