Dayglow San Diego pissed off about 3,000* people last year who couldn’t get down to the over-packed floor, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when it got re-branded as “Life in Color” this year with noticeably restricted ticket sales. I didn’t comprehend this at first. I walked in past a dude shouting “is anyone selling tickets,” I didn’t wait in line, and I walked in to what felt like a very empty
San Diego Sports Arena Valley View Casino Center. I thought to myself, where is everyone?
I think they did right. Security felt relaxed throughout the night. I didn’t really get patted down; a tired-looking woman whisked her hands on my sides while avoiding eye contact. So much for the sticks of Stride I hid in my crotch (wasn’t sure if they’d be confiscating gum and I really wanted to have it, don’t judge me)… I heard about 30 people bum-rushed the event fences, so for awhile they checked tickets in and out of the smoking patio. Later, I helpfully asked a zoned-out yellow-shirter if he’d be checking my ticket. He laughed, said “yah” before ushering me through the door without even a glance. Ok, saucer-eyes, I guess not.
Later I jumped up on my lesbro’s shoulders
for a better view of the stage because I felt like being TALL. I made eye-contact with one of the guards. ‘Want me to get down?’ I mouthed. He shrugged and let me stay. Kids sat all over the floor, enjoying light shows and massage trains. At Beyond Wonderland last year they did not allow anything like this. It felt like being in a kindergarten where you’re allowed to eat the crayons. I got down from my perch and said, “I’m looking for people to adopt as my rave children.”
I enjoyed the relative emptiness of the venue. We saw the same faces, had space to burst around the halls, could find friends again we made an hour ago. A skinny, solo guy shook and jittered next to me. His eyes pointed in different directions. Overcome with empathy, I asked if he needed a hug, and squeezed him like I could make his pupils point forward again. Later I spotted him looking much happier, and much less cock-eyed.
I had a major moment of skeptism when they unleashed the confetti. I hadn’t even made it down to the floor yet; I sat in the darkened stands at the far end. A cloud blasted into the paint smothered bodies below us. “Great,” Katelyn said, “Let’s make paper mache. Wow.” She insisted that it was paper, but the pieces fluttered like wings and shimmered like mylar. They floated upward (turns out it was the rising heat) and really did look like live butterflies. I imagined insect antennae and legs sticking to wet skin and grimaced. Yet the whole night all I saw was a single square of tissue paper stuck to Mel Marcelo’s clavicle — the only evidence that the thick sparkling swarm had ever existed.
Visit this article for photos of a similar confetti cloud effect @ a paint party in Dallas last year – it’s a good read too.
*Ok, rough estimate. I had a difficult time tracking down actual numbers. Google Fu is weak today. I blame hangover. When do I ever not blame stuff on my hangovers?