A Letter to Insomniac: Please Bring Back Gloving
Dear Insomniac Events,
Insomniac has done a lot for EDM. Thanks to events like EDC and the Wonderland series, EDM has stretched across the internet, across state lines and across the globe. EDM is something very near and dear to my heart and the music.
PLUR, positivity, and shared love of this tight-knit community has helped me (and many others) through difficult periods of life.
In 2011 Insomniac issued the statement that gloves were banned on the basis that “Although there are many who use these lights as an art form, the image that it creates when groups of music fans are sitting or lying on the floor gazing at the designs reflects poorly and sends a false message of what the electronic dance music scene is about. The image jeopardizes our ability to produce events which we love and plan on doing for decades to come.” Okay Insomniac. Let's talk.
Gloving Is Art and Expression
Gloving is a form of expression and a tribute to the music, just as much as dancing, making kandi, shuffling, and creating extravagant outfits. I’ve given and received light shows myself, and there are spare words that can describe the delight and enchantment on the faces of those receiving and the passion and sheer joy on the faces of those who give.
Insomniac’s concerns are valid. However, there is a negative message being sent with this ban. Insomniac has stated that it already understands that gloving is an art form. As a glover myself, I can honestly say that we spend hours practicing our finger rolls, tuts, whips and tunnels. Giving light shows isn’t a materialistically profitable venture, but it is rewarding in that glovers can practice their art and show others that which they have spent weeks, months, if not years perfecting.
Insomniac said that the concern over gloves is the message that it sends about the electronic music scene. But self-expression is precisely who we are. We demonstrate our passion for this scene in a myriad of ways and gloving is one of them. Our art is how we express ourselves, and our identity is an integral part of what the electronic music scene is about.
There is a neon elephant in the room. The D-word that was conspicuous in its absence throughout this entire dialogue about gloves: drugs. Yes. The rave scene has long been associated with drugs and it is this stigma that I understand lies at the heart of Insomniac’s concerns.
So Let's Talk Stereotypes
But here’s the argument- by adhering to the stereotypes that society has placed on electronic music, Insomniac is simply miring EDM deeper into this erroneous belief that drugs are a cornerstone of EDM culture. We are more than that. I know this. You know this. Ravers from every country knows this. Not all of society knows this. So what are we to do? Continue the association between EDM and drugs? Assume that light shows can only be enjoyed while under the influence? No. Insomniac should not further this absurd notion.
Insomniac can rebuild EDM’s image with those outside of the electronic community. Insomniac can prove that raves aren’t places where people go just to take drugs, but raves are a gathering of people that transcends borders, a gathering of people united by a shared love of music.
Your Move Insomniac
Insomniac has the power to do this. You are one of the biggest festival organizers in the world, you can take a stand with ravers and prove that raves and festivals are about more than this negative stereotype. Together, Insomniac and its rave family can promote the beauty of rave culture that has drawn all of us towards electronic music.
I know that Insomniac has been asked to lift its gloving ban before, but I urge you to think about this. Let's build a new name for electronic music, and show that gloves and other flow arts are precisely that: art? Will you send a message about what the electronic music scene is really about? Or will you continue to uphold degrading and damaging stereotypes? It's your call.