Who Are the Conscious Crew?
By: Lauren Royer
Photos Courtesy of Leo
As we enter into a world where glitter, bass, and sweat are plentiful- beyond the beautiful people, the blissed-out dancers, and a smiling pumped-up DJ... there is a crew of folks focused on the safety of those who are unaware of the possible dangers at a rave. It's easy to get swept away with the beauty, the strange, and the all-mighty beat. So easy in fact, that people can exhaust themselves or dehydrate quickly. In some cases, if they have taken any drugs- overdoses / bad trips can spiral someone into a dark place. Luckily, the Conscious Crew is out and about with trained volunteers (most of which came from the rave world) offering a number of ways to support people just trying to get lost in the moment. To learn more about the efforts of this non-profit group, I interviewed Leo, a CC member and official rave mum.
What inspired you to join?
Well as you know I am a total rave mom. Pretty much always have been. Raving changed my life for the better and I have met so many amazing people because of it including my girlfriend and my rave families. I really wanted to give back to the scene that gave me back myself and changed my life.
Can you share some memorable experiences you’ve had while working?
Ok so we sign NDA's every shift we work so I cannot share the details on what I have experienced on shift. I have had some very memorable shifts and I have had some really quiet ones. But I always come away so full and grateful (albeit exhausted) to get to be a part of the scene from the other side and help ensure everyone had a safe and fun night.
What are signs someone is in trouble and needs help?
Some signs someone may not be ok and needs help are trouble standing/sitting, inability or trouble speaking clearly, spaced out/glazed over look. Obviously someone who is passed out or having a seizure needs medical attention right away. Others get overwhelmed and just need to step out of the crowd. USC shows offer a Chill Zone that is staffed with a crew of CC members to help people who don't need medical attention but need a place to hang out and decompress a bit.
What misconceptions about rave culture and safety would you be able to speak to or correct?
Oh man I could really get on a soap box about this one! Ravers are not there to get fucked up. Of course you have outliers and of course you have mishaps. Overall however, we are there for the music, the vibes, and the community. Most of us were or are outcasts in someway; a bit different and don't fit into mainstream society. We come together to celebrate our individuality and connection through this amazing music we all love. We find a freedom to express ourselves fully at shows that we generally don't find anywhere else.
What can rave and festival goers do to keep themselves safe?
This is so important and it starts before the show. Proper sleep, hydration, and nutrition go a long way to having a good night or fully enjoying a festival. Resting and hydrating leading up to a show can help you dance well into the night or get you through a multiday festival. If you are going to partake in substances get it beforehand and test it. At least you can then know for sure what you are taking. Do small doses and listen to your body. No matter what drink water through the night. It sucks to have to pay $5-6 for a water bottle but it is a small price to pay to keep you hydrated and safe. *Pro tip: hang onto that water bottle and refill it throughout the night. If the venue allows camelbaks even better. Invest in one and it makes staying hydrated even easier and keeps your hands free all night.* Afterwards, Pedialyte or other electrolyte supplements really help replenish what you lose sweating on a dance floor all night. A good wholesome breakfast the next morning goes a long way in helping recover as well. Feeling tired or stiff or sore? Take a break, get off your feet for a bit and let your body rest. If you really aren't feeling well or feel like something is wrong get help. CC is there for that very reason. We are not cops or venue staff; you won't get in trouble for anything you may have done. We just want to get you any help you might need. Washington also has a Good Samaritan law. You or your friends will not get in trouble for anything if you seek medical attention for yourself or a friend.
How can anyone get involved with conscious crew?
Applying is easy! Medical experience is a bonus but not necessary. You do need to be CPR certified to work a show. If someone is interested they can go to https://www.conscious-crew.org/#intro and apply there.
From the CC website: "Conscious Crew's mission is to powerfully inspire an enduring culture of safety and wellness in the dance music community." We are there to keep people safe and teach people a message of safety and responsibility. We call this The Message. Party safely, stay hydrated and look out for one another. We are a bunch of ravers there to keep other ravers safe.