Gloving Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts of Light Shows

| April 01, 2017

I want to tell you all a story. The other day I was at Marquee for Tritonal’s show. (Which incidentally was amazing, feel free to read about it here.) I had been gloving for close to three hours and my arms were exhausted, some of my transitions were getting a bit sloppy and I was slowing down.

I was giving someone a light show and in the middle of my show, he grabbed me by my face, pulled me closer and told me to speed up my finger rolls.


Gloving is one of my passions and there are few things that make me happier than giving someone a light show and seeing the ecstatic expression on their face. But there is a certain etiquette involved in light shows, courtesies that both the glover and the receiver should keep in mind.

The following are a few do's and don'ts that will make your next light show experience a positive one for both glover and receiver. 

1. Don’t Touch

Touching someone without their permission isn’t okay, whether you’re admiring flow art or not. Glovers, more often than not we have to sneak our gloves into events (thanks, Insomniac), and the easiest place to sneak gloves in is stuffed down…places. So please, in the name of all hygiene, don’t touch someone’s face with the gloves that were hidden in intimate places. Brushing someone’s face by accident happens sometimes, just apologize and try to be more careful!

Receivers. Do not touch a glover while they are in the middle of a show. I beg of you. We don’t like it. It’s rude, it’s invasive and frankly, it’s annoying. Light shows are hypnotic but don’t try to grab the lights in front of your face because remember, they are connected to a person. And that person will not like it. Sit and watch the light show, maybe offer a hug or a high-five at the end, but don’t do it in the middle of the show.

2. Do Show Your Appreciation

Just because someone brings their gloves into a show does not mean that you are immediately entitled to a show. Getting a light show is a treat and if you are lucky enough to get one, show your appreciation. It can be something as small as trading a piece of kandi, giving a hug or a high five, or simply complimenting and thanking the glover. Glovers do not HAVE to give light shows. They spend hours honing their talents and perfecting their routines, the opportunity to experience flow art is just that, an opportunity. It should never be an expectation. 

GloFX 5 Mode Glove Set: Quest Elite shown in action above

3. Don’t Jump In On Someone’s Show

Glovers, we’ve all seen videos with glovers tag-teaming and giving an absolutely mind-blowing, face-melting hell of a light show. We all want to try that ourselves, and why not? But please don’t jump in, uninvited, while someone is already giving a light show. More often than not they already have a planned routine and if you barge in on their show, you’re interrupting that routine. While you may think that you’re contributing to, or even improving their light show, you’re not.

I understand that we all love light shows, but when someone is already in the middle of a show, don’t push your way in. If you want to observe the light show as well, you’re welcome to stand behind the original receiver, but don’t butt in and expect the glover to focus all of their attention on you. It’s not fair when someone asks for a light show and it gets taken away from them.

4. Do Remember That Glovers Are People Too

Like I was saying in the beginning, I had been gloving for hours at a show. My arms were exhausted and as such, my skill and speed were slipping. If you see that a glover is tired or has been giving back to back light shows, don't run up to them and ask for a show. Give them a minute to rest. Glovers are not walking talking LED gloves, we're at the rave to enjoy ourselves too. We do love giving light shows, but we also want to enjoy the music, and also need time to rest. We are only human and gloving is actually pretty tiring. If you don't believe me, try doing finger rolls for 15 minutes straight. 

GloFX Lux Glove Set 2.0 in action above

5. Don’t Backseat Glove  

Okay, this one is a personal pet peeve. If someone is giving you a light show, do not tell them how to do it. If you tell someone to incorporate more tuts or slow down their finger rolls, I promise you that your light show will be over very quickly. Every glover has their own personal routine and signature moves that they put on their shows. No two shows are ever the same just as no two glovers are ever the same. I don't care if you've been gloving for 5 months or 5 years, that's no reason to tell someone how to give you a light show. Sit back, shut up and enjoy the show. 

Light shows are a beautiful and integral part of EDM culture, and whether they are being performed or watched, they should be appreciated. Ready to light up the room? Check out our Premium Glove Sets. Gloving not your thing? We still got you covered. You can wow crowds with orbits, space whips or poi lightshows! 


about the writer

Lindsay Moriyama

Lindsey Moriyama

Read More...Lindsey was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii but now she lives, writes, bartends and stretches paychecks in New York City.

Illenium, Gareth Emery and Porter Robinson are her favorites, but you'll find her at any EDM event in any borough. A lover of every genre from trance to dubstep, you can find her on the fringes of a crowd gloving, dancing and bringing good vibes. A PLURR fairy, basshead, trance child and kandi kid all in one, this scene is her world.

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