Rave

Mom's First Rave

This year, I had the pleasure of attending Countdown NYE for the second time in a row. What made this year extra special was being able to share the experience with my mom! After attending Insomniac events for six years, she had never quite understood what keeps me coming back, or why I am so passionate about electronic music. My mom’s first rave was one to remember, as she had a firsthand experience to learn what raves are all about.

My Mom’s Views Prior To Her First Rave

Before attending, my mom had only heard what I had told her from my personal experiences going to previous festivals/events as well as how the media had portrayed them. Her prior views on raves had been shaped as being a fun but not an entirely safe or positive place to be. I had tried to place myself in her shoes, to understand her views as a parent. She had several concerns with me attending music festivals, especially after hearing the news about some of the unfortunate deaths of a few attendees; however, she also understands that I am a safe and responsible person. I have always come back with a positive story to tell about my festival adventures, and the great people I have met along the way. This is what led to her participation…

The Experience

My mom and I had the pleasure of going to Countdown NYE in style… VIP style!  I did not want her to have to deal with the long entry lines, so I made her entry process as smooth as possible. As we entered the NOS Center, my mom’s eyes lit up with excitement as she experienced the beautiful sights and sounds within the venue. As we arrived to the Resolution Stage, she was immediately in awe at the video production. We spent the majority of our evening at this stage, but not before exploring the entire venue, including Vendor Village and the many art installations. The highlight of her night was when Steve Aoki came onto the stage and played what she quoted as “The most energetic and exciting set of the night!”

Truly, she was amazed at how incredibly friendly and accepting the ravers were about her attending her first rave. Many people came up to us to say hello, trade, and even give us hugs. My mom’s immediately asked… “Do you know them?” My answer was “no”, but I continued to explain to her that raves are a place where you can be yourself, meet new people, make friends, and just express positive vibes. At the end of the evening, my mom had said, “There was not a single negative thing or person we came across the entire night, I now understand why you enjoy these events so much.”

Trading Kandi with My Mom - Countdown NYE 2016

Trading Kandi with My Mom - Countdown NYE 2016

Her Thoughts and Views After Attending

To be honest, my mom was EXHAUSTED. Once the event had concluded she asked me, “How do you do this for three days straight?” (Referring to the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas); however, despite being tired, she left with nothing but positive thoughts about raving. She may even attend another event during a warmer season. My mom enjoyed raging the night away with me and said that her views are no longer based on media bias, but on her own personal experience. She finds raves to be a constructive experience as well as sends a message that everyone should attend, at least once in their life.

My Takeaway

I have wanted to take my mom to a rave for quite a while, but until recently her work schedule has not allowed her the time to attend. I am very grateful that she had such a fantastic time and is now able to fully grasp why I am so passionate about being a part of the dance music community. As most ravers have never had the opportunity to attend an event with their parent, I am able to say that this has been one of the best festival experiences of my life. It was incredibly rewarding to share this adventure with her and I hope for many more to come!


Would you ever bring your parent to a rave?                                            

Let me know in the comments below!


Countdown NYE - 2016 Review

Over this recent New Year’s Celebration, Insomniac’s Countdown NYE took place at the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, California, returning with two epics nights of music.  This year’s lineup brought DJs such as Alesso, The Chainsmokers, Deorro, Showtek, Seven Lions and many more. Though temperatures were low (reaching below 50 degrees), and rain fell throughout the event, it did not stop thousands of festival goers from attending and closing out 2016 with a bang!

In previous years, the event had not been properly prepared for cold weather, for Californians at least. Countdown NYE 2015 was particularly chilly as temperatures reached 37 degrees Fahrenheit and heaters were scarcely available at a small picnic area where dozens crowded around them to keep warm. The entrance was also significantly more difficult if you had arrived later in the festival. It took my group and I over an hour to get into the event, so this is why early arrival is highly suggested to avoid long lines and waits. Nonetheless, improvements can always be made when it comes to the flow of entry by providing more attendants to check identifications, scan tickets, and inspect personal belongings, especially during peak hours.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Despite a few negatives from the previous year’s event, Insomniac made major improvements for the 2016 NYE festival. Installing a heated tent, and a much larger Resolution Stage production, this included an impressive megastructure and incredible visuals for every artist. The heated tent was a huge hit amongst ravers since it provided an area to escape both the cold and the rain for a while, and simply room to relax and take a break from dancing in the crowds. In future Countdown events, it would be great to see more of the indoor structures be put to use to accommodate to the winter season, along with the return of the ice rink. The main negative I found this year was that there was not a sufficient amount of free water stations, as there was only one placed within the entire venue. However, there is no doubt that Countdown NYE was a success as we left 2016, and entered 2017 with thousands of our closest friends.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

The festivities continue throughout the month of January which Insomniac has stacked with events such as Audio on the Bay, Dreamstate SF, and Excision to name a few! How will you be kicking off your 2017?

