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Why the Electric Forest Alcohol Policy Doesn’t Matter

Assuming you’ve been in contact with the outside world in the past 48 hours or so, then you’ve heard the rumor that Electric Forest is banning outside alcohol from the 2016 event. As ticket holders are voicing their rage while scrambling to figure out how to sneak 96 beers through a security check point, few are actually taking the time to research the truth behind it and if it actually makes a difference to begin with.

For starters, let’s get something straight – outside alcohol is NOT being banned from Electric Forest…at least not fully. Here’s the guideline from the official website:

Campground Alcohol Policy

You must be 21+ to consume alcohol in the campgrounds. A reasonable amount of unopened beer and wine (limited to 1 case of beer and one box of wine per person), will be permitted to be brought onto your camping area. If, however, in the security’s judgment anyone in the vehicle is intoxicated, or the alcohol is open, then the organizers reserve the right to confiscate the alcohol. Kegs, glass, liquor, or vending of alcohol is not permitted in the campgrounds, and alcohol may not be brought from the campsites into the festival venue.

Although it’s not the first time a policy like this has been implemented at a festival (previous years were limited to 3 cases of beer) and it definitely won’t be the last, what’s been getting under the skin of the dance world the past few days has been one of two things (or both):

  • The organizers informed ticket holders to the new limits of policy AFTER tickets went on sale.
  • While EF bans most outside alcohol, it will still be available for purchase inside the festival.

Right off the bat this seems like an obvious cash grab. By any standards, when you ban something only to turn around and sell it on the other side of a security checkpoint, people are going to be pissed off, and rightfully so. It’s the same reason we sneak in candy to the movies or why patrons get angry when a bar makes them buy a bottle of water. But since none of us have any say in how business can be conducted on private property, we should get over it. Because there’s nothing we can do.

Sure, a policy like this is going to ruffle some feathers. Search times will be longer. People will binge drink if they do manage to sneak any in. And without fail, less booze will lead to a spike in drug use. Is this something the organizers of Electric Forest have taken into consideration? More than likely, but that still doesn’t help the fact that there are bigger battles to be fought in that war; mainly against tragedies like the RAVE act. But all of the booze and drugs brings us to a bigger topic at hand – can we not just enjoy ourselves sober?

Who needs drugs?

We get it. The team at DMNW likes to raise a celebratory glass just like everyone else. But if you’re going to let something as trivial as not being able to bring enough alcohol to kill Andre the Giant ruin your festival experience, then sell your ticket and spend it on something you truly enjoy. We’re not saying it’s right or wrong, but in the end it’s their party and they’re pretty much free to set whatever rules they want. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go. But we all know how amazing it is on the other side of those gates, and that has nothing to do with what we put in our bodies.

If you want a prime example of how successful a festival can be while banning alcohol, just look at Shambhala, where for over a decade they haven’t allowed any alcohol through security. Does that mean it doesn’t exist on the ranch? Hardly. But it does cut down on the probability of attendees creating the dangerous combination of mixing booze and party drugs.

Alcohol is a drug just like any other. It just happens to be one that doesn’t play well with others. And for some people who don’t like to dabble in the world of illegal intoxicants, it’s not really fair to them that they can’t knock back a few of their favorite brand. But does that really matter? There will still be alcohol, there will still be party favors, there will still be music, and there will still be everything we hold near and dear to Electric Forest. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and accept things the way they are. Besides, it’s always nice to remember what you heard – not how wasted you got.

Does the new policy change your opinion on attending Electric Forest? Share your thoughts below or let us know on Facebook & Twitter!