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Swiss DJs sound off about free movement

DJ Mind-X is mixing in politics ahead of the September 25 vote

(swissinfo.ch)

By night they spin records in clubs and music venues, but by day it's a political message that Switzerland's leading disc jockeys are spinning.

Sixteen DJs have joined forces to campaign for the extension of an accord on the free movement of people.

The master-mixers hope to send a clear message to their young audience: Switzerland needs to open up to the rest of Europe.

One of the 16 is André Forrer, aka trance DJ Mind-X. Meeting up with swissinfo before a gig, he said Switzerland risks being left out in the cold if it doesn't vote to open its labour market to the new European Union member states on September 25.

"I think a no vote would have very bad consequences – social, economic and political," said the 29-year-old native of Bern, who has just brought out a new album called Deep Breath.

European market

One of the most-booked DJs in the country, Mind-X also makes regular appearances in Germany, France, Spain and other European countries.

Mind-X says the new EU member states of eastern Europe are an important market for him. From the point of view of his work it's vital that the bilateral accords Switzerland has signed with the original EU member states are extended to the new ones.

"If not, it would be more difficult for me to get bookings in eastern Europe," he said.

Mind-X hopes to persuade his fans that they will enjoy greater opportunities to work, study or travel in Europe if the treaty is extended.

DJ Snowman, a friend of Mind-X, is also worried that Switzerland could end up isolated in Europe if opponents of free movement prevail.

"For me as a DJ and as someone with their own record label, it's important to have open access to European markets," Snowman told swissinfo.

Influence

Mind-X was already active in politics before deciding to support the youth coalition for a yes vote on September 25.

Snowman became involved in the campaign after an approach from Philip Gasser, the spokesman for the youth coalition and, like Mind-X, a member of the Radical Party.

"We came up with this idea because DJs are opinion leaders for young people," Gasser told swissinfo.

Snowman agreed: "We have quite a big influence and serve as role models. Young people listen carefully to the message we put across."

swissinfo

In brief

Sixteen top Swiss DJs have aligned themselves with the youth coalition for a yes vote on September 25.

The coalition claims to represent more than 1,000 politically active young people.

It was formed by the Young European Swiss (YES) in association with the youth wings of the Radical, Christian Democratic, Social Democratic, Liberal and Green parties.

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