In The Flesh: Global Dance Festival—Wild West Edition with Alison Wonderland, Bassnectar, And More

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Last Saturday night an army of bassheads sporting tutus and kandi bras, armed with homemade totems, turned out to see our favorite artists and rage the night away with 10,000 of our best friends. Global Dance Festival: Wild West Edition was hosted by its namesake and Relentless Beats at the incredible Rawhide Western Town and Event Center in Chandler, Arizona. 
Raging the night away with 10,000 of our best friends. - ZION CROSBY
  • Zion Crosby
  • Raging the night away with 10,000 of our best friends.

As a veteran of the scene, I was impressed by the level of production and lack of mishaps. There were an appropriate amount of well-maintained water stations. We were immersed in the Wild West theme as soon as we entered the gates; it was like we had stepped into a Clint Eastwood film.

Wild West featured a diverse lineup, including a DJ group from Japan. Addressing the lack of female DJ's, Global Dance Fest booked Alison Wonderland. Her set was incredibly intimate and emotional as we explored the darker depths of her soul. As legions of Bassnectar fans rocked their bodies to the low frequencies, I finally understood the depth of their loyalty. Unlike most DJs,
Bassnectar doesn't just press play. He does a live set and uses a private collection of underground remixes.

Many critics claim dubstep is repetitive; Datsik sampled this as a joke and nod to the humility that our scene offers: “Same old crap over and over again” (*cue bass drop).

At California events, it's easy to take for granted how accepted everyone is, inside and outside the venue. In Arizona I felt I was stepping into a sacred gathering for people who have no other safe place to express their true selves. In the wake of this Election, performers and ravers alike appreciated this chance to embrace a culture of acceptance.


Zion Crosby is a Waldorf teacher in training and a native Hawaiian. He also happens to be Bing Crosby's great grandson.


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