DIY punk ethic


The DIY punk ethic refers to the idea of 'doing it yourself', i.e., making and promoting music without major record label backing, and without any great level of "selling out". A popular slogan of the DIY movement is "DIY not EMI", an explicit rejection of the major label of that name.

Many DIY artists argue that DIY-style career is not only an alternative to mainstream success; it’s preferable. DIY artists share much more in common with and are thus more able to reach out to their audience than “arena rockers.”

Many punk bands have embraced the DIY ethic, promoting self-organised gigs in small halls and setting up small independent record labels and distribution networks such as Dischord Records (reknown DC DIY label), Flat Earth Records (based in Leeds, UK), Loony Tunes records (set up by the Scarborough, UK band Active Minds), Sudden Death Records (started by the Vancouver band D.O.A.) and Profane Existence [1], a fanzine, record label and anarchist collective based in Minneapolis, USA.

Such labels and collectives tend to have relatively small outputs and sales, although there are groups who have been able to achieve levels of mainstream success while maintaining a fiercely independent and uncompromising stance. Notable examples include the UK band Crass and US singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco. Dischord's Fugazi rarely charged more than $5-10 admission to their live (all-ages) shows, and have kept their album prices at about $10.

See also: Anarcho-punk, Cassette culture, Bullshit Detector

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