(I have been waiting to do this interview for years now. Mohawk is a luminary in the NYC underground scene, my boss at New York DanceSafe , a spectacular dancer & a generally all around stupendous person. She’s throwing a party that you need to go to, and I’ll be giving two tickets away, so you have no excuse. But before you do, kick back and enjoy this long-form conversation with someone who is fielding a tactical force to keep your sorry butt alive if you’re partying in the Tri-State area.)
1. How is the party coming along? Any new surprises to announce, or should we just show up and find out? The party is pretty much ready to go and we’re in our last week of ramped up promotion. I wouldn’t say there are true “surprises”, however I’m sure many people are hearing about the party through different sources, so beyond the musical talent we’ll have on board, the additional performers, vendors, and workshops might come as a surprise to many. We’ve been making announcements a few times a week, highlighting some of what’s to come. We don’t expect everyone to keep up with these announcements, but we definitely want to showcase all that we have in store. It’s getting pretty late in the game and we still have people wanting to take part in the festivities. Don’t bank on this type of event happening again–we host events with specific objectives and move forward from there. It’s a “launch party” of sorts, so come find out for yourself and see what it’s all about!
2. You’ve been doing harm reduction for a long time, have you seen any changes in the work/scene that you’d see as positive? Any worrying trends you are trying to sound the alarm about? I’d like to preface this answer first: I really only have visibility of what’s happening in NYC. In doing this work with a nationally represented organization, a lot of people assume that we all see the same things or face the same problems. This is not necessarily the case, so I’ve chosen to take the New York chapter in different directions based on what we learn each year. The good news is, people overall are becoming more “hip” to testing. People want kits! The worrying thing about this is that, people forget that drug use comes with risks beyond just the potential of ingesting the “wrong” drugs by accident. An obvious worrisome trend is how much do we need to fear fentanyl popping up in drugs, especially non-opioids? This is one with a lot of hysteria around it right now. It takes a lot of work to keep the most accurate information in circulation and weed out the sensationalism and myths.
Electric Zoo just can’t seem to catch a break this year. After the huge controversy over Camelbaks, the last day of the Zoo was cancelled after a brief rain delay. Your phone has probably blown up with flash flood warnings at least once today if you’ve been in the area, which shook the leadership of Made Event enough to shut it down. While the storm didn’t last very long, it was severe enough to scare the organizers. The attendees huddled in the tents to keep away from the thunderstorm, but there, it didn’t take long for the crowd to start to get agitated.
By around 5/530, with the rain seeming to taper off, Electric Zoo was cancelled. Kaskade, Netsky, Seven Lions, Skrillex/Diplo’s Jack U, Alesso, & Dash Berlin were slated to perform, with Myon & Shane 54 interrupted 25min into the set. The kids were greeted with a seriously disorganized departure plan from Electric Zoo, with shoeless ravers walking across the RFK Bridge to get home. While the ravers lamented the overall disappointing experience of the weekend, artists were struggling to either lift moods or find alternative gigs. While we’re not sure what’s going on this evening, it seems that most venues are going to be mobbed with eager ravers trying to make up for the lost day.
Even before the rain, there were reports of attendees passing out in line before even entering, with people waiting anywhere between 30min to over an hour to get in. Overall, with the reports of abuse by the NYPD streaming in & the terrible way the attendees, press and locals were treated, I’m going to be hard pressed to recommend EZoo as a destination. While we can all be thankful no one died this year, the way this has gone down will seriously damage the relationship Made Event has with its fans here in the tri-state area.