Last weekend Nocturnal Wonderland Music Festival took place at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California and the outcome was astonishing. 428 arrests and 5 hospitalizations occurred within only three days and it caught the attention of festival goers worldwide; and one festival attendee had something she wanted to say. A reddit-user going by the name of \”oneravegirl\” wrote a letter to Insomniac Events expressing her concern and frustration with the way the festival was conducted and how heavily security searched at the gate. “In all my years of attending electronic music events, I have never experienced such an invasive and truly uncomfortable search while entering the festival,” oneravegirl stated in the beginning of her letter.
Organizing festivals such as Beyond Wonderland, Escape, Bassrush, and the ever so popular EDC; Insomniac Events is no amateur within the festival game. EDC Las Vegas attracts around 400K people yearly (that’s 134K people daily for 3 days) and this year there were only 108 arrests and very few deaths. Clearly Insomniac Events are not the one to blame.
Earlier this year within the San Bernardino County HARD Summer Music Festival took place & 3 deaths occurred. Since then the San Bernardino police have been trying to ban music festivals in their county ever since. With the aggressive police force at the gates and within the festival grounds they acted out the saying, “guilty until proven innocent,” and proceeded to hassle festival goers all weekend long. It’s clear that Insomniac Events had no contribution to the harassment that their guests had to go through and that the real villains are in fact the ones within the gates of Nocturnal Wonderland. The San Bernardino police force did maintain a fatality-free festival but at the same time, according to oneravegirl, they invaded the privacy of the ones they were trying to protect.
So what do you think? Is this letter directed appropriately to Insomniac Events or do you think that the San Bernardino police are the real evil-doers? You can read the full letter that oneravegirl composed here and below is just a sneak preview.
To whoever at Insomniac might read this letter,
I\’ve been attending Insomniac events for years, and I\’ve never had any experience that has made me doubt that Insomniac truly values and respects its headliners—until I attended Nocturnal Wonderland for one day on Sunday, September 4th. In the Insomniac events I\’ve attended, I\’ve always felt that Insomniac has created a safe space, not only in regard to headliner\’s physical safety, but their sense of psychological safety as well—and with a general sense of care for the future of headliners following the festival\’s conclusion.
It\’s because I still want to believe that Insomniac holds these values true that I feel it is necessary to express the sour taste that this years security at Nocturnal Wonderland left in my mouth.
In all my years of attending electronic music events, I have never experienced such an invasive and truly uncomfortable search while entering the festival. For the first time ever at any event, the security guard asked for permission to \”tug\” on the middle front of my bra (which I was wearing beneath a full corset top). Because the underwire of my bra was concealed by the corset top, this woman literally reached inside my top to \”tug\” on my bra. I\’m putting \”tug\” in quotations, because that is not what the security guard did at all. She reached down my top, fiercely yanked my bra, and then proceeded to both of her hands under the cups of my bra to furiously yank on the underwire there, definitely touching my body in the process. Did I pass through security? Of course I did, because I didn\’t have any contraband. Am I traumatized by some random woman groping me on my way into the event? No. But as I walked away and made my way into the event, it was with an extreme sense of discomfort, the unshakeable sense that the security guard had toed the line of infringing upon my physical rights, and the thought, \”What the hell was that about?\” echoing around in my mind.
Obviously this targeting of woman\’s bras and tops was standard with security at this festival. I\’ve only attended a small fraction of the events Insomniac has to offer, but this absolutely the only security search that I would describe as truly invasive. And I\’m not just talking about the women\’s experience either. I spoke to one guy who was asked to unbutton his pants by a sheriff deputy immediately after he passed the security check, just so the deputy could look down his pants. Another male friend talked about how the guard ran his hands along the inside waistband of his pants, instead of just firmly pressing along the outside like they have at past Insomniac events. And another female friend was asked to remove her insert bra padding, while another friend had a security guard stick her finger inside her bra the check the open space where a bra insert would go.