Event Guide

Updated 1 year ago


2022 Update:

I still see an arrest right at the top when I google someone who got pulled over after a festival a few years ago.
If you organize a festival, public or private, it is worth your time to get everyone’s phone number and put them in a group so u can mass text them in case… many things, but especially an emergency such as the cops stopping and searching cars on their way out
This may seem like overkill and would only be used rarely. But an ounce of prevention can save thousands in lawyer fees and a lifetime of criminal records
Yes, you could do email, telegram, signal, Whatsapp, or whatever. But I think those can get very spammy. More people would see an emergency text.
The key would be to only use it in extremis and not treat it as a promo list.
I say all this without knowing anything about announcement only texts or limits but I’m sure there is an S.O.P.
As a party attendee, arrive early. Beat the rush. And afterwards, you should always, always assume you’ll get pulled over after a public event. With drug dogs.


What I would recommend is start small. You’re literally out in the woods. Grab a few people and have regular campouts with a boombox and party favors. Grow from there. Get a core of like-minded friends. At some point have people pitch in for a little generator (They start super small and cheap, and can even be solar powered) and a little bigger system. I’ve seen a few online. Charlie has been doing something like this in Brooklyn. As the endeavor grows, the core stays.
This is what I would do. This is completely opposite the way most approach it, you know, paying thousands to fly in rock stars, pay insurance, deposits, and all that. but it’s a lot more fun, organic, healthy and self-sustaining. And you won’t have happen what happens to everyone ultimately, you won’t take a huge financial hit for that ONE party that bombs.
Plus, the ultimate drawback is always gonna be cops. Cops are infinitely more civil to campers than they are “ravers.”
You will lose out on a few who are afraid of bugs and dirt. But frankly, I see that as a positive.
And the best of all, if/when you stop, you have those social bonds that remain forever. This way IMHO is all upside and no downside. Resist the urge for your ego to have X-Dream play 😃
And when it gets cold, get people together to rent an isolated ski house and invite everyone you know. Charge a little if you want to pay for a maid.
That’s it.

Click here to download a list of NYC venues that have been used in the past.


– Determine a DJ lineup time sheet
– If getting an out of town DJ, try to share travel costs with organizers in other cities.
-Find someone to do door, coat checks, refreshments
-At the door, get everyone’s emails or photos, even ID photo photocopies.
-Make a DJ Set List and post it near the DJ Booth
-Get some volunteers for cleanup, 1 crew before and 1 after


-Utilize all local email lists
-Have the record stores (Home of Trance, Satellite, etc) agree to sell tickets, letting them keep a small cut. Get their logos, put the stores on the flyer.
-Make flyers and put a stack in record stores everywhere
-If an event is commercial, put an ad in Hebrew in the local Israeli newspaper

Send press releases to Time Out and Village Voice. clubs@timeoutny.com listings@villagevoice.com, and make sure to include:
Email address:
Contact No.:
Publicity Company/Press Contact No.:
Event Name and Type(i.e. Theater, Music, etc.):
Event Description:
Venue and Address:
Event Date(s) and Time(s):
Ticket/Reservation/Info Phone No.(s):


If you have to put out money, ask for donations. We used to ask for $2 at the door, but we would publicize this, and if folks didn’t have the cash or didn’t want to pay, that was cool. Once we broke even, we stopped asking and explained why we weren’t charging anymore. This is also a good way to avoid shade, as folks who feel respected return respect. One time these 4 shadeballs from jersey rolled into one of our parties. After such an explanation, they were chill and added to a good vibe.

Always explain the situation and what you are trying to do: to the ds; the people at the place; the folks who walk in; each other…once people see you aren’t making any money, they get a lot more likely to donate time and funds.

Pool sound resources from within the scene and attendees so as to not have to rent sound gear (usu. very possible)

Find the construction stores that have low-rent generators for a Sat aft / Mon AM rental (not a big cost anyway, but worth trying)

Find DJ’s who will play for free (or, if there is cost associated with their set (transportation/equipment/etc), then at or close to the level of expenses). I probably offended a bunch of DJ’s, but hey, if we’re talking about a FREE party where the organizers are providing free water, fruit, chai, etc., then this is the way I see it… if we’re talking about a ‘name’ act, then that can be a different story…

Donations for an outdoor are prolly the most likely to be received on the way in or out, and not during

If you can, align a commercial party with a charitable cause such as a yoga center or whatnot, and split the proceeds. You may even be able to have a benefit in the place itself.


