Author: Justin Mckibben
The wild world of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and the rave culture that surrounds it is often perceived as synonymous with drugs and alcohol. People assume that these shows are meant for doing drugs in order to enhance the live experience and heighten the senses to create a feeling of escapism. Although this may be a true narrative in some circles within the EDM culture, it is also another stigma that isn’t always the law of rave-land.
The stereotype is often used to define the dance world as a whole, but is not every regular raver’s reality. Many people in recovery still have a close connection to the music they love, and bask in the full immersion of off-the-hook crowds. Sobriety isn’t just meant for those who enjoy being home-bodies.
Recently, a famous EDM DJ known as Bassnectar took to social media to share a story and a strong message of the highly underestimated recovery community with the EDM culture.
Background on Bassnectar
For a little background, Bassnectar is an American DJ and record producer from the San Francisco Bay Area who performs regularly at various music festivals, including:
- Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
The artist finished in 4th place in the 2013 America’s Best DJ competition, and while he has not toured for several years he has hosted numerous events of his own. His “family gatherings” are two or three day bass music events, named BassCenter with location changing every year. As of April 2017, the East Coast family gathering is to be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event has since been dubbed Basslantic City.
Sober Fan Reaches Out
Recently a fan on Twitter messaged Bassnectar asking for help to sell his Basslantic City ticket because of a recent decision to be clean and sober. Bassnectar took a screen-shot of the message and shared the fans concern, which included that:
“I really want to go to Basslantic City but all my friends drink and do drugs so I don’t wanna put myself in that position as of right now…”
The fan was hesitant to be put in a tricky position due to being surrounded by friends who would be using drugs and drinking. It is refreshing to see someone who is trying to clean up take such a big step in making difficult but responsible choices. Still, Bassnectar wanted to show more than just compassion for sobriety; he wanted to give an proactive message of support to any fans struggling with a similar decision.
Bassnectar Makes Social Media Statement For Sober Fans
The DJ was quick to give the fan his congratulations immediately for taking a stand in changing his life. Not only did he give props to the fan, but Bassnectar responded with a lengthy message of support and offered to help connect him with other fans who feel the same way:
In his message to the fan he states:
“You most definitely DON’T need drugs to fit in, and also there are so many [THOUSANDS] of people who will be in Atlantic City with us this weekend, who won’t be abusing drugs…”
He went on to offer to connect the fan with sober contacts in the EDM community who would be there.
Following the conversation, Bassnectar took to his own Facebook account and made a long post about his support for clean and sober fans in the EDM crowd. He spoke at length about his own friends and peers, and about how his path has led him to focus more on health and clarity.
“Without judgments, I just wanted to share my own perspective that while it’s an amazing feeling to get high off the music (and ‘the vibe’) of a live music experience, it by no means needs to go hand-and-hand with drug abuse, or even with taking drugs or drinking.”
While Bassnectar did admit to having a glass of wine once in a while, and that he himself isn’t a recovery avatar, he went on to share his own experience and opinions on how he likes to keep clear, stating:
“I shared that from my own experience I prefer a clear head, a healthy body, and a nervous system with heightened sensitivity – I prefer health over ‘fun’”
Bassnectar went on to explain that while he had no intention of shaming any of his fans that do indulge or choose to party in more intense ways, he did advocate for building on the community of sober music lovers who show up to big concerts. He did share his own perspective on how the culture of getting high at concerts pressures people into doing things they shouldn’t do, but that he believed as an artist getting “high on the music” was a beautiful thing.
“Also, I just have to say, as an artist, I have zero interest in seeing my fans get ‘f**ked up’ – I don’t glorify violence of any kind, and I think that reckless drug abuse can be a form of violence.”
“I think it can be dangerous to ingest various chemicals in order to get a buzz. It may not ALWAYS be dangerous, but there is a risk! And in my opinion it’s not worth the risk – I have lost several dear friends to drug overdoses, and I have seen several people’s lives SHATTERED by drug abuse, by alcohol abuse, or by not living with a deep gratitude for health, and the care that comes with it – so I hope to inspire that care in anyone reading this.”
The Dj then concluded his message with:
“So if you are thinking of attending without drugs or alcohol and want to make a new friend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with other bass heads who have the same attitude and will be there this weekend.
Again, NO JUDGEMENTS: we love you *ALL* and we are thrilled for the wild adventures that are about to take place in just a few days…. travel safe!”
Looking at the post and the comments on Bassnectar’s Facebook, over a thousand people have shared the post, with hundreds of comments showing support and solidarity for those in the EDM community who are recovering alcoholics and addicts, or simply people who are choosing to live a clean and sober life. Even specific groups like Hummingbirds (BassHeads for sobriety) reached out to offer a fellowship of strong sober support for the fans.
