Goldman chief’s festival DJ set shows how arts still favours the privileged

He is inspiring many by getting to the top of corporate America and still setting his own tune, swapping his suit for a t-shirt and turntables and showing excitement for something outside of his day job. Why not throw yourself into something like DJing later in life?

And if you have the stereotypical ‘Type A’ personality of an investment banker, of course you will also aim for the top when pursuing a hobby. Solomon is doing something different and inspirational, as any good leader should. He has many fans in the music industry who celebrated when he announced his Lollapalooza appearance.

And yet the criticism against his set from others is hardly surprising. As well as frustration over the fact that he appears to be holding a fast-track ticket into a hugely competitive sector, banks have been criticised throughout the pandemic for making huge amounts of money at a time when ordinary households have been squeezed.

Last week it emerged that Wall Street bonuses hit a record in 2021, a revelation that will infuriate many. As one of the most recognised faces on Wall Street, Solomon is likely to attract much of that anger. Although he has tried hard to be relatable, the banking sector’s reputation has been permanently damaged by the 2008 financial crisis and the ultra-rich bankers at the top of the sector will always face heightened scrutiny.

That doesn’t mean the music should stop for Solomon. His passion is admirable. As he rises through the upper echelons of the music sector with his Lollapalooza debut, he could respond to criticism by trying to spin a new beat.

He could use his power to try and change the flawed creative sector as it continues to dish out entry passes to the privileged few. He could set up a charity which encourages more people from low-earning households to get into music. The arts are skewed towards those with money and being made aware of this dynamic is no bad thing.

Wall Street fame does not mean that Solomon should have his set taken away from him or be boycotted by the audience. The DJing chief executive sets a good example for many and he should celebrate his big break. Hopefully those who are just as talented will eventually get theirs too.

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