Two weeks ago in Gunma Prefecture, partygoers battled rain, mud and cold at the venerated electronic music festival known as The Labyrinth. Now more than 20 years old, the relatively small-scale event has managed to build a cult-like status globally, revered by techno nerds for its world-class sound system.
Yet the event’s sterling musical reputation is becoming increasingly at odds with the actions of one of its main organizers, who took a big misstep this year that cost the festival.
As German music magazine Groove first reported, in late August a person unaffiliated with the event emailed artists booked to play to alert them to transphobic tweets by Russell Moench, the most visible face of the event, of whom Labyrinth is the brainchild. (Moench’s X account has since been deleted.)