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!
In the messy aftermath of various tragedies at electronic festivals and club events, mainstream media seems to be a unified parrot trained to squawk the word ‘molly’ in hopes of grabbing the attention of readers and scaring sheltered soccer moms everywhere. Despite DJ’s, festival organizers, and members of the community coming forward to speak out and stop the onslaught of scapegoating of the electronic music industry (and scene) it would appear that the mainstream has found a prized scapegoat to sink their chupacabra-like smear-campaign fangs into until they’ve sucked the industry dry.
It is not myth that drugs are present at festivals of all kinds, not just electronic. It is also not a myth that sober patrons of these festivals exist. When 11 Alive News decided to seek out patrons using ‘molly’ or drugs of any kind viewers witness the archaic and journalistically unsound practice of ‘muckraking’, as defined above. Where other reports spoke to the music, the partons, and went out of their way to present diverse opinions it would seem that the staff of 11 Alive willfully ignored the music, and decidedly opted not to show any patrons who were enjoying TomorrowWorld sober: A regrettably biased decision.
What shocked me most about the report was how focused the reporters were on montages of ‘Molly’ apparel (it should be noted, such clothing was publicly banned and should not have been allowed to enter the premises) and pestering anyone they met about if they were ‘looking for molly’ or ‘found molly’. The entire report almost felt like a set-up: no matter what the only concern these reporters had was that they ‘found molly’ and slandered everyone as thoroughly as possible.
That isn’t reporting.
While the full written transcript made mention of ‘amnesty bins‘ (which they seemed unable or unwilling to locate) and bag pat-downs, it was clear that the author had little to no interest in anything but painting the picture of ‘yet another drugfest’ just like every other mainstream news source. What shocked me, is in the preview for the event where they spoke about preparations being made to accommodate the event, ‘molly’ wasn’t mentioned. Leading me to wonder if their insistence for harping on the drug’s presence was some weak attempt to keep pace with the demand to demonize electronic music across the country.
Curiously enough, there were no articles after the local ‘beer fest’ commenting on drunk and disorderly patrons, nor was their any mention of marijuana users at their local Midtown Music festival. Yet somehow, the clamor to hear about another drug-fueled concert scene to further demonize EDM gave them reason to go ‘undercover’. Thirsty for a chance to increase web traffic and scare the locals into protesting TomorrowWorld (more than likely the sheltered mom demographic), they pounced on an easy story and went out of their way to present a one-sided “this festival is only about the drugs” picture that made a mockery of the practice of journalism. This, my friends, is muckraking at its very finest.
Had they BOTHERED to interview a DJ, or talk to a sober raver, or even just stop for a moment to enjoy the waves of sound, a more unbiased and equally hard-hitting report could have taken shape. What a tragic pity.
Perhaps if they applied the same jaded lens to their stories about country music, hip-hop, and rock concerts (where I am CERTAIN ample amounts of marijuana and other substances can be found) I would be more inclined to take their article seriously.