Monday, September 17, 2012

Tutu girls

The dance floor
Those of us who came of age in the 60's remember doing a lot of risky things. But now that we're parents of young people, we worry about them taking the same risks we did. As a generation, perhaps we're a little different than our own parents - we know exactly what trouble our kids can get into, because we did those things, too.

The hottest new thing in event production is the Electronic Dance Event - whether an 8 hour festival for tens of thousands of guests in an open field, or a 4 hour concert in a nightclub, this is the newest thing in live events. Young people come to party, dance, and they dress in crazy neo-hippie outfits including neon-colored tutus and other crazy stuff. Some people call these events "raves" after similar unregulated party events that took place in the '90s, but that is history now. Electronic Dance Events are big business now.

Neon-colored tutus are  popular
This past Saturday night, at an event that some people called a "rave" - I was standing in a protected place overlooking the show floor, a good observation point. This is something I do during most events that I am responsible for. When I do this, I'm estimating the size of the crowd, observing the behavior, checking to see what's going on, trying to make sure the crowd management measures we've put in place are appropriate. Also - I'm using my camera to record the moment.  As an older person in a room full of enthusiastic young people, I usually feel invisible and unseen.

While I was standing there, I saw a young woman bring her empty water bottle over to the recycling bins by the wall. It just so happened the contract EMT paramedic was there, sitting on a chair on right by the recycling bin. She looked inquiringly at him, as if to ask - am I doing right, putting my empty water bottle in this bin? He nodded, and she did.

As she turned to go back on the floor, she caught my eye, and I held up a hand with an "A-OK" sign - I appreciated her conscientiousness. Most concert goers aren't so careful with their trash disposal.

Furry boots are popular at these shows
A few minutes later, there she was, below me, turning her sweet silly face up to me, glitter make-up sparkling on her cheeks, holding out her hand to me. "Hi, I'm Jenny! What's your name?"

I pulled the foam earplug out of my left ear and told her my name.

"Gladys?" she said, getting my name wrong. "You're beautiful!" She smiled up at me.  "I'm Jenny. Are you having a good night?"

"I'm having a great night," I said. "Thanks for using the recycling bin. Have fun tonight at the show, Nice to meet you Jenny, and please be safe tonight!"

More tutus!
 Experts say the effects of the drug Ecstacy are nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. Overdose symptoms include high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness, and seizures. That was the reason we had a squadron of contract EMTs on duty and an overabundance of police officers.

But, on the other hand, the experts also say the effects of the drug Ecstasy are feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, empathy toward others, and  a general sense of well being.

The dance floor during the headliner act
I've never had someone come up to me while I've been working an event and tell me I'm beautiful and wish me a lovely evening. Was Jenny high on Ecstacy or some other substance? Or was she just a genuinely nice person? I honestly don't know.

I do know that the official records of medical incidents during the show don't mention a girl who matches Jenny's description being treated. In fact, our official records list a mere handful of patients - two drunks, one bruised foot, one person with an earplug stuck in his ear, and one person who had broken glass thrown in her hair. Yes, Security turned away a number of people who were too inebriated to be allowed inside the venue at all - but I think most of the 3500 people who attended the show played it safe, behaved themselves, and had a good time. Like Jenny.

Lighting effects. Pretty cool!
For those of you who, like me, worry about our young people - I think our kids are all right. Talk to those you know make sure they are staying safe.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I think our kids are all right

Sounds like a song...

I think the real problem is that sizable minority of older people look at the up-and-coming generation as a threat rather than as the greatest natural resource that we have. Unfortunately, a lot of "pundits" are making bank by pushing this narrative.

Janet said...

what a sweet girl :-)

smalltownme said...

I'm glad it all went well -- that's a pretty small medical list, considering the size of the crowd.

M. Bouffant said...

Tutus haven't made it to this side of town yet. At least I didn't see any bound for the HARD Fest last month.

That was last month, of course.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Those tutus look trippy to me... but then, I'm old. ;)
Either Jenny couldn't hear very well in all the noise or she was feeling pretty happy. I'm impressed with the overall good behavior of the crowd and lack of medical emergencies.

Of course, I don't usually think of concerts as a problem. The worst I ever experienced was my own nausea from dehydration after a long hot day that ended with a Ronnie James Dio concert. (I was done using the bathroom before someone blew up a toilet...)

I was humming the song before I read BBBB's comment. :)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

A pleasant, honest "You're beautiful!" makes up for some of the headaches involved in making sure this show actually happened, I bet!

claudiagiulia said...

Good call on the earlplug! After 15 years of nearly weekly concert going with no earplugs I am finding myself constantly turning the volume up!

claudiagiulia said...

Good call on the earlplug! After 15 years of nearly weekly concert going with no earplugs I am finding myself constantly turning the volume up!