Find people with similar values who are willing to put up with the time, effort and energy required to realize these goals. These people come from ALL walks of life, and at surface may not seem to have a lot in common. Probe deeper. Then smile. 🙂

“Distribute the workload” — try to have a good number of people to help with setup, and have KNOWN ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES for said people during the evening and night

Keep the setup crew from having to be the cleanup crew; beg, borrow and plead to have a few people (generally the type who show up at 2 or 3am, and/or the really responsible folks) who have NOT been up since the LAST 6am to help with cleanup…

A few thoughts on the topic: Throwing a DIY party is not very expensive by any means, especially if you already have the gear or can find it for free (and if you have a vast enough network of “friends of friends”, it’s not really hard). It is somewhat time-consuming and logistically challenging, though, but given enough motivated people, it’s a no-brainer.

It’s all about motivation and participation — if everyone does a tiny part (like taking one’s own garbage back from the park… come on folks, I’m totally cool with carrying the damn sound system on my back up and down those dark stairs, but I’m really not cool with picking up somebody else’s trash) anyway… sorry for the rant… where was I. Oh yeah – motivation and participation.

Personally, I’ve noticed that some of the best times I’ve had were at parties which I helped with in one way or another… there’s just a certain feeling of achievement and pride in what I’m doing to bring everyone’s experience up one notch.

So, the next time somebody offers to throw a bridge party – offer your help! I mean, it’s nice to come to the park and find the sound system already alive and kicking’, but it’s even more exciting to see the party happen from ground zero, right in front of your own eyes.

And yes, having separate setup and cleanup crews is essential – I was practically dead by the time the music stopped, and all I was able to do is grab my CDJs and headphones and “drag my tortured, withered body” to the train station. I felt sort of guilty for not sticking around and helping with the cleanup, but I probably wouldn’t have been much help with that, anyway.

Provide the tools and a good party, and folks will help out. once i emerged from a k session and was rather unable to move, and the first thing i saw was 4 ravers pushing around brooms and dumping all the trash into garbage bags that we had left out. given that we had to completely clear out the house and make it look like nothing had happened within 2 hours, this was a good thing. and no one has asked them to do anything.

Payback. if someone helps out, recognize them on your next flyer or shout them out when someone is on the mic. most people don’t care about money as much as recognition. this is something you should have learned in kindergarten.

Payback 2. whenever we had money left over from donations, we would take the sleepless squad out for breakfast or else order out and let any kid still around with records to get on the decks while we ate…for many, this is exciting enough to make sure that they would help out next time too…


A goody bag upon entrance which included candy, a little furry stuffed animal and my personal favorite… a coupon book that included free hugs, back rubs etc.

Free water or make the price of bottled water reasonable!!!, free Kool-Aid!!!!!, 1) get a 5 block of dry ice. and put it in a barrel of water. fresh fruit, an outside area to chill in (if its not to cold), plenty of ventilation, ice machine……,

Buy large water vessels (2.5 gallon spigot-feed cartons) and ask people to bring cups. (you will still need to supply many of them). [One idea here is to have good, cheap water (a lot of stores now have dispensers for like 20 cents/gallon; if you have good water from your faucet (NON-NYC residents), go with it!… with this water, bring a bunch of cheap cups, enough for everyone… make sure this is all visible… then, for those who want their own pleasing bottle of fresh Evian, fine, $2/bottle, which helps to defray other costs. We have yet to do this, and I don’t know if we will, but it seems like a neat way to satisfy everyone…]

Sam’s Club. learn it, live it, love it. Buy inexpensive bulk food items, such as a LARGE crate of oranges ($30 – $35 sometimes, depending on season), or bananas, or the best healthy item that would appeal to a bunch of freaks at 4am that is in season for a reasonable price. We found clementines once. Yes. 🙂 Watermelon is messy but amazingly appealing for sweetness and hydration properties at, say, 7am. Place these items on a large table, and occasionally walk an armful out through the crowd for people to grab from… this is not a place to try and charge $$.


Talk to the neighbors…they not only can be dissuaded from calling the cops (but instead calling u direct if they have a problem) but often they like the idea and want to help out. I found this to be most common amongst hispanics and ex-hippies (west philly has rather large populations of both)…i once mowed an elderly neighbor’s lawn and bought him a pair of earplugs. In return he promised to go to sleep early and wake up late.

Never put an address on a mass distributed flyer

Make the attendees go to certain pints where they are frisked, then transported to the event.

