Amidst all the outcry over ineffective security, a postponed refund, and countless other maladies plaguing the return and possible demise of Electric Zoo, dance music legend Tommie Sunshine took to Twitter to call out the ‘sting experiment’ being carried out at Electric Zoo. A full write up on Tommie’s thoughts can be found at Dance Music Northwest, and I encourage everyone to read it.
Interestingly enough, I was approached by several individuals on premises who asked for assistance in finding ‘mdma’, ‘molly’, or ‘e’ on festival grounds. In each case, the person asking was extremely direct and targeted me exclusively because of the beaded mask, kandi, and fluffies I was wearing. In each circumstance, the person or persons asking cited my appearance as the reason they chose to ask me, and once I admitted I did not have any drugs they proceeded to target another patron dressed in a similar fashion.
In each situation I decided to go a step above simply saying “no I don’t have any” or “no i don’t do that” and tried to disarm their incorrect assumption that my kandi, my mask, and my fluffies signified that I was dealing drugs. This was my response to every undercover that came my way:
“The way I am dressed does not signify that I am a drug user or dealer, and I apologize that stereotypes perpetuated by Mad Decent and HARD Summer have led you to the conclusion that kandi-wearers are drug users. I do not have any drugs of any kind for sale today, and I would encourage you to not approach other kandi-kids in regards to drugs. In my experience, it is the normally-dressed patrons that sell to others inside, not those in festive masks and outfits. It has also been my experience that the kandi-clad ravers are the first to offer water, assistance, and seek medical help for those in need in festival, club, and underground situations. I feel extremely disappointed that you would accuse me of being a criminal based exclusively on my creative expressions, and I sincerely hope you come to understand that all of us here aren’t drug addicts and deviants. We’re all patrons here to enjoy the show in our own way, and I specifically have chosen to enjoy it in an outfit that expresses my creativity; my outfit today is not an advertisement for drug solicitation, and I would highly dissuade you from purchasing anything illegal on the festival grounds. Thank you.”
How do you handle being asked for drugs at festivals? Share your responses in the comments!
Now a while back I did a little list of clothes and makeup essentials for festival season. Now, here are the basics:
1. Deodorant. Shocker right? You’re going to dance, and you’re going to sweat. Sweat happens. My top pick for this would be Dove’s Advanced Care line. Personally, I’d vote opt for an unscented stick, as the scented sticks from Dove tend to develop a bizarre and unpleasant smell when they’ve reached max capacity. Especially avoid the flower-scents and they smell worst after usage. The unscented lasts a pretty good while (I was able to go a solid 8 hours before I had to throw in the towel) and doesn’t ruin black shirts. This should be the first festival purchase you make after tickets and hotel fees.
2. Sunscreen. The biggest mistake anyone makes at festivals be it rock, edm, or what have you is forgetting the SPF. No matter how conservative or creatively scant your outfit, you will want to avoid the ‘lobster look’ on day 2 & 3. Do yourself a favor and set aside the Hawaiian Tropics oil, and get something more robust and sweat-proof. My top pick for this is my swear-by Coppertone Water Babies. It’s hyp0-allergenic, it’s not going to break your bank in price, and it’s tear-free (because let’s face all sunscreens WILL melt into your eyes eventually). It’s not going to make you a bronze demi god, but at least you won’t be taking aloe vera baths later.
3. Chapstick. I know it may seem painfully simple, but yes you will need chapstick, and what you will discover is among festival goers, chapstick-losing seems to be a collective habit. The solution I’ve found is chapstick that clips on to stuff. This makes it a hell of a lot harder to lose. You’ll notice that few companies offer these (as it actually benefits them if you lose your chapstick and have to buy another). One company that offers a clip-on chapstick is Aloe Gator, whose little lipstick has SPF 30 and a ‘not nauseating’ mint flavor.
