It has come to my attention that the form of art and dance ravers know as “gloving” has been attracting a lot of negative attention in the culture. I find this to be extremely upsetting, and I’m sure plenty of others do as well. EDM has spread like wildfire over the past few years, and although it has come a long way, there are still a lot of people out there who view it in a negative light.  Gloving is often misconceived as being used only to pleasure drug users with its visually stunning effects, and although this might be true in some instances, it is also a very unique form of art and dance that should be appreciated for it’s creative value and viewed in a more open-minded manner.

What is gloving? It sounds relatively straightforward; like something really simple minded and easy to do, but believe me when I say it is definitely more difficult than it seems.

“Gloving is an exciting new art form and style of dance that combines liquid movements with optical illusion. Gloving is primarily done by moving your fingers and hands to the rhythm of music while wearing LED light tipped gloves that accentuate your movements.”

It is a unique form of art that has been a part of the EDM scene from the beginning.   It has evolved over the years, from waving glow sticks, to wearing white Mickey Mouse gloves that would shine under a blacklight, to the current L.E.Ds and diffuser technology. Gloving is said to have originated in Southern California and is often credited to a man who put 10 “RAV’N” lights inside a pair of white cotton gloves.  Gloving has existed since the foundation of this scene, so why is it being slandered?

A lot of people attend EDM events to experience their favorite music live, express themselves creatively, and be in a comfortable environment free of judgement (the irony). Dancing is the main way to cut loose at an event, but there are definitely some alternatives, such as gloving. Those people who are too shy to dance, or maybe even too shy to go out and talk to others, can use gloving as an alibi. Whenever you turn your gloves on and start, it is a guaranteed way to grab peoples attention. In order to perpetuate the feelings of this scene, it is important that we maintain a variety of different forms of interaction for the audience.

Gloving is not just about drugs; a common misconception. Mitchell Bolton, a prominent glover in the scene, said, “I glove in competitions, and I don’t do drugs whatsoever. Gloving isn’t just always about giving a high kid a show so they can trip out.” Just the fact that gloving has become such a large business enterprise that there are professional competitions for it proves that gloving is a relative part of our scene. Prominent competitions such as Emazinglights’ B.O.S.S series are planned regularly, and gloving has even been featured on shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” as well as “America’s Best Dance Crew.” It is even spreading as an activity club in colleges all over California, known as Ambience, and even in other states as well! Banning gloving at events at this point of the evolutionary cycle of the art form would not only be a major disappointment to most ravers, but even to enthusiasts outside of the scene.


While many people feel that gloving is a very prominent way to express yourself to the electronic music scene, some feel differently. There are some very valid reasons as to why people look down upon it. For instance, some people view it as dangerous because the bright colorful lights moving in a rapid motion could be potentially harmful to a viewer under the influence of drugs. The combination of drugs and the visual stimulation could increase heart rate and cause seizures or even heart attacks. Some people also believe that if L.E.D toys are banned from raves then there will be less drug use and a safer environment for all attendees. Insomniac events (the company who hosts “The Electric Daisy Carnival”) banned gloving and other L.E.D related toys from their events back in 2011 because they said it created a bad image for our scene:

Although there are many who use these lights as an art form, the image that it creates when groups of music fans are sitting or lying on the floor gazing at the designs reflects poorly and sends a false message of what the electronic dance music scene is about.

This quote was taken from the public announcement Insomniac made back in 2011 to announce the ban on L.E.D lights at their events. It was also brought up that people sitting on or around the dance floor getting light shows can cause a fire hazard of some sort.

In addition, local fire marshals have voiced their concerns about attendees sitting on the dance floor and will no longer tolerate the fire hazard that it creates.

It seems as though corporate entities have placed a sort of stigma on LED toys, specifically light gloves, in an effort to uphold their brands.  There is a certain stigma placed on gloving that only discourages companies and the general populous from helping it grow.  With  There are claims that it condones drug use, sex, and violence, something still ringing in the ears of the punk generation.  The bias is entirely unfair, and promotion companies need to realize that this neither condones nor condemn drug use, as it is merely a tiny LED light.  The choice to partake in substance abuse is purely the decision of each individual, not that of an inanimate object.  Gloving does not deserve the negative media attention that it receives, and hopefully people realize that.