This year’s FreakNight festival in Seattle, Washington had a great buzz of controversy around it due to media’s false information and assumptions. After almost 100 heat-related and hydration-related ODs at this year’s Paradiso Festival media coverage has been shedding very negative light on the rave scene. News trucks even camped out at smaller Seattle raves trying to catch a glimpse of the alleged danger caused by us ravers. With the nation’s falsely implanted visions of what raving is really about, and limited knowledge of common rave activities, it has been a difficult year for rave culture. Months before the show was scheduled to take place in the WaMu Theater  in Seattle authorities imposed threats to prohibit future USC events in Seattle thus jeopardizing the entire rave scene in Washington and elsewhere.

It is safe to say that we did a fantastic job proving to the media that we can party safely and responsibly. After 19,000 raving freaks showed up over the span of two nights at the WaMu Theater there were only twenty-three 911 calls, most of which were not drug-related. Many additional precautions were taken this year by USC Events to ensure that FreakNight could continue on in years to come. These precautions included over 150 additional private security guards to add to their already enormous team, a public service announcement concerning our scene outside the venue, scrupulous searches at the door, a team of security on foot checking up on the crowd throughout the night, and free water refill stations. USC’s precautions weren’t the only positive changes to this year’s event; we ravers made a real effort to ensure each other’s safety and help secure the possibility of future safe events. There were also many vendors at the show that promoted safe raving, and a slew of undercover police from the Seattle Police Department looking to ebb the consumption of illegal narcotics. Overall it is safe to say that we will have yet another year of wonderful events here in Seattle thanks to USC events and all who attended FreakNight this year.

However, the controversy surrounding the event was not the only reason this festival stands out; it was a beautiful weekend of great music and incredible people. The musical acts, light shows, and production quality were nothing less than amazing. With three stages of music running all night long there was never a dull moment. Most of my time was spent at the main stage called the Twisted Big Top which was mostly focused on the house and electro side of EDM. This stage contained acts like Hardwell, Destriod, and Afrojack; understandably this stage hosted the biggest crowds of the weekend. There was also a stage for the softer, more trance-orientated EDM called Midway of Mayhem which featured artists such as ATB, Cosmic Gate, and Infected Mushroom. It was the perfect place to go relax and take a breath after dancing your heart away at the other two stages. Last but not least there was the Bass Asylum for all those bass heads out there! It featured some great artists like Datsik, Savant, and FuntCase. This area had undoubtedly the best bass in the place and attracted impressive crowds. The visual production for all of the stages was outstanding and perfectly on cue with the music throughout the whole night, leaving Freaknight a wholly satisfying production.

To those who have not yet experienced FreakNight Festival but may be interested, now is the perfect time to start planning for next year. EDM keeps expanding, growing and taking a special place in our hearts, and events like these are home to many of us. Let’s keep faith in our scene and preserve it for many years to come, and keep showing the world that we are not just a bunch of raving hoodlums! This year being was absolutely the most successful and inspiring FreakNight yet, so let’s keep our spirits high, and LET’S GO FREAKNIGHT 2014!