4. Non-Abrasive Face Wash. As much as you might want to scrub off your festival makeup, sunscreen, and other layers of grime…always make sure your scrubbing agent won’t irritate your skin. Wearing glue-on crystals, fake lashes, face paint, eye makeup, and the like will already irritate your skin. The best thing to use after a long day of sweating off makeup and sunscreen isn’t a ‘salt scrub’, instead try Olay Foaming Face Wash. It’s gentle and foams up so that you don’t need to scrub like a crazy person to lather up. Also, no matter what you use DO NOT USE SCENTED. This will absolutely make your skin burn.
From here on out, shampoo and body wash and the like should be whatever you use normally. I would suggest those for you, but since we are all unique little unicorns with different hair and skin, that would just be silly.
Anyways, as you get your tuts fluffed, your fluffies combed out, and your mega-packs of pony beads, don’t forget to cover your basics for festival season!
Within the first few seconds of receiving news that Sunday of Electric Zoo was cancelled, I was devastated. Distraught initially because I would once again be missing Armin and would not be seeing Vicetone. And like many, I took my fury to Twitter, lashing out angrily to every corner of the internet, blaming irresponsible people for single-handedly ruining my weekend.
That was incredibly selfish, and I’m sorry.
There were multiple factors in the cancellation of Electric Zoo, the most prominent and most reported being the two deaths due to drug overdoses. However these were not the only problems present at the festival itself. As I go on to list these issues I want to make it VERY VERY CLEAR that I am of the opinion that it was in NO WAY Made Event of the Electric Zoo 2013 officials’ fault for these problems:
- Security was not sufficient.
- Medical staff, while available did not check surrounding areas for fallen ravers.
- Certain volunteers / staff not only endorsed frequent ‘molly’ use, there was an incidence of a ‘we want molly’ tip sign at one water station.
- Certain ‘rented’ security staff was not only discourteous, they made unwanted flirtatious advances on female ravers such as myself.
- Apparel promoting drugs use was permitted at the event, only contributing to the ‘hype’ of drug use.
- Excessive shoving and general misconduct from attendees exacerbated already dehydrated ravers, only adding tension to already negative situations of crowding and overheating.
- Songs about ‘Molly’ including Tyga’s ‘Molly’ and Cedric Gervais’ hit song were dropped, only adding to unnecessary hype of the drug
Again, none of these are Made Event of Electric Zoo’s fault. It is important to note that in 2012 Electric Zoo had no deaths. As pop stars and rappers have begun to bolster the hype of drug use and wild partying, our festivals are getting inundated with unsafe expectations that tons of drugs and drinking are required to make the EDM scene enjoyable…encouraging newcomers to create their own ‘Project X‘ at shows like EDC and EZOO instead of simply coming to enjoy the music.
Spoiler Alert; You Don’t Need Drugs To Enjoy EDM
DJ’s such as Bassnectar and Brillz have released official statements about the situation, pleading with their fanbase to be safe and take accountability for their actions. Videos such as the the vimeo clip featuring major acts like Kaskade, Tommie Sunshine, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak have been circulated begging those who do partake in substances to be extremely careful of their actions.
Actions such as taking “6 hits of molly”, leaving a friend by themselves if you know that they are intoxicated or impaired, and buying illegal substances from someone you’ve never met without testing it are just a few examples of unnecessary risks that were taken and contributed to the deaths of these two young individuals. Preventable actions.
While some have made the argument that shutting down the zoo because the poor decisions of 6 people should not affect thousands who have shelled out hundreds of dollars to enjoy their favorite musicians, its important to understand that the decision was ultimately Mayor Bloomberg‘s. While it angered many, like myself it was a wake-up call: if we do not tackle this problem head-on more and more EDM events will be cancelled, banned, and characterized as ‘death fests’, ‘drug sprees’, and ravers like you and me will be labelled ‘drug addicts’. While you can’t convince major news networks to undo the damage they are doing by stigmatizing us with each and every false depiction of all ravers being drug abusers who yell ‘popped a molly I’m sweating’ every 2.5 seconds, what you can do it this:
- Don’t buy anything endorsing ‘molly’, ‘mdma’, or drugs of any kind
- Demand that your favorite DJ’s stop the endorsement of drug usage of any kind
- Demand tracks promoting ‘molly’ and other hard drugs be removed from their set lists; Heck, even walk out as soon as they come on
- Demand harsher security that ACTUALLY checks for drugs THOROUGHLY
If purging molly from our shows means we can continue to have our major festivals and enjoy our favorite acts free of stigma and death, I say let’s do it. Who’s with me?
