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!
It’s not often that the people around you surprise you. I’ve been fairly new to this scene, and have even been shocked by how open and accepting the EDM community and PLUR believers have been to me; it’s genuinely shocking in this day and age.
Where those around me in other walks of life are still jaded with the negativity of what our society has aggressively forced us to accept as ‘realism’, the vibrant kandi-mask clad faces of my Twitter followers and newly made friends remind me that there is a generation that has managed to break free of this perpetuated defeatist nonsense.
Some may knock on familiar faces in the scene like Lady Casa for trying to break out and use EDM to platform ideals that are more complex than just feeling the music and embracing the scene, but in her creed of ‘namaste’ and unity of spirituality I see a glimmer of hope in the scene.
The stigma perpetuated by mainstream media would have us believe that raves, festivals, underground DJ sets, and DJs who do not occupy the top 40 on most radio stations preach a creed of drug addiction and social deviancy. Perhaps we need the ultra-spiritual faces of Lady Casa to combat this negative stereotype.
This will come off ranty and I apologize, but I think its high-time we took a moment to analyze what specifically about our scene makes it so deviant to the outside world.
- Is it the costumes? They are simply a free expression of who we are in that moment.
- Is it the kandi? These have been banned at some venues, but what is the harm?
- Is it the glovers? Though they are often there to entertain the eyes of those rolling, no everyone who asks for a lightshow is on drugs.
- Is it the drugs? Weed can be found at nearly all concerts, and molly has begun to appear at rap venues and even some rock venues as well; and even then, it’s not exclusive to edm…and edm does not exclusively promote it, nor should it be defined solely on one aspect.
- Is it the message? Tell me, would you rather a message of ‘express yourself’ and ‘free your mind’ or a message of ‘fuck lots of women’ and ‘spend your money lavishly and foolishly’? The message behind most EDM songs are not extensively about degrading women and abusing alcohol.
As we move forward as one united family of like-minded individuals, I just wish we had more voices for this message of acceptance, and more receptive ears to combat the negative stigma prolifically injuring the EDM scene.
Im am not Lady Casa, nor would I ever dream to compare myself to her, but as RageHound I want to express my love for a scene that has chosen to love me, and my gratitude at their acceptance. I just wish this acceptance was more recognized by the masses.