Life in Color: The Messy Truth

Life In Color, also known as “The World’s Largest Paint Party” is an annual event that visits Washington and features various electronic dance music (EDM) DJs where attendees are sprayed with multiple gallons of neon paint until the early hours of the morning.

This being my first rave, I didn’t know what to expect. In the days leading up I was definitely excited and anxious, but once I got to the venue I became overwhelmingly nervous. A big worry I had was for my car. The last thing I needed to have happen that night was for my car to be ticketed or towed. Especially because I was driving most of the people in the group that I went with. I also knew we were all going to be covered in paint and I didn’t want the inside of my car to get too dirty.

Because we didn’t want to pay $25 for parking, we all agreed it would be a better idea to park on the Mckinley Hill and walk down to the Tacoma Dome. Once my group and I got down the hill we were met with a long line of 12,000 fellow ravers. The line only made me more anxious in anticipating what was beyond the entrance, and it didn’t help that I really had to use the bathroom. As I approached the front I noticed a security checkpoint where officers checked I.D. and searched bags and shoes. This wasn’t surprising considering the fact that so many people try to sneak in illegal drugs, so it made sense that authorities placed a large bin at the front of the line as a dumping zone for attendees to willfully give up anything with no questions asked.

As soon as I entered the doors I was met with overwhelming vibrations of bass from the stage, but the only thing on my mind was finding a bathroom. After asking for directions I was met with another long line in an open room full of port-a-potties! To say the least, I was mortified. Not only did I feel like my bladder was going to explode but a few others waiting for their turn could care less because they had to go just as bad and were more than willing to cut me in line.

Once I met up with my group, we made our way to the front of the crowd. We got as close to the stage as possible and I was ready to have fun! It didn’t take long for the misery to begin. I could not fully enjoy the music because I was getting shoved every few minutes. Being the type of person that loves to dance, I didn’t appreciate being in a restricted environment with so many sweaty strangers rubbing up against me. It also didn’t help that people thought it was okay to smoke cigarettes inside the venue. I was already feeling claustrophobic, the last thing I needed was to inhale others’ secondhand smoke. I stuck it out as long as I could but eventually I just couldn’t take it and had to step outside. If it was up to me I would have left early, had I not driven my friends.

In all honesty, I don’t think Life In Color was the best idea as far as my first rave but I don’t regret the experience. It taught me that raves just aren’t my scene and it’s best that I spare myself the trouble. If you have not been to a rave yet and still want to go after reading this article, you have been warned: proceed with caution.

Illustration by Danielle Burch.

Illustration by Danielle Burch.

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