There is this little thing that has been on the minds of many (maybe even a few utterances have been made in and amongst the crowds) but nobody has thought to put pen to paper concerning the atrocities. Which of the countless man-made abominations afflicting the earth am I possibly referring to you might ask? None other than the vastly expanding popularity of the trance ‘genre.’ Although, the fact that trance is becoming popular isn’t really where the qualms of many lie, but rather in the contemplation of whether it is, in fact, the music that these new-found trance-lovers love, or the party-rocker lifestyle with which it so effortlessly goes hand in hand. The commercialisation of trance, or the trance lifestyle?

Despite the ever-present “No U18’s”, “No ID, no entry” and other such requirements stated on Facebook event pages, in the fine print on posters, even on the tickets themselves, the used-to-be-underground trance party scene is riddled with teeny-boppers in their short-shorts and straight peaks. To add insult to injury neon stickers and paint gets plastered all over their bodies to the extent that they look like walking glow sticks. I’m not begrudging short-shorts, straight peaks or glow sticks, but I can’t say I’m a fan of aiding helpless teens to the toilets to empty their stomachs of whatever has been ingested, or worse to the medic tent because they’re frothing at the mouth. I’m also not much of a friend to the youngster who passes out in the most inconvenient location before he could make it back to his tent.

A fellow trance lover says:“People that go just for the sake of it, wearing lumo stickers and wrapping scarves around their heads (so that you can only see their eyes) while prancing around like fairies, are just the people looking for photos to put on Facebook”

Yet to each his own so party attire aside, do these kids really respect and love the music they are there to party to? This is where the problem really lies, apart from being under-aged – an issue in itself and giving event organisers the headache of a lifetime, they rock up with – or looking for – all sorts of ‘party supplies’. This results in them being hammered beyond belief before the night has even reached its climax. Surely, they can’t be there for the music if they don’t even make it to the best parts, can they?

Granted, it was everybody’s first trance party at some point. No one knew how to act that first time, so we adapted once we’d learned what was what at a trance party. Surely if an event is for the legal members of society, those who don’t fit into that category should wait their turn? Why? Firstly, so that they don’t ruin it for themselves; secondly so that they don’t ruin it for the others; thirdly so that they don’t risk landing event organisers in copious amounts of trouble and lastly so that they don’t kill themselves. Under- agers, booze and the illegal ‘party supplies’ are not a good combination, and who gets blamed?

This, sadly, is not to say that the under-aged lot are the only offenders; there are those who probably couldn’t tell the difference between trance and drum and bass if it hit them in the face. Professing your undying love for the magic that is trance and then confusing Pendulum with Orca is just not okay. Also, not being able to distinguish a music festival from a trance party is a habit of the ignorant; trance music is rarely played at festivals. That stage with the Red Bull truck? Yeah, that’s electro, bro. Those who go to trance parties with the attitudes of ‘f***ing s*** up’, like the jock-types who are perfectly capable of consuming way more than the recommended dosage of beer but not without swinging punches at the nearest stomping- hippie or guy in an opposing water-polo team – thoroughly ruin the experience for those around them. At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, that’s just not fair. These kinds of people can’t be there for the music either, if all they do is get drunk and pick fights.

Now I’m not saying that trance is for the righteous and that the ignorant fools should stay away; by all means, if some level of education could be given to the ignorant so that they saw the light and began to realise what the music is really about, and started showing some degree of respect for the genre, then they could party on. Everyone, within the sphere of legality, has the right to go to trance parties, but bringing the wrong attitudes to an environment where people are meant to enjoy themselves is really the epitome of inconsideration.

The theory: if you can rock out to some psy-trance sober as a stone then that makes it a truer experience; then you’re a real trance-lover. Although one can’t hold anything against a drunken stomp if the drunken- stomper can do it sober too. There are people out there who may profess that you’re not a real stomper if you don’t do drugs, or if you have anything against drugs. Their argument often concerns things about how specific drugs help you tap into certain parts of your brain that you cannot otherwise access, and that you can’t be a true trance- lover if you haven’t experienced what those drugs have supposedly helped you to see… blah blah blah! Having a good experience because you’ve used mind- altering substances doesn’t make you any more or any less of a true trance lover, but telling people who or what they are because they don’t abide by you standards, or partake in your recreational habits makes you much less of one.

What I’m saying, is that if you’re not there for the music, what are you doing there in the first place? Clearly the commercialisation of trance has nothing to do with the music. Ironically, it has everything to do with the people who enjoy the lifestyle of freedom and of having a cool party with a couple of drinks, and take it too far. Trance isn’t becoming popular because of trance, it’s becoming popular because of trance PARTIES; whether people actually like the music is unresolved because it’s impossible to tell the fakes and the frauds from the true trancers in the crowd.