It is awesome to see advocacy and awareness from an artist so popular in a genre so frequently depicted as appealing to drug users and hard partiers. The stereotype is so common even among people who regularly attend the shows, but there is a large community of people who enjoy music festivals while being sober. You don’t need drugs or alcohol to have an awesome experience.
Music festivals are a unique experience, but some people use them as an excuse to abuse drugs that can dull them to that experience and put themselves at serious risk. There is a way to enjoy the exciting parts of life without getting high, and real recovery means learning how. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
In areas where bar crawls were once a standard weekend ritual, a new trend is taking over, and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. The trend is sober juice crawls, and millennials are flocking all over the country to celebrate. All this non-alcoholic fun has resulted in researchers pondering, is sober becoming the new drunk?
Juice crawls are only one of many booze-free events in the US catering towards millennials who want to ditch the booze for clarity. New York is a prime location for Juice Crawls. At one crawl in the big apple, participants forego alcohol shots in favor for juice shots with names like “Dr. Feelgood” and “Kalefornia.”
The Guardian highlighted this trend by visiting a monthly juice crawl event where participants hop from different shops and sample 19 flavors of juices in a 2 oz. plastic cup. This event is just one of many that have popped up in major US cities to cater to the millennials who are now saying no to alcohol.
The people who go to these events are not all recovering addicts. In fact, it is quite the contrary. These juice crawl groups are full of people who would rather engage in mindfulness activities and indulge in healthy juices then wake up with a hangover. While in the past, cutting booze would have been a significant social change, now events like these are more mainstream.
In addition to these crawls, there are now sober day races, alcohol-free bars, boozeless dinner, and alcohol-free dance parties. There is even a sober social network and a dating app for sober people that became so popular, it temporarily shut down.
In these tough economic times, many millennials are opting to stay away from alcohol. A recent study on millennials in five countries found that 75% of those surveyed drink in moderation when they go out at night.
Auzeen Saedi is a clinical psychologist that spends lots of time with younger patients. She mentioned in an article the biggest fear millennials have about the future is fear:
“I think the pressures are higher because [young] people see that even if you have a great degree, that does not guarantee you a job by any means.”
All of this uncertainty is due to the financial strains millennials have observed the past few years, and understanding that nothing is guaranteed upon graduation. Fortunately, mindfulness and yoga have become extremely trendy, and millennials often use these activities for stress-relief.
“Right now there are all these yogi Instagram celebrities with millions of followers … and they’re not drinking beer, they’re drinking juice,” she says. “Mindfulness, in a way, is the new church.”
Spirituality is becoming a big practice among millennials. Many are opting for meditation retreats to connect to something higher. The great thing about these retreats is that they reduce stress, and allow the ability to go on vacation with a purpose without fear of being intoxicated. The trend has saturated social media. On Instagram, there are celebrities with millions of follows. They are not drinking beer. They are not promoting the drunken party life. They are exercising, meditating and drinking juice.
Of course, not everyone loves this trend. Ross Haenfler became a straight-edge punk in the late 80s and was part of a group that embraced drug and alcohol in favor of political activism. Haenfler believes these new sober groups need to have a bigger message that fights more significant issues such as consumerism, homophobia, and racism. Otherwise, he questions the motive behind it all and whether or not people are participating in it due to the sudden popularity.
Overall, the clean healthy living movement is full of those who rather opt for glowing skin and yoga classes than party like it’s 1999. For most, it is far from a political movement. But regardless of the reasons people do it, more and more people are finding sober outings a more enjoyable experience for the mind, body, and soul than boozing up all night ever was.
The culture of drinking is changing, and more and more people would rather socialize through healthy activities than using drugs and alcohol as a conversation starter. If you are struggling, remember there is life after recovery. It is up to you to discover what that looks like. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Friday night is not just for the people who want to get wasted at their favorite club or hole-in-the-wall saloon. Sober people, and even those individuals just looking for something outside the typical bar scene, have a unique brand of ‘turnt up’ that we enjoy. There is so much to do in the world, and so much more than a black-out binge can be accomplished. One person with vision in Michigan took an opportunity to provide another alternative for the sober community. Sober people gotta have fun too.
The abstinent citizen or recovering alcoholic in Ann Arbor, Michigan now have an option that comes in the form of Brillig Dry Bar, a new booze-free pop-up that serves a whole range of non-alcoholic beverages, along with some food, music and fellowship. And judging by interviews their opening night was a raging success.
Brillig Bar Back-Story
Nic Sims is a former chef in the Ann Arbor area who says that she quit drinking 20 years ago, and recently has decided to start the pop-up bar in her husband’s business, which is locally known as Might Good Coffee Bar.
One thing about this enthusiastic entrepreneur, she is an active member of the local recovery community. Sims said that the recovery community has been important to her since her teens, and that it actually includes many of her family members and friends, and this is a creative way to give back to that community.
