AFEM Initiatives and Working Groups

AFEM is dedicated to creating a thriving business and cultural environment for it’s members. Current initiatives include the following:

Get Played Get Paid

AFEM is working with global Performing and Neighbouring Rights Organisations to move approx $160M of royalty distributions resulting from consumption of electronic music at festivals and in clubs to ‘pay per play’ using Music Recognition Technology provided by AFEM members. Since the start of our campaign in 2014, the number of territories in which PROs/NROs utilise Music Recognition Technology services at DJ events to enable identification of the tracks played and more accurate royalty payments has grown from 3 to 14 globally.  AFEM continues its efforts in this area.

Protect Mental & Physical Health for Fans & Professionals (Safe In Sound)

The AFEM Health Working Group focuses on raising awareness around mental health issues in electronic music and signposting to support available.

Our Health working group’s current area of focus has been around producing The Electronic Music Industry Guide to Mental Health. Offering tailored advice for our community, the guide is due for release at The International Music Summit 2019 in Ibiza and has been informed by Music Managers Forum, Music Support, Help Musicians UK and a wealth of mental health experts.

AFEM are partnered with recognised charities who are experts in this space like Help Musician’s UK. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Music Minds Matter is a support line and service by Help Musician’s for the whole UK music community – their number is 0808 802 8008.

Work has also started to define a new campaign to promote Mental Health First Aid training at work – the aim of that being to have every office in our industry have the conversation about mental health with their staff, and then train up at least one employee as the designated mental health first aider.  The practice of having trained medical first aider’s in offices has been standard for years, so this should be an extension of what businesses already do with minimal cost.

Tinnitus prevention, is another key area, and achieved through greater education and raising awareness of the dangers of high-pressure sound environments like clubs, festivals and booths, as well as Harm Reduction efforts at events, are also key topics for us. We work with organisations like The Loop in the UK to advocate drug testing at clubs and festivals. As our reach and capacity grow, our aim is raise awareness and support similar organisations in every AFEM member territory worldwide (AFEM presently has over 170 members across 23 countries).

AFEM achieves the educational element of our work partly through positive media articles like those below.

We also work to raise awareness at conferences globally. In 2018 we spoke on the topic at conferences to audiences of hundreds of decision makers and influencers worldwide. These included the Brighton Music Conference, International Music Summit in Ibiza, Beats Evolution Conference in Prague, Paris Electronic Week, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), Most Wanted Music in Berlin, and BBC Introducing Live in London. As AFEM is a not-for-profit global trade association, our members, conference and media partners are absolutely vital to helping us deliver our work and amplify the message that mental health remains a huge priority to our industry.

In the online world, AFEM promotes mental health through our social media channels and also with key partners like Beatport. Two years ago AFEM partnered with Beatport as part of their Beats In School educational initiative. This year AFEM will provide Beatport with several 20-minute mini-lectures for their BIS students. These will include one from AFEM Health group member Paul Nolan (a veteran DJ and producer with first hand experience on the topic) on looking after your mental and physical health from studio to stage and beyond. These videos will then be made publicly available via Beatport and AFEM.

Diversity and Inclusion

In 2018, AFEM launched a sexual harassment helpline for the electronic music industry to provide a safe and supportive environment for anyone who has been affected and needs guidance and support.  AFEM champions equality and inclusion as vital foundations of the electronic music industry and unequivocally condemns sexual abuse and harassment of any kind. Through this helpline, AFEM seeks to support all who need help and guidance. Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and support.

In 2019, our Diversity & Inclusion Working Group are developing plans with partners to create public-facing campaigns to influence Diversity & Inclusion across the industry.


In 2018 our Metadata Working Group created a Metadata Best Practice Guide which is ready for a public launch in early 2019 (link to the guide here) and are now developing a relationship with the DDEX consortium which will ensure that the electronic music community is represented as their data standards and format develop.

Green Initiatives

Our Green Initiatives Working Group’s main focus is to protect the environment in which electronic music events happen through education and campaigning.

The group’s 5 core aims are:
• Aim to minimize/eradicate the use of single-use plastics (cups, straws, glitter etc) at our festivals, clubs and events.

• Aim to make our industry carbon neutral via carbon reduction and offsetting measures.

• Aim to get all festivals worldwide to provide cold drinking water to people free of charge (and so further reduce plastic waste whilst maximising patron’s welfare).

• Aim to get all festivals worldwide to stop using diesel.

• Aim to move our industry to use providers of sustainable/renewable energy.

As part our wider community work AFEM has established a partnership with industry-leading CO2 offset climate protection specialists myclimate. This partnership offers the electronic music community the facility to calculate and offset the greenhouse gases (calculated in tonnes CO2) produced from flights to electronic music events worldwide. By offsetting this CO2 we can all help mitigate man-made climate change and safeguard our planet for future generations of electronic music fans to enjoy

Use our CO2 calculator to offset your CO2 here: AFEM CO2 Calculator

Stealing Our Own Success

AFEM seeks to disrupt the active pirate sites.  Early estimates suggest that the illegal DJ download market is far greater than the combined turnover of legitimate sites, costing the electronic music genre multiple millions in revenue.

AFEM Working Groups 2020

AFEM connect those members who wish to engage in helping shape and drive our initiatives through a number of focused working groups.

Split into 2 broad categories: Commercial, and Cultural there are currently 7 active working groups overall, chaired by our members and board and supported by AFEM operational staff.

Group interaction occurs via physical meetings at major conferences like IMS & ADE, quarterly video conference calls and email groups.

A summary overview of the current groups can be found here: Link to Work Groups Overview