Let me know in the comments below!


4 Key Steps To Maintaining Positive Vibes At Your Next Festival

The dance music festival environment has been rapidly changing which has led to frustration for many ravers along the way. But who or what is to blame? Is it Social Media, is it the “new-raver,” or the person who is there for the “wrong” reasons - and what are the right reasons? There are several factors that go into creating the perfect vibe at any particular event, but we all have our own individual sentiment on how a dance music festival should be. With the rapid explosion of EDM popularity, it’s easy to understand why the environment within the rave community is changing. If you happen to be one of the frustrated ones (and you’re not alone), then this short list could help you maintain a positive vibe and attitude at every festival you attend.

1) Patience, Patience, Patience!

We’ve all been there. You waited an eternity sitting in traffic and you’ve finally arrived at the festival so now you’re extra excited to see your favorite DJ. You run to the event with your friends and get there just in time to realize… so is everyone else! There’s a massive line to enter the gates and people are NOT happy! But what can you do? That’s right, RUSH THE GATES! That was a joke. Please don’t ever do that. Nothing says patience like stampeding your fellow ravers in an attempt to get in 10 minutes early with the risk of getting kicked out or arrested. Instead, exercise your ability to be patient. YOU WILL GET INSIDE, just not always as soon as you hoped. So don’t let this ruin your night, or anyone else around you who may be feeding off of the negative energy surrounding you.

2) Arrive Early.

Showing up early can help you avoid having to deal with long entry lines altogether. I know many of us like to pre-game and arrive fashionably late, but with rising festival costs, consider it financially beneficial to arrive early while getting the most out of your wallet and the festival experience. This is also a great time to go inside with your friends, get a feel for the venue, and a good opportunity to make new friends before it gets too crazy. Familiarizing yourself with the venue while it’s relatively early can help you to avoid potential pitfalls by finding meet-up spots, stages, restroom, and, worst case scenario, the medic tent. It’s always better to be safe then sorry.

3) Respect the Staff and Volunteers.

Some of the people working hard to make these events happen are not even getting paid. Respect that and listen to them. It’s not going to make your night or theirs go any better if you decide to not comply with what they have been trained to tell you. The ticket scanners are not trying to deliberately spite you with any potential system or computer glitches. When dealing with staff, know that things may go wrong. Ticket scanners may stop functioning, the system could cut out, the festival crew could be short staffed for whatever reason, a change in weather could affect logistics, and if you’re lucky enough to have to deal with Will Call you may get stuck with all of the above - but don’t fret, or get upset with the workers; know that these things happen, and if you frequent many festivals you‘ve learned that they often do. Whatever it is, know that the staff is working extra hard to resolve every issue within their power. Try your best to brighten their day and your own through mutual respect. Enjoy the experience safely, and responsibly.

4) Understanding.

As the rave scene rapidly expands, the festival environment is becoming more diverse with the influx of new festival-goers. Whether you’re a new raver or consider yourself O.G., taking the time to understand this new shift in environment (as well as past traditions) is crucial to maintaining positive vibes at each and every festival you attend. Remember, it starts with YOU! More and more you may find yourself crossing paths with someone who may have never attended a rave, or is not even familiar with the culture. Depending on the circumstances, it can be easy to ruffle someone’s feathers, so taking time to try and understand where they may be coming from can help maintain your own positive mindset. A rave is a place where all are welcome, so if someone happens to rub you the wrong way, take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. We all come from different walks of life, with different beliefs, and differing tastes in music so introduce yourself, but don’t force it. Some people don’t like being bothered, which is completely up to them. This also tends to be the case for many newcomers who might be a little weirded out by the whole thing. They may be experiencing it for the first time, so don’t scare them by getting in their face, even if it is with your bubbly personality :) If you happen to be someone who gets a little freaked out when a glover (those “glowy finger dancers”) starts wiggling their hands in your face, don’t get angry.  Instead, kindly let them know you’re not interested, they will understand.

Sometimes we experience negativity which makes it easy to confuse where dance music culture is going… but it’s up to us to remember what it’s all about and set the tone for others to follow.


Header photo source: Insomniac Events