Ravers Digest saved my New Years. No, seriously. I guess to tell the story right I would have to start with F.A.M.I.L.Y. I had made plans with a small group of close friends to kick it underground style for my New Years celebration instead of going to a big massive or club. But, shit happens, as they say, and the group I had organized for the night fell apart due to one reason or another. So I found myself struggling to change plans last minute, not something you want to do for New Years parties. There was no way for me to tap my resources a few days before for even a discounted entry to any of the wonderful events taking place in LA or Hollywood .alas dismay overtook my usually positive outlook.
But, do to the encouragement of a dear friend of many years (Relax Nada! I know that you can pull some money together, and I can give you a ride to Together as One if you can get a ticket.) I decided to hustle my way into TAO. And hustle I did. 12 hours later I had pulled together enough money to buy a ticket ($74..ouch!) and have a little pocket cash for vitals, such as water. Just in time too, because it was 4pm on the Eve we had all been waiting/working for! Time to go home and start preparing for the night.
One small problem though I couldnt get a hold of my ride/homie of many a year all day long. His phone was off, and I found that a little odd. As afternoon darkened into evening, my excitement dwindled into anxiety. Where was he? I tried not to worry; to think he wouldnt do me like this on New Years Eve, on of the most socially important holidays of the year perhaps THE most important one for being with friends and loved ones. And that he knew how hard I had worked to get that fucking ticket.
At 7:30pm and still no sign of my friend, I did what any raver would do in this situation: I asked myself, What Would Mark Do?
According to Mark it was best for me to just go ahead and drive myself to LA before it got too crowded. Screw everyone else, it was time for me to start taking care of myself and make sure I was going to have a good time. Besides, Mark and his lady were waiting for me. It felt nice to know someone was. I was tired of getting flaked on.
So, one hour and $20 dollars for parking later, I sent a text to the RD crew to let them know I was at the Sports Arena and establish a meet up point. Thats when I turned the corner to the Arena and saw the line .holy shit! It was wrapped ALL the way around the fence Oh There was no way I was waiting in that line. I would never get in. So, naturally, I went to the front and squeezed my way in, where we were all packed like a bunch of sardines. It was kinda scary really. If something had happened and we all needed to get out of there real fast, I would have been squashed like a bug. We inched thru the gate, and finally, after about 45 minutes, I was in the girls line for security check. Whew! No sooner had I breathed a sigh of relief, and then security started yelling something about shutting the rest of the line down! The cramped mass of people I had just battled my way through started to heave in anger and frustration. I had made it just in time! If I had arrived at the Sports Arena literally just a few minutes later I would have been partying in the parking lot that night. I feel bad for all those people that didnt make it. Ticker Master only gives refunds if the event gets canceled.
It was at that point that I knew this was going to be a special evening. I should not have made it to that party in about three different ways. I was so excited to be in that massive, I felt like a kid again just happy to be at a huge party with multiple areas of sound and loads of mischief for me to get into
Per Marks instructions, we were to meet at the left front speaker in the main room, which was a bit of a mission because that room is so large and crowded, but after a few minutes Mark and Christy found me, and then the party began!
This unification of the Ravers Digest Crew took place around 10:30pm, so we decided to go up to the jungle room for about an hour and then come back down to the main room for the midnite countdown. The jungle room was set up in a rectangular area this time, with a tent over the front 2/3 of it. I personally liked the set-up, as it seemed to project sound very well, whereas Mark felt that it was a little too small... But I guess we junglists always think the jungle rooms are too small! I am pretty sure DJ Silver was spinning at that point, and we grooved to his set until we were ready to go back downstairs. It was at this point I ran into my friend who was supposed to be my escort that evening. He seemed happy to see Mark and I and he started telling me some story about how his phone died and he doesnt have my cell phone number memorized and he didnt know how to get a hold of me he hasnt been home since yesterday yadadadada ..whatever ..I didnt really care at that point in time I just wanted to be with everyone on New Years and have a good time. Then he and his friends took off, continuing on their own path, he telling me something about how he would be back in a little bit, stay here. I knew he wouldnt be though. But I was okay with it because I still was going to have a good time, no matter what. And I had Mark and Christy to take care of me. And they did. Forget about him, Mark said to me, Lets go have fun! Back downstairs we went, leaving behind the green lasers and b-boy circles of the jungle room, and into the dark, glow stick speckled abyss of the trance room. We went back towards the front and I managed to sneak into the VIP room so I could continue to hang with the RD crew. Plus, I got free water! That saved me so much money .. Just ten minutes till midnight. You could feel excitement in the air, heavy as the bass drops blasting from speakers on all sides. Five minutes. The whole crowd quivers with energy. Two minutes. One minute. 30 seconds. And finally 10 9 the dance floor is in a frenzy now 8 7 6 it builds to a momentum so great you almost cant stand it .5 4 3 oh here it comes!......2 .1 ..HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Words cannot describe the tumultuous joy one experiences when celebrating with thousands of other people, under the same roof, dancing to the same music. Its a beautiful experience. And as I exchanged hugs and kisses with loved ones and random people next to me I knew there was no where else on earth I wanted to be at that precise point in time. It was perfect. Regardless of who was or wasnt with me, what I had in the experience of being there was more than enough. After a few minutes the music built back up, the fireworks fizzled out, and we decided to go back upstairs to the comfort of drum and bass. Taking the escalator between floors was a bit time consuming due to the large amount of foot traffic in such a small space, but no one seemed to care .everyone was high fiving, hugging, and kissing each other as they passed. Imagine that hundreds of total strangers spreading cheer, true, genuine cheer. Even once we got on the escalator, people we passed on other floors would reach out saying Happy New Year! and then someone would sceam and yell and the next thing you know the whole escalator is cheering and hootin and hollerin and getting crazy! It was great. That is why I love this massive.
When we stepped out into the cool air of the jungle room, we knew we had made a great decision to come back because the djs closing out the night were Dieselboy, Ak1200, and Hive, in that order, no one in between. It was 4 hours of pure bliss.
By 4am I was tired, beyond sore, was losing my voice and totally ready to go test out the rave mobile that Mark and Christy invested in. Yes I said ravemobile. And its basically exactly what you are picturing in your head right now. It kept me from having to drive home (about a 40 minute drive from LA) at some cracky hour on a night when cops are extra suspicious of people who are doing just that. I got to catch a few zzzs instead.
Driving home the next morning I couldnt stop from smiling as I reflected on the night before. Together as One was such a great event. For once, it wasnt overcrowded, the vibe was fantastic, security was friendly, the sound was good, I didnt have to wait in line for the bathroom once, the line-up was sick all in all a good night. A good New Years. Hope yours was too. Happy 2008, lets make the most of it!