Title:Rave & Rant (a long one)

Well, last night was the Area Festival. An awesome opportunity to experience techno at its finest, and for the most part I did. Allow me to separate the issues.

The Setup: The basic setup of the festival was to have a main stage and a “Ford Focus Tent.” The tent would be exclusively techno and the main stage would have a wider variety of music for people who didn’t want just techno. Of course I was planning on never leaving the tent. True, Moby was going to be playing the main stage, but I didn’t care, I was going to see 7 hours of kicks ass techno. Chris and I got there around 12, wondered around for a while and were finally let in around 2:30. A local DJ was warming up the tent as we arrived (we were the first ones in). We walked directly up to the front, inches from the decks and that’s were we stayed.

The good: Ok, the opening DJ (I wish I remembered his name) was great. He was a local guy and you could tell he was enjoying being there as much as we were. Then it was Rinôçérôse’s turn. They were a German techno group using guitars and heavy bass to really jam. I had never heard them before and was very impressed. Then Derrick May took the decks and really got the party started. He was a master at the cross-fader and really used it to make the bass jump. Then the heavy hitters stepped up. Carl Cox took the stage after him for a 2 hour set. He was using three turntables and mixing across all three of them. That in it’s self was amazing. That set was great, it was probably more enjoyable than Oakenfold, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The Orb was up next and I kinda felt bad for them. I had heard the Orb and, while I’m not a big fan, I could appreciate their style, it was very experimental, which a lot of the idiots couldn’t understand (more on this below). Then it was time for the man himself, Paul Oakenfold. The parts of his set that I was able to enjoy, I really liked. He’s a constant professional and always gets people moving. Now for…

The Bad: As soon as the main stage took a break (sometime after Carl Cox was playing in the tent) the tent was flooded to capacity since everyone knew Oakenfold would be up soon. The number of people in the tent went from 1000 people enjoying the show to 2000 people trying to kill each other. Let me be very clear when I say this: Techno is not a fucking rock concert! You DO NOT shove and push and MOSH! And you certainly don’t try and pull people away from their spots in order to be nearer to the front. With in 15 minutes of Paul Oakenfold taking the stage, I had already been kicked, punched and roughed up more than I’ve ever been at a punk show. EVER! I had had enough and took off for the back of the tent. I purchased an over-priced water and cooled off, trying to restrain myself from physically hurting the retards that refused to let me enjoy my show. I had waited 5 years to see Oakenfold, and I’d be fucked if I was going to let them ruin it. I was still super pissed so I left the tent leaving Chris inside. I walked up the exit ramp and sat near the merchandise stand at the top, thinking, if Chris left, he’d have to come this way since he had wanted to buy a t-shirt. Little did I know that after I left, Chris decided he’d had enough as well and went looking for me. We missed each other somewhere along the line and after missing a full hour of Oakenfolds set, I returned to the tent to find Chris, which I couldn’t. For some reason, the last half was very enjoyable. Why you ask? Because all of the idiots had cleared out since they couldn’t take more than 10 minutes of actual dancing which left only us, the people who were truly there for the music.

The Ugly (in letter form):
Dear Mr. Oakenfold,
Please go home. It’s not that I don’t like you or your music, its that the wrong people like your music. You’ve stated that you’re trying to introduce America to the dance scene. I implore you to stop. These are not the people you want listen to techno. The people at your shows are not fans of the music. They are Gap jean wearing 14 year olds who just dropped their first hit of X and are looking for cheap thrills. They are the high school football team who couldn’t get into a punk show so they decided to come here. Please Mr. Oakenfold, if you leave now, we may be able to undo some of your damage. These Backstreet Boys listening, non-t-shirt wearing, x-dropping, rave moshing idiots will soon outnumber the real listeners. I’ve seen it happen with swing music and unless the trend is ended quickly, we’ll be seeing Prodigy and John Digweed on Gap commercials. These people are not the weekend warriors we hope for, these people don’t listen to techno while they work, these people do not travel hundreds of miles to go to a club to see obscure DJs play. These people aren’t even old enough to get into a club. Please Mr. Oakenfold, stop now before the stories of 14 year olds dieing from X-overdoses become real. Americans are stupid and have forgotten that you don’t need beer and drugs to have a good time. Americans don’t even know how to enjoy a show without smashing into one another. Please Mr. Oakenfold, stop exposing the MTV idiots to techno. You’ll ruin it forever. The rest of us are content to pay high prices for British import CDs. It’s how we like it. Please, leave the techno to us and not them.


The wrap up:
The show was great, lots of good music, it’s too bad it attracted the wrong crowd. Ladies and Gentleman, if you want to see techno and have it done right, go to a club. Go to a club WITH a dress code and an age limit. That way we keep the candy ravers, the football jocks and the 14 year olds away. Now, its seems like I’m doing a lot of bashing, but I did have a great time, a wonderful time. BUT, that’s not going to stop my growing hatred for “popular culture” and “the beautiful people.” I’m going to the clubs, not to festivals, maybe that way, I can enjoy the shows completely, instead of just 90%.

Ok, enough ranting about raving for today. I’ve got to contact the Bedford Police about my accident report and get a damage estimate from the auto-body people so I can get the whole insurance thing started. Oh, I also plan on dropping off some film from the show, so, in the next day or two, look for some nifty pictures from the show. Later.

Current Mood: Happy & Pissed (odd combo!?)