I-DANCE is a huge free rave that was thrown in Toronto to protest the city's ban on "electronic music parties". To understand the spirit of I-DANCE, you first must know a bit about the underground history of Toronto.

Toronto has been well known as an excellent electronic music scene for some time. Our mayor Mel Lastman, however, began a campaign against "rave parties". Eventually, he passed a law stating (approximately):

"No parties with the performance of electronic music past 3 am shal be allowed within the city limits."

The response was a huge outcry from the ravers of Toronto. After much protest, it was decided that the true spirit of raves (which is music and dancing, not drugs as Mayor Lastman was continually claiming) would be demonstrated with a large, free rave thrown in Nathan Phillips Square, which is directly outside Toronto City Hall.

Even the drug-using members of the raver community abstained from ecstacy and ketamines for this party, and some of Toronto's best DJs were present, including St. Pete, Paranoid Jack, Flipside and MC Ylook.

Much of the music was specially composed to protest the ban. The two most notable songs were Ricochet by D-Region and Flipside, where a recording of an interview with Mel Lastman on the subject of raves was repeated using a sampler, emphasizing the quotes "I didn't know what a rave party was" and "I thought we could control them". The other was Strike Back by Flipside featuring the vocals of Ylook, which was a hip-hop/jungle track that spoke loudly about the true principals of raves:

"Hey yo Mel, you wanna shut raves down? And shoot blacks down? And shoot browns down? I say we vote you down out of the office! Your policies just aint workin for me, I don't smoke crack, THC or ecstacy! Lookin for the easy way out, but that aint the solution! Raggin on parties while my neighbourhoods gettin ruined!"

I-DANCE was largely successful. The next day, all 53 members of Toronto City Council voted on whether or not to keep the ban. The vote was 50 to 3 in favour of removing the ban. It is a point of interest that Mayor Lastman was one of the three who voted to keep the ban.

The organizers and promoters of I-DANCE now plan to instate it as an annual affair, however many feel that the spririt will be lost.

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