A few years ago, I had no clue what “EDM” stood for. Maybe some of you reading this have no clue either. EDM stands for “electronic dance music,” and it is a far cry from the Garth Brooks I listened to growing up – ha! I was introduced to EDM as a rider, and now as an instructor at the best cycle studio in the Phoenix area, Cycle Ave! I may never actually attend an EDM concert myself, because I fully believe I am incapable of staying up past 11:00pm now that I’m 30. However, I am crazy about the heavy beats and the beat drops that I get to jam out to in the spin studio!
I was recently introduced to someone and something so incredible in this space. His name is Ben Edelstein, and he is the founder of what this post is all about, “Give Surreal.” This platform has truly changed the landscape of some of the biggest festivals in the country for both the artists and the fans. To quote the thoughts of one of Give Surreal’s winners, Traci Kuecher, “The community has always been loving and welcoming with open arms to everyone, but ever since Give Surreal came around, things have been even better!” Let me tell you more about the social impact Traci, and Ben himself, told me all about.
Give Surreal partners with music festivals every year to raise money for a charity of that festival’s choice. I absolutely love this about them! There are so many incredible causes out there, and for the festivals to be able to choose which one(s) they want to give the donations to is such a special feature of this platform. Give Surreal and the festival design an unforgettable, “surreal” experience for one lucky winner. Starting at just $5, fans can donate as much or as little as they want for entries. Ben shared that one of the most rewarding things about this platform is that many of the fans say that regardless of if they win or not, they just love to support the mission and causes. This exact statement was supported by Traci, one of the early winners. She already had a ticket to the festival, so her donation was given primarily in the spirit of supporting her favorite DJ’s chosen cause. Traci found out she had won two VIP tickets to the entire festival, and two paid-in-full slots to go SKYDIVING with a friend of her choice, and with Ghastly, her favorite DJ! She explained the feeling when she was told she had won as “laughing, crying..and having my heart feel like it was about to fall out of my chest.” This emotion of shock and joy is what Ben shared as being another one of his favorite parts of this entire experience.
So how did this all begin?
Ben had the initial desire to make a positive impact in the social space. It was not until a friend of his in the music industry set up a meeting that changed and shaped the course of what Give Surreal would become. This meeting was with a team for the EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) in Las Vegas. If you are familiar with EDM, you may know that this is one of the biggest music festivals of the year. Ben and the festival team set up experiences with Marshmello, Diplo, Martin Garrix, and others. In just 10 days, they raised 40 thousand dollars! Ben shared that ever since the beginning, the feeling of overwhelm when donations start flooding in has only become greater.
My favorite part about Ben’s story came from my question of how he would want to encourage inspo&grace readers. His response focused on the pursuit of something that you truly care about and enjoy doing. “Life is too short not to spend time on things we love.” It is so important that you take risks, and are not afraid to fail. By living these out, Give Surreal has made an immeasurable impact in the world of music, and the lives of everyone involved. As of just the end of 2017, Give Surreal had donated over $130,000 to charity partners, and has only grown since then.
You can also visit their website to purchase these awesome “Chief Bandanas” (as seen in first two pictures) – each of which lists the charity your purchase will give back to!
Give Surreal has partnered with the following charities/nonprofits (click on any of these to learn more about what they do!):
On a personal note, this is one of the reasons I have been so honored and blessed to do this blog! I would have never known about Ben or Give Surreal had it not been for doing this. I wanted to share stories of people who are using their lives to make an impact. These people inspire me, and I hope they inspire you, too! Throughout the post, you can click on any “Give Surreal” and it will take you to their website so you can learn more about how you can support this amazing platform!
Thank you for reading, and a huge thank you to Ben Edelstein and Traci Kuecher for sharing about Give Surreal.
XoXo Lindsey Sholtis
Image (1): https://www.givesurreal.com/getchiefs/vintage
Image (2): instagram.com/ben.edelstein
Image (3): instagram.com/givesurreal