Insomniac Productions Returns to Dallas with Crush ft. The Chainsmokers
Insomniac will host a rave, “Crush”, in Dallas for the first time in five years.
Colorful lights shine and loud bass music plays from Cameron Siggers’ phone as he watches videos of Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Texas, one of the huge dance festival put on by Insomniac Productions. Electronic dance music fans, just like Cameron, have found a reason to celebrate. For the first time since the summer of 2011, Insomniac announced that it will be returning to Texas on February 13, 2016.
For many people, Insomniac is different. These productions are more than just shows. Ravers all over the United States travel for festivals put on by Insomniac because they know they will not be disappointed. Actually, Insomniac’s EDC Vegas 2014 sold out 60% of all their tickets in only one hour. Although tickets can range all the way up to $900 per festival, Insomniac fans stayed have always loyal.
Crush Dallas will have The Chainsmokers, Lost Kings, Slander and NGHTMRE on their debut lineup. These DJ’s that have played huge festivals like EDC and TomorrowWorld, and many Texas ravers are excited to have the opportunity to see them at a local Insomniac show.
“The quality of DJs that they get are the top ones,” said Nichole Ghormley, a local raver who attended Crush for her first time. “Their stage presence is amazing and it’s just a very nice atmosphere. Better than anything I’ve ever been to.”
But regardless of how the fans feel, the security and the venue that hosted the 2011 production feel different. After two people died and a dozen were hospitalized, Insomniac never returned.
For the first time in 5 years, Dallas will be one of the stops on the “Crush” tour, a traveling festival put on by Insomniac. South Side Ballroom in Dallas has decided to host the show, a big contrast from Fair Park, the last venue that held an Insomniac show.
One of the biggest concerns people have for this year is water accessibility. Usually Insomniac does not have a problem with water, offering free refill stations at almost all of their shows. But at South Side Ballroom, the water will be sold by the venue itself, not Insomniac, so if customers want water, they will have to pay around $5 for a bottle.
“If you want to spend five to seven dollars, yeah. You have to buy a water bottle every time. It gets really expensive,” Ghormley said.
South Side offers water coolers up in the barricade at the front for the people who are up at the front rail and cannot get out of the crowd. For everyone else, the only way to access water is to go to the bar and purchase it.
Another issue that is not being taken lightly is security. After the deaths from EDC 2011 were linked to drug-overdoses, Insomniac and the security team used at South Side Ballroom, D&L Entertainment Service, are taking big precautions this year.
Kevin Boettcher has been an employee at D&L Entertainment Services for almost two years and has worked hundreds of shows, ranging from rock to country to electronic. They are in charge of crowd control, keeping the crowd in order, making sure fights don’t break out, watching out for vandalism, and the most important task: substance control.
“We try to fix it before it becomes a problem. At EDM shows people are popping everything they can get they’re hands on,” Boettcher said. “You should see how many baggies I find after shows with pills still in them.”
This year, as Crush prepares to make it’s debut in Texas, the security at South Side ballroom is working hard to make sure this Insomniac production goes off without a hitch. As far as special training goes, once a year they prepare for situational awareness, spotting any problems, drugs or not, before it happens. The training will happen right before Crush this year.
“You can just tell that they try hard, in a good way,” Siggers said. “It’s the festival-goers choice to make those decisions. The promoter didn’t tell them to take drugs. They tell them NOT to take drugs.”
As Insomniac prepares for its return to The Lone Star State, people are working hard to make sure ravers have a good experience and that they can rebuild their name. Electronic music is a very important part of many young adults in Texas lives, and if all goes well with Crush, this may pave the way for more large-scale, quality productions in Texas.
“It’s important to me because I can be who I wanna be when I’m around people who also enjoy EDM. It’s uplifting,” Nichole said. “Time has gone by since the whole big ordeal happened and I think they have definitely improved their ways to prevent things like that. This is going to be a great experience.”