||stark RAVING mad (wow, I'm clever)
*Made this entry public, because I think it's important. But the rest of my journal is friends only*
Okay, first of all, there were a lot of problems with Zen Fest. Those were expected. With the cancelation of Electric Daisy Carnival earlier in the summer, Zen was thrown into public scrutiny. We were driving down there expecting to be harassed by cops, expecting to be pulled over and searched for any minor traffic violation. It was inevitable. What was NOT expected was the sheer numbers of cops. The impersonal treatment by the promoters of Zen. The false advertisement. The overpricing of water and food.
About 10 miles in each direction of the venue, there were cops. So many, I never thought that many existed. Not just city and county cops...we had state police out there as well. And anyone that was pulled over...two cops cars a piece. It was so scary. I was shaking so bad, and I wasn't even doing anything wrong at all. I spent so much time thinking, "I don't want this party to get busted, I don't want to go to jail for dancing and wanting to have a good time." So, unlike me, I went about 5 miles UNDER the speed limit. I was NOT going to be pulled over. Not that I had anything to hide. But you know, it's the principle of the thing.
We get inside the venue. There are cops everywhere!! And to make things worse...they had riot gear. Bullet proof vests. Guns. And they stood around and stared at people, hands on guns. I mean, shit. Mace. What the fuck? The vast majority of the people out there knew that security would be tight, so they didn't bother bringing any drugs or anything. The lineup was such that drugs would not have made anything better, it was sensational in and of itself. So I would say about 75% of people there were sober.
Moving on to impersonal treatment: yes, I know that you can't go into a party expecting to be treated warmly as individuals. But you know what I DO expect? To be treated as more than just a walking ATM. All they saw was money. They didn't see people. People with their own passions and hopes and dreams...just money. Just potential revenue. That makes me sick. Where are the people who recognize that without us, there would be no party? There is a certain amount of respect you give to people who are willing to drive hours to come to your party. Out of respect for you, your talent, and your venue.
False advertisement: I did not get a VIP pass. I didn't need one. But many of my friends got them, and these were the things that were promised:
1. Free water.
2. Free food.
4. Free CDs.
5. Meet the DJs.
6. A chill room.
What was delivered?
1. 2 bottles of warm water for each person, until they ran out.
2. A basket of rotten fruit.
3. That's...about it.
There is something to be said for general admission, methinks. VIP tickets didn't pay for themselves.
Overpricing: Hello? $3.00 for water? Fuck you.
We left around 2:30 am instead of staying until 7 when it closed. When people started getting arrested, we decided it was time to leave. But you know something? That's exactly what they wanted. When we left, I think only 2 people had been arrested. I heard the numbers got MUCH higher later on. I also heard they were doing random searches, saying they were going off "tips." That, I don't believe. We act as a family, as a unit, when we ("we" = ravers, party goers, what have you) go to a party. Tip-offs as to who has drugs? Heh. Not likely at all. And as I said before...only about 25% of people had anything to hide. What am I saying? There were plantings. That, I do not doubt.
The state of Texas is intolerant of our...MY...culture. Slowly, they are shutting us down. It's coming back to underground now, and that's good...but it's also unfortunate. I don't feel that we are doing anything wrong. I don't feel like we should have to hide and suppress our passions and way of life because some people in charge don't understand, and never thought to ask us what was going on. Do you believe what you see on CNN? Dateline? Then fuck you. Elitist bastards. Next time you want to make a generalization about me, about my culture, about my fellow ravers, then take it up with us. Get some real input. We are honest people. We don't sugarcoat the truth. Yes, there are drugs out there. Yes, there are some problems. I won't deny that, no one will. But the point is, to most of us, it's not about the drugs. It's about the music, the people, and dare I say the Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect?