Buckets Of Love: how drum & bass can help to save lives

D&B + NHS = ❤️

PAV4N, Ghost Hardware, Dilemma, Dysfunction, Kanza, Soosee Cue, Zodownlo, Benny B-Sides and Clapper Priest will be performing at this year’s Buckets Of Love; a community-spirited event that exists solely to help others.

Taking place from 1pm on Sunday July 16 in Magic Garden, Battersea, Buckets Of Love promises much more than a great line-up. Tasty food, second hand stalls and artwork will be weaved amid the 170+ soundtrack and the end game is to raise enough money to donate to the Drop4Drop organisation and build a new well in India.

A unique event from a unique organisation; Buckets Of Love began as a movement to help homeless people in London and has now become an inspiring network of events that range from wellness days to conservation. So far they’ve raised over £11,000 for a whole range of causes and communities from mental health to NHS COVID charities to maintaining the local woodland.

And at the heart of this is drum & bass.

“I’ve always been interested in mental health,” explains Buckets Of Love founder Ishani Rao about the history of the project and her own relationship with D&B. “I’ve seen so many people affected by mental health issues in work and in my own personal life. But what I find is that at any time you go to raves and social events people talk about it a lot and are very open about mental health and talk about it much more freely and empathetically than you might find in other cultures.”

As a GP trainee and emergency medic, it’s not just raves where drum & bass plays a role in Ishani’s life…

“When I fell in love with this music it got me through uni, it got me and my colleagues through so many nightshifts in hospitals, it’s even got me through running to cardiac arrests and many other working situations.”

A far cry from it soundtracking your standard Saturday night or festival, it’s a rare glimpse into a whole other universe that’s charged with life/death situations. This is the real power of drum & bass as a source of inspiration and a culture.

Inspired by how much of a role it played in her life, Ishani took the time to show appreciation and wrote to artists and labels to thank them and let them know how much of a role D&B played in NHS life. It’s an amazing coincidence that Hospital Records’ legendary NHS t-shirts that came out during the 2020 lockdown gave all funds raised to South Thames Junior Doctors where Ishani graduated. She wears her t-shirt to work often!

“My colleagues and I are such big fans, we rely on D&B and rave to maintain our social lives,” explains Ishani. Like all NHS workers, Ishani and her colleagues are at the mercy of some grueling shift schedules and are more adapt at all-nighters than most ravers, but it’s how they engage with drum & bass during their shifts which will really blow your mind…

“D&B gives you that motivation and drive, it’s a bit of a meditation at times – it helps you focus on the next thing instead of focusing on what’s just happened. It’s medicinal in that sense.”

This is an extraordinary benefit of drum & bass and it’s led to Buckets Of Love’s annual D&B fundraisers. The first one took place in August 2019 where Lens and Dilemma performed and has since led to a community comprising D&B heads, NHS staff and all friends and family in between.

“It’s beneficial to us, but we want it to be beneficial for others too,” Ishani tells 1 More Thing. “I love how it gives us a purpose. It gives my friends a role and motivation. My family, my flat mates, my friends. It’s an incredible community project, it’s good for our mental health and it’s so good when we all pull together.”

The aim is to pull together and raise money for others. Like last year’s Buckets Of Love D&B Fundraiser, the proceeds will go to Drop4Drop, a global organization who fight for clean water for all.

PAV4N suggested it actually,” Ishani admits. “He’d donated a well in the past and I felt it was a really good thing to go. I did a lot of studying in India, my heritage is from India and it’s a situation that’s only going to get worse. Last time we raised £2500 for a well for a community of 1400 people. This is our second and I’d love to raise enough for five or six well donations in the future.”

Balancing inspiring plans with an equally inspiring day job, Ishani hopes that Buckets Of Love D&B fundraisers may become a more regular calendar staple throughout the year. In the meantime, attendance on July 16 is highly recommended.

“People can expect second hand stalls, clothes stalls, local artists selling their things, food stalls and some of the yummiest vegan food you’ve ever had. My grandma’s cooking is literally legendary, she was the first person to do catering for big supermarkets like M&S 50 years ago!” Ishani beams. “But best of all you can expect a community of like-minded people who want to rave in a beautiful beer garden and do something good for others while they do it.”

Sounds bliss. If you’re local, please head down and support. Full details can be found on the Buckets Of Love website and Instagram


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