With EDC New York a week away and many women (and men) preparing what they will wear, who they will see…and possibly also what they will take, many may also be looking collectively at their midsections and scurrying off to twitter in search of a way to rapidly dump their insides for the perfect ‘rave body’. Because my diet has wandered off into the ‘eating-peanut-butter-with-a-spoon’ phase once too often this month, I decided just for kicks to see if there wasn’t one crazy train on pinterest that had a halfway decent idea on how to rapidly shed pounds temporarily.
Here was what I found….and tried:
- The ‘honey and cinnamon cleanse”. Often accompanied with pictures of heavily emaciated (or astoundingly buff) women, this “little trick” type fad involves drinking a boiled concoction of cinnamon powder and honey before meals to aid in digestion…..or something. This fad has been spreading like wildfire across beauty boards, health blogs, and touts that you will melt pounds and lose as much as 1% of body fat. And this all sounds pretty reasonable: its all natural ingredients, you can still eat after, and for the most part, this is the least batshit of the fads out there (I’m looking at you, Beyonce cleanse). The only catch here, is that this drink is absolutely AWFUL tasting, and will more than likely make you nauseated for a few hours after taking (perhaps this is part of the strategy?). If you can handle the ‘cinnamon-challenge’ esque texture of this ungodly thing going down, it could be worth a try. My advice? Only drink 1/2 the recommended dosage to prevent the urge to vomit it back up.
- The ‘lemon water’ cleanse. A step downward on the crazy is this ‘tonic’ approach meant to be added to an existing diet in the morning. Apparently (according to some) this aids in ‘cleansing’ crap out of your system and keeping your stomach from bloating. If you’re going to be rocking a bra-top to a festival, downing a glass of this might be a pretty good idea. Truthfully, I drink a glass of water with a squirt of lemon juice in it every morning, this one is much less of a hassle than others, and you can still eat normal food after. Does it work? I don’t know, but it tastes good so I’m sticking to it.
- The ‘tea snack inhibitor’. According to a few people , drinking tea before you sleep helps stave off midnight snacking. This one did not seem to keep me from sleepwalking to my fridge and eating a jar of jam in my sleep. Not sure if I trust this one.
So that’s what Pinterest says you should do (I stayed away from anything too insane sounding). You might notice I didn’t mention any ‘juicing’ pins, and here’s why. If you are trying to slim down for festival season and will be working out, juicing isn’t going to help you. It’s been proven to be dangerous to diabetics, actually remove some of the healthy nutrients from fruits and veggies, and you are probably just going to pack the pounds right back on. Worse, these ‘fix-it’ juices don’t fill you up, and if you cut protein from your diet, you starve your body from what it needs to rebuild post-workout muscle (and can wreck your liver).
If you juice, good for you, but it would be Un-PLUR on a variety of levels if I supported such a destructive (and expensive) fad.
What’s the best way to slim before a festival in my experience? My laziness in food shopping has done me many favors; I don’t buy meat anymore, just eggs and make dinner frittatas and omelets. I only let myself have a big slab of steak or hamburger unless I’m going out, and supplement my protein needs with eggs, peanut butter, and a small package of bacon I keep in the fridge for rough days. Instead of ‘juicing’ I put my salads in the blender because I hate salad, and it makes the unpleasant cold veggie experience end sooner (otherwise I just throw veggies in the omelets). Additionally, because I live in the city, I utilize the public transportation system as my gym, running up all sets of stairs I encounter in subways and walking everywhere (NO CABS!).