Nic Sims says she wanted to offer non-drinkers a place to have fun on a weekend night without the ever-present TVs and alcohol in a bar. Her goal was to provide what she described as,
“all the fun of going out with your mates in a safe place where you can drink whatever you like and have no regrets.”
Friday, December 5th during the downtown Ann Arbor Midnight Madness they unleashed their new enterprise on the community, with some live jazz from the Lenny Swanson Trio.
The bar’s name is a reference to Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Some of the menu’s popular highlights include:
- Vernors Cranberry Sour, representing Michigan’s favorite ginger ale
- Brooklyn Egg Cream
- Pomegranate-Rosemary Soda
This past Friday was the official opening night for Brillig Dry Bar, and the turn-out was tremendously enthusiastic. The new pioneer said the event was one of the most diverse nights she has ever experienced in the Ann Arbor area. Customers ranging from former drinkers and pregnant mothers, to college students and teens left various comment cards celebrating the atmosphere and unique ambition of the bar.
The Future of the Alcohol Free Bar
Sims stated she has every intention to make this a regular occurrence of at least a minimum of once a month. While there was a slight level of backlash in the community from people assuming that the establishment aimed to take some sort of self-righteous stance on prohibition, the creators insisted that have no intention of being ‘anit-alcohol’ but simple wish to offer alternatives. She added,
“And I love everybody, so why not invite them over?”
The next Brillig Dry Bar event is supposed to be scheduled for December 26th, so hopefully this exciting and innovative experience will have an equally as successful repeat performance. It is always nice for those trying to steer clear of a beer to have a variety of ways to enjoy the start of the weekend.
This kind of ‘dry bar’ could quickly become a hot spot for those trying to have Friday night festivities without going out of their way to spend too much money, yet still be able to socialize and relish in an rousing atmosphere. And a coffee shop is the perfect location for this particular crowd, because most people in recovery know a good coffee shop is never too hard to find.
So order up a stiff glass of whatever fresh club soda, or a round of espresso shots, and enjoy the band and the company your keeping. There are all types of sober spots out there, and with the right people and strong sobriety, any place is one anyway.
While some are able to celebrate their recovery, and stand to help improve the recovery community, others still suffer. A ‘dry bar’ is a place for you to feel safe in sobriety, and a path to that kind of recovery community begins with making a choice to change. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
If you are a recovering addict or alcoholic, you may feel that it is difficult if not impossible to have fun without drinking alcohol. However people can have a perfectly good time and enjoy social situations without drinking alcohol. Every single day families and groups of friends have great fun without a drop of alcohol.
Find places in your area where other people have fun without drinking alcohol and avoid places where you know there will be alcohol. Water parks, beaches and public parks, community events, movie theaters and civic theaters are all drug and alcohol-free environments. Seek out these places, and seek out friends who won’t or don’t drink. They can help you stay sober by example and by holding you accountable.
Good old-fashioned conversation is highly satisfying and usually includes lots of good stories, funny anecdotes and jokes. Get with friends, have a meal and stay to talk about the good old times. Find a friend or group of friends to engage in a physical activity with. Take up yoga, cycling, jogging or join a group that not only exercises but also socializes together. Find a hobby. If possible find a group through an AA program in your area that is devoted to not drinking, perhaps is even made up of members who have been through rehab. If you are going out on the town with friends, be the proactive person who volunteers to be the designated driver. Don’t wait for others to direct the group to situations that might compromise you. Make positive suggestions about how and where to spend time together. How to have fun without drinking alcohol includes but is not limited to:
- going to the movies or even better renting a movie at Blockbuster or Redbox (in most Wal-Mart stores)…
- getting some exercise by roller blading, biking, walking, hiking, skiing, playing basketball, football, volleyball, tennis…
- working on a house project like gardening, painting or redecorating…
- hanging out with your friends at the mall, beach, park, skating ring, or at home…
- doing everyday things like enjoying vacations, reading a book, playing your guitar, writing a song, planning and celebrating birthdays, get togethers, picnics, anniversaries…
and the list goes on and on.
Most of the time recovering alcoholics and addicts end up finding that they inherently know how to have fun without drinking alcohol. This is one of the many gifts of working a 12-step program and finding a fellowship around you. Also if you happen to be in the Delray Beach, FL area you are in luck because this is the recovery capital of the world. This means that there are plenty of people around and things to do to show you how to have fun without drinking alcohol.
Anyone can have fun without drinking alcohol doing pretty much anything its really just a mindset and the ability to link other activities with pleasure instead of drinking alcohol. Most of the time alcoholics and addicts will find that they have more fun without drinking alcohol then they did when they were drinking. Without drinking alcohol there is no risk of a hangover, blackout, jails, consequences etc. Its good, clean fun and its much more carefree.
If you or someone you know wants to learn how to have fun without drinking alcohol please don’t hesitate to call 800-951-6135.