Review | Equinox Has Been Exposed.


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All words by Adam ‘King Joo’ Lifshitz
All images by Marc Shane Berman

Equinox’s latest outdoor offering, Expose, took place this past weekend and has become a social media subject for mixed opinions. I, as an avid fan of their previously successful parties, have decided to pay another visit to their latest instalment.

For those of you who have been to the party, you would already know what it offered and have your own take on it. For those who didn’t, the Monday Facebook feed now serves as the ultimate platform for quick updates on everyone’s (mixed) feelings about what went down.

To ease on your attention span, allow me to quickly share my thoughts on the key factors that can make or break an outdoor party experience:

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Location – Expose has nested itself in a reasonably nearby venue, 68km out of Cape Town, on the way to Darling. Whilst the venue was utilized effectively, I have to flag that it came short in comparison to the previous venue Equinox has made use of. This time around it was rather barren, with no natural water body nearby and wildly in the open with minimal vegetation. One aspect that always remained a positive aspect in my memory of their parties was their lush green forest experience that sat by a river, and unfortunately this location didn’t quite cut it the same way.

Setup – nonetheless, the setup was great, as expected by the Equinox team. With a great sound system, visual mapping, water misters and one hell of an impressive Chameleon, the amount of effort put into the party was positively notable. However, once again, I feel it came short of their previous parties, where their little touches that really stood out from other parties were now missing (who remembers those lineup Mario blocks, the jumping castles, the popcorn machines?)

Music – I didn’t get a chance to be there for the whole party, but for the time that I was there the music was pretty damn good. Chubunk, Portal vs D-Sciple and Royal Flush were the top favourites in my books, each delivering a rather unique style of their variations of progressive trance, and each act owning the dancefloor appropriately.

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People – The party itself attracted a nice and intimate crowd, never packing the dancefloor to an uncomfortable stage, and one could sense a greater sense of harmony between most of its inhabitants, strangers and friends alike.

Now that the blah blah is out the way, let’s talk about the real pressing issue here:

Who let the cops out?

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(Image by Ryan Frame)

My stand here is mixed, and I challenge you to share your take on the situation in the comments below.

On the one hand, it seems that parties have gotten to a stage that, whether you like it or not, the cops are required to be there. Outdoor trance parties, not even that long ago, used to be a rather peaceful and safe escape for thousands on a weekly basis. It provided them with a space to let go, immerse themselves into their favourite music experiences and surround themselves with people they love and trust.

Over time, that ‘privilege’ has been abused, to such an extent that the law literally had to step in, where previously we were let be. Drugs, of all kinds, forms and ranging in authenticity have flooded the parties beyond control. They are too readily available, by too many people, and they are being consumed by people who know nothing of them that buy from people they’ve never met in order to chase a feeling they’ve never had.

Sometimes, and lately, that feeling leads to death. It’s harsh to say, but it’s the unfortunate truth. We allow unknown dealers to come to where we were previously safe, and bring in substances that are called one thing but do another thing. Young people, literally fresh out of high school, then allow one another to purchase these unknown drugs and indulge in them, without any prior research, experience or knowledge of what the outcome may or may not be. Risks are being taken more and more by people who literally cannot afford to take them.

What happens when unknown drugs are being dealt at parties in massive quantities and occasionally lead to deaths of young people? The law steps in. Are they right to do so? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Here’s the other hand:

Whilst I understand the need for cops, I don’t necessarily agree with how they enforced their position and role at the party. A friend asked the following: “Why should the masses’ experience be compromised due to the irresponsible choices and mistakes made by a few young people? Why should the majority suffer due to a minority?” I can’t help but agree, but the reality of the situation is purely that.

Rather than just a measure of safety, it truly felt as if this lined-up structure of 8 blues was solely there to throw their power and status around, searching and ridiculing people that literally did nothing wrong, whilst arresting people straight from the dancefloor when caught performing some questionable act. Did you stop some drugs? Barely the dealers, at most just a few consumers. Did you set panic and a constant sense of discomfort for EVERYONE at the dancefloor? You sure did. Could your role have been better played out? You bet (why not stand around the parking lot, looking after cars that are broken into? Why not stand at the gate, testing for drunk driving?)

Why stand on the dancefloor, where you clearly don’t like the music, or its people?

Adios amigos, I’m out.

 

Rumoured to have the blue-prints for Krang's TechnoDrome, stolen straight from Dimension X, he’s the type of guy who exudes so much coolness that he adds whole countries on Facebook at one time instead of just people. Always up for a party and a Tequila shot or two this is the guy who we always call first, both before and after a night out…

Comments 9

  1. well written article and well said “They are too readily available, by too many people, and they are being consumed by people who know nothing of them that buy from people they’ve never met in order to chase a feeling they’ve never had.”