As everything is so illegal over here.. we always have an E or an acid included in the price..you get it on your tongue when u enter…if u take it, your probably not an undercover cop )

Love as always…with pill the under the tongue at the entrance thing the hardcore cops would do their duty to “bust this up and save these kids so one day they might even want to join the squad” then after about an hour of Hugh Sharpe’s driving trance, they would discover the magic of a glowstick, become a 28 year old candy raver, and would quit the force the next day (they’d e rolling in by 3pm or so…) and join Spiral Tribe, or, if mulleted, the Dead or Phish tours… or, at least, stop beating their wives, girlfriends, blacks, and each other at lame-o coke bars.

Or you could put DMSO in a water gun with LSD and shoot at cops – will absorb through skin.


(that u don’t have to pay for) Impossible in Manhattan.

Actually, there was one and quite a number of people chipped in moneywise, I believe. There was even one enthusiastic person who came up to me BEFORE we got the collection jar going and asked me who’s paid for and set up all the stuff and gave me a $20, saying that he is having the time of his life and was generally very very nice.


Fluorescent plastic rods are a blast. Strobes and lasers are a better highlight than a steady thing. Christmas lights that you can get for like 5 bucks a string. You can fit them all into glass heads from Pier One. Also make sure you block out the windows with silver emergency blankets.


If you can get one, try to get a co2 tank with balloons. that can be fun too.


Kinda pricey but air castles, Airwalks, swings ….. blowup furniture (you can get blacklite sensitive, that would be awesome!)… fake fur rugs on the floor (gotta be fake!!!!) …..AND you could have a foam room!! there’s a club in Sydney that puts on regular foam parties (yeah i know it’s DCM ok?)…what they do is fill the dance floor with this biodegradable foam that tastes like bubblegum and everyone dances in it. It comes up to your armpits (even over your head in some places) and the point is to wear as little clothing as possible (ok so that’s their regular dress code)…but anyway, that’d be way too difficult, i just got excited. Me and a friend sat on a beanbag at the same time in a club once…, a trapeze setup it was not very high off the ground but had this huge cushion type airbag underneath. Include barf bag for E heads.


An enchanted forest theme…., You can have fairy lights everywhere and poles cover in ivy and fairies everywhere who blow bubbles. And a really dark chillout area – like the spooky part of a forest.


Get a bunch of rolled up sheet plastic, iron the seams, and blow a fan into it. It makes a little house. Works great indoors or outdoors.


The root cause of the problem, to me, seems that the emphasis on what creates a “good” event is very male-oriented. Yes, I realize that there are women who are ‘ardkore into the latest releases and the most full-on, dark, twisted sounds, but contrary to the bleating on this list, they’re not the majority — in any scene, from psy-trance to polkak0re. Most of the girls I’ve spoken with, and many of the more “with-it” guys, realize that good music & a good sound system should be completely taken for granted when going to a party. That is only the first step, and yet most promoters focus all of their energy on it, and on the rare occasions they get it right, stop there and think their job is over. Bullshit!

If you wish to create a harmonious gender balance at your event, it is vital that your organizational team is itself gender-balanced. A good balance of guys, gals, sassy fags, and bull dykes will always create a more inspiring shindig than 5 Dudes in Hoodies smoking cigarettes around the coffin. Let the dudes focus on what they’re good at – fucking up the sound balance and ruining the 2am – 4am timeslot, while the rest work to create a more interactive environment.

I know there really isn’t much room for choice in NY, but given the chance, venue choice can make or break an event. The sound should be good ‘n proper in the main room, but not bleed into any secondary areas – there should be a reasonably well lighted (not fluorescent, not UV, something low-key) and quiet area where people can congregate and talk. At outdoor events, there should be shelter from the sun & wind, and variation in the surroundings – rock formations in the desert, clearings in the forest, coral reefs on the ocean floor. A certain promoter in LA has an annoying penchant for large windswept vistas covered in scrub no more than 2 feet high — I no longer attend any of his events. Indoor events should always offer something to break up the monotony and allow participation, and an outdoor area should always be available (again, this might not apply in NY, where it is butt-cold 6 months out of the year).

Entertainment should not begin and end with the music — out here, there has been an upsurge in circus-style festivities. Stiltwalkers, fire-shenanigans (not a good idea indoors, and not a good idea anywhere if they suck, which most do), marching bands, etc. Sixth-Sense did very well out here with it’s Psycho Dance Show interlude, something which the Dream Theatre has taken to new levels — I’m not all that in favor of breaking the dance space at prime-time, but other people don’t seem to mind too much, and both those promoters achieved a good gender balance at all their events.

As for lighting, put a bit of effort into it if you’re going to do it at all. NO: Strobe lights, Fog Machines, cheap “Intelligent” lighting, cheesy Dr. Paradise style goa-collages, porn/war/violence video footage. YES: Well, it’s hard to describe, the good stuff can take on many forms. If you can’t afford/be bothered to spend a lot of effort on lighting, make it minimal – dark dancefloor, low-lit communal areas /chillout room.

