The Many Faces of Fests

I hope everyone had an amazing Halloween weekend! I dressed up as a unicorn at Freaknight in Seattle, and had an amazing time.  I wanted to start a blog series where I introduced individual ravers and what they do for a living outside of raving. I've been raving since 2014 and I've met so many people from different backgrounds that have different passions in life. I thought it would be a cool idea feature a few ravers every other month to show that ravers don't fit into one mold and this is a community where different types of people come together to celebrate love and music!

Name: Brooke McBride 

Instagram: @bassdropbeauty
Age: 22
Occupation: Makeup Artist 
What do you enjoy about your job? I love helping people feel beautiful/confident, the artistry and expressing myself through my makeup 
What was your first rave or festival, and how long have you been raving? Freaknight 2017 
What is your favorite thing about music festivals and raving? Dancing to my favorite music with my favorite people and seeing the amazing outfits 
How has EDM culture affected you in your professional life? EDM culture has actually helped my freelance business tremendously!! My rave days are spent helping everyone get ready and everyone is super supportive of my art!!!


Name: Ryan Halstead

Instagram: @rymazing

Age: 23
Occupation: Dining Service Manager at an assisted Living / Active Retirement Home

What do you enjoy about my job? I enjoy cooking for people who got to cook their whole lives, I cook for people who always would cook for their friends and family’s and I have the honor to be serving them. I’ve been working for this industry for 7+ years now and it’s my pride and joy.
What was your first rave or festival, and how long have you been raving? 
My first rave was Paradiso 2013, and I’ve been raving ever since!
What is your favorite thing about music festivals and raving? My favorite thing is connecting to others with the same interests as me in a setting where I can totally 100% express myself. 

How has EDM culture affected you in your professional life? I’m constantly blasting electronic music at work but I’ve been working here for as long as I have been raving. At every event, and at every day at work, I treat everyone with the upmost dignity and respect and treat everyone as if they are my family member.  

Name: Anya Woron-Simons

Instagram: @anyarws
Age: 34yo  
Occupation: Mental Health Clinician and clinical supervisor for a program that provides mental health therapy to kids involved with DCF and DMH.  
What do you enjoy about your job? I enjoy being able to guide and support staff in their direct care, and the opportunity to help support change for kids in some really hard situations.  I also love being able to be there for the clinicians, both to work through the bad moments and celebrate the successes.
What was your first rave or festival, and how long have you been raving? First rave ever was Ultra 2018, this past year.  I was hooked and immediately went home and started looking into what other festivals were out there.  Since then I have been to 4 more fests this year, with my final one of the season being EDCO in a few weeks.  I joke that it was literally 0-5 in less than a year!  And I have no plan on stopping.
What is your favorite thing about music festivals and raving? I love the community and the overall vibe.  It is PLUR, but also so much more.  I love the connections you make with others and the friendships built. It is the memories made and the potential next thing that you never quite know.  For me, that moment of walking through the gates, and being excited and unsure of what this fest will bring is exhilarating.
How has EDM culture affected you in your professional life? In my professional life, I think I have gained a lot more understanding of myself and what I can bring and give to others.  While my field already embodies a lot of the concepts that are part of a PLUR mentality, walking into this world this year has helped me further develop my ability to accept others and allow for respected expression of self.  I also have realized that festivals and raves have quickly become my own form of self-care and a way care for my own mental health with a healthy way of letting go and getting lost in a weekend of music. Being so new to EDM culture and festivals, I also quickly realized how thrilling, exciting and overwhelming it could be.  I had no idea what to expect for my first (and second..) fest, and luckily was able to piece together some answers from kind strangers online.  I realized that I was probably not the only one who needed a little guidance, and decided to start a FB group to provide a forum for anyone new to festival and the culture.  I started "Festival Newbies" to create a safe place for all those hopes, ideas, worries, questions, weird concerns, silly advice and everything that someone may not have a place to otherwise ask. I was so grateful for the support I got, and Festival Newbies is a way to welcome others to this amazing community and show them what PLUR is all about.

Name: Sterling (Twilight Dragon) Blackheart

Instagram: @fair_ho
Age: 54
Occupation: Principal Business Operations and Strategist
What do you enjoy about your job? The ability to analyze a large organizations and corporations way of doing business and then transforming their operations into a lean efficient machine based on the customer and business needs.
What was your first rave or festival, and how long have you been raving? My first electronic dance was in Junior High, around ‘78. We had a crazy Art Teacher that threw this wild Friday afternoon dance that very few could dance to. It had a very dj-ish and disco feel. But my first Rave was around 97 (?) at the Seattle Armory put in by Madhatter Productions (?). We had to be carrying little pieces of paper with a passcode to get in. I remember my ex wife always patiently sitting on a couch, while I danced until transcendence.
What is your favorite thing about music festivals and raving? All the enlightened non judgmental people and the safety network to operate in true non-expectation love.
How has EDM culture affected you in your professional life? It has helped me find deeper and more intimate relations, without any biases (race, age, creed, sexuality), with mass quantity of co-workers. An approach of “I don’t care...you all are here in this planet to dance and cuddle!”

Name: Myreena Nerurkar

Instagram: @zombieravechick
Age: 20
Occupation:  United States Marine
What do you enjoy about my job?  I love the fact that I am able to meet new people and make great friends, I get to travel, to stay in shape, and I like the fact that it was a personal challenge for myself. When you're young everyone says that as long as you set your mind to it, you can do it. I was lost with what I wanted to do with my life and I needed something that had freedom but at the same time taught me discipline  and direction. I looked up the military and somehow ended up at the Marines Recruiting station.I laughed at myself at first thinking I could never do it, but that's when I thought about everything. Thinking about how much it could prove to myself that I could do something, even something so challenging. Pt (it's working out at a certain time with fellow Marines) is another great thing, it definitely sucks but when I'm done I feel so accomplished. Sometimes it's even fun.
What was your first rave or festival, and how long have you been raving?  EDV LV 2016 was my first rave/festival and I've been raving for about two and a half years now.
What is your favorite thing about music festivals and raving?  My favorite thing is the whole experience honestly. I don't think I could choose a favorite thing. From the moment you get inside and the jitters leave, its magic to me. I love seeing all the outfits and everyone looks great. I love how it's such a body positive environment where you can feel comfortable in anything.I love the music and how at midnight, my body just vibrates with the music. I love watching the lights flash as my favorite song comes on and then the confetti explodes. I love being able to trade kandi and in certain moments after meeting awesome people, it's the greatest thing ever.
How has EDM culture affected you in your professional life?  The EDM Culture originally had no effect on my professional life because the jobs that I originally had a lot of fellow ravers. Now with being a Marine I have to be a little more careful with what I post and how I post it because I can get into trouble with my command. So my instagram is now private and I have to be careful with who I add. Also I've noticed that since this is a way more serious job then the average job, that when I tell fellow Marines I rave, they automatically assume I'm easy or that I do drugs. So it's a bit harder to try and connect on that level. Honestly overall the community has helped find a place that I belong and has made me have more confidence in who I am, which that has helped with jobs as well.  
I'm planning on writing another post with raver profiles again in December! (I'm hoping to make this series a bi-monthly thing). Do you want to share what you do for a living and want to get featured? Please send me a DM to my Instagram account (@loanabanana82), and I'd love to hear about what you do and how raving has impacted you!


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