If your parties become known for DudeVibe, it can be very hard to break the cycle. Take the above things into consideration, but consider changing the name of your team, switching things around can always make a difference.

This is just a primer, there are many other things that can be done. However, having met you, I think you’re aware of many of these things already. The scene you’re involved in, however, doesn’t seem very open to innovation. When people are too uptight to get down on the dancefloor at an outdoor day party, things are pretty bad.

david from l.a.

Burning Man Neuron Head

I saw a DJ with this at Burning Man. Fill a model of a man’s head made out of glass (Pier 1, $14) with Christmas lights – adjustable, 8-mode.

Trance Banners

Back to Guatemala or something like that…. the store is, if I remember correctly, on 7th between b and c. IF not there, then very close to there. I know there are a lot of Indian restaurants right by it, hope that helps. This store sells large cloth banners similar to the ones they have at House Of Trance.

Psionic Repeater

One of the big problems people who get into psionics encounter is that there never seems enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs doing. Even with the capacity of these instruments to transmit on their own without the operator watching, there are times when you want to be sure that your specific thought message is going out.

Fortunately there is a very simple way of doing that. You put it on tape. One of the things we absolutely know about psychic energy is that electromagnetic waves act as carriers. You can send a thought over a wire, over a beam of light, over a radio signal. You can even record it on magnetic tape.

I know this sounds bizarre, but it is true. In my early days of working with this idea I Hooked myself into a tape recorder much the same way as I am about to describe and concentrated on one word. I then gave the tape to a friend who hooked herself to her cassette recorder, played the tape back and then spelled out the word on a Ouija board. We progressed with this until we were able to send messages back and forth on tape.

Now this system is not so much for that as for adaption to radio transmission.

So you will need:

A headband like the one described for use with the simple radio adaption.

A patch cable with a 3.5 mm plug on one end and two alligator clips on the

Other (usually easily found at Radio Shack)

A cassette recorder and blank cassette

The modified walkie talkie.

The first thing you have to do is decide what it is you wish to send. In this case, let us assume you are going to visualize a new car. Now you could do this very simply without any special equipment, but you never seem to have time to just sit and hold the image. There are too many things to do at home, too many distractions. This being the case, you make one time to sit for about a half hour and just visualize the car you want, what it looks like, what it feels like the drive, the annoyance of your mother-in-law because she wants you to spend the money on new furniture, all the fun things that come with a new car.

Hook the alligator clips to the foil plate on the headband and plug the Wire into the microphone input on the cassette recorder.

Set the machine to record and sit and do your visualization for the length of the tape, in this case 30 minutes. After you have done this, when you get home plug cable into the earphone jack of the cassette recorder and attach the clips to the screws sticking out of the walkie talkie. That’s why they are there in the first place, to attach things.

Turn on the walkie talkie and clamp down the transmit button.

Then all you need do is play the tape while you go about your other business and the signal will automatically be put out into the aether to bring you the result you desire. Repeat this as often as you wish.

This system can be used with any form of visualization or message transmission. Experiment with it and see what you get.

Make your own Light/Sound Glasses

A really simplistic L/S machine kit is described in the current April issue of EN. Uses simple recording of a tone on audio tape to drive the eyegoggles flashrate and so each “program” would be a recorded tape. Very low-tech but should be effective.

Here was our checklist for the DMT in NYC:
Solicit Funds on theDMT list
Determine Date & Location
Create Poll
Vote for DJs
Notify all DJs
Confirm all DJs
Confirm sound system
Send out email invites
Find volunteers for candles, unloading, trash, water
Pick up generator
Check oil
Bring flashlight, brain machines, cell phone AC adapter
Bring CDJs, CDs, EFX box, mixer, headphones w/adapter, RCA cords, table, UV lights
Bring dome light, monitor speakers, trash bags, duct tape, dolley, thick AC cord, gas
Buy fruit, OJ, water, candles
Unload 50 yards from SE corner of 181 & Amsterdam
Get gas
Move everything down
Set up generator
Set up sound system
Program & set up LED sign welcoming visitors
Set up lit candles along path
Ask for donations to start playing
Start music
Occasionally check candles
Patrol party & perimeter
Hand out trash bags and clean up
Collect candles
Make an announcement – tell everyone to stay and help out
Play chill music
Ask for donations to keep playing
End music
Empty Gas
Take everything up
Park truck on SE corner of 181 & Amsterdam
Return generator to basement of 440 West 47th Studio AA 212-307-0214 James

Further reading:



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