  2. Fuck the police. That’s an international law my friend. They’re too busy on their war on drugs while real criminals go around doing what they do. Yes the drug problem has gotten out of hand .. so what?! So does rape and murder but I don’t see them doing shit about it. Arresting children for weed it’s fucking ridiculous. ..They could have locked them up in a set up make shift jail and fine them. But still fuck the police..They ruin everything … and they abuse their power like all police do… do I have to mention the cop that shot a black kid in ferguson and did not go on trial? That’s how the law protects them everywhere. So that’s why they just wana mess everyhing up. I apologise for swearing but they app lore a problem… They need to turn into a solution as you said..check for drunk drivers.. check for robberies and such…but no they wana scare everyone and make everyone paranoid which renders the whole outdoor experience to the worst thing ever. That’s my opinion. ..If they wana be there… They need to change their mindset. Coz I go to outdoors to get away from the kak that south africa puts on a person’s shoulder..There they found the one thing I really love about Cape Town and the trance scene. I honestly hate them. They are pigs..nothing more…nothing less. They made it bad for every good cop out there…Coz majority of police are dirty or have been or will be. Good day 🙂 I’m sure people Are gonna dis me on my opinion. .but if you want to..go ahead.. its just my opinion.

  3. Shame I think they felt so out of place and uncomfortable… people abiding by and enforcing the tightest (most unreasonable) restrictions of life… they probably felt confidence and solidarity in numbers. Absolute vibe kill though, pretty selfish and unplanned handling of the situation.

  4. Trance Parties have always been about getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, of the constant negativity of the system and routine some of us have to lead/follow (which ever way you look at the glass here) and most importantly, for me, relaxation. How can you relax when a wall of cops is killing the vibe? How can you thoroughly enjoy the festival you pay so much for if the same closed minded people you are trying to get away from (Not because of their badges but because of their mentality) keep crashing the party?

    Don’t get me wrong here. I have found some interesting characters in my life and I have seen policeman that can enjoy the party, keep an open mind and preserve the peace. They never came at anyone like a wall though. I don’t know my opinion is that cops shouldn’t be at parties in masses. rather see a friendly policeman here and there tapping their feet to the progressive sounds keeping us safe. Or like mentioned above: Go play car guard since you so keen on being there but hatin’ on the music.

  5. ye look I didn’t even finish reading this…over 50percent of the people going to these events go to either drink, smoke weed, try lil MD or whatever they feel for and yes it is available but fuck the cops its our choice to be there and our choice what to do and take or not take its simple so please SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICES I will say this once…PLEASE FUCK OFF AND GO SHOOT YOURSELVES…or turn in your badge that culd work too if you cowardly…so ye cops help no1 cops get ther late either fuck up the whole situation to make it worse or they the problem to begin with because most of them are corrupt and yes I said most of them I have family that has worked with the police I have met many officers and detectives whom for the most part were corrupt and proud to brag to me about it so ye I…I once as a 16yr old had to fight off 4 people trying to rob my friend in tears which I happen to be passing by and witness which I then got involved…a cop van with a white driver and African in the passenger seat drove by and when I shouted for help they looked at me and drove off letting me fend for myself and my friend while sustaining 66 stitches from broken bottles and knives but I fought them off even at that age the cops helped nothing and I have never since ever seen any cops prevent any crime or help and situation…they late to crime sites they beat youngsters telling them to give their weed or drugs to the cops and its just to sell agen to the dealers or to use themselves I mean lets think about it you say drugs are too readily available well guess what the SAPS knows like all the main dealers that put these drugs in circulation but????do they stop and arrest the main culprits? no they will rather leave temptation to be available around you then beat you if you are male or arrest you if you are female or my fav type of scum bag police officer the “I wont arrest you for sex” types…these people care not for their country they don’t care about you they will not take a bullet to save you instead will back out of the situation leaving you to possibly die because they care about themselves they care about their pay check and the deals on the side so you ask if I think they should be out there to supervise us?well I say FUCK NO you havnt watched over me or protected me when im home or in my daily life so why now do you want to come to where the not only but more youthful crowd now gathers to enjoy life n fun in itself amongst friends and strangers so you can what? kill our fun? put people under duress? take the kids drugs that they payed for for yourself? if fact if the police are allowed any authority on private property then a small team should be assigned authority to reprimand and keep in check the police officers then that would be fair…because we are having fun and most people are tripping balls by now so whos watching the corrupt cops taking advantage of the people?another cop?sorry that doesn’t work we already know you useless and corrupt…why would we trust you when you expect the people to bend over for them when they should do everything they can just to start to earn our trust back…so yes you can be there but under a small assigned group of civilians which the crowds or signs can display and notify the people if any unjust action have taken place by the police officers not only can they have a fair group of people to approach and let deal with them(coz lets face it if the cop puts you under duress what do you do other than doing everything they tell you to do and why?out of fear!so criminals laugh at our saviours and we fear them so to keep them from letting the power go to their heads which we all have seen happens everywhere coz they scummies for the most part). so the group must be allowed to ask them to leave if they feel it is necessary else they think they can do as they please and we must just serve to their orders like cattle marching to their own slaughter…they do not own us…they do not have power…they suppose to work for us…and protect us…but they don’t so ye leave us alone we not killing people not raping people not selling under aged lil school kids drugs so why not get off your lazy fucking asses and go stop some real crime coz right now the people fear the cops and the criminals the same so ye people hope you read hope you agree for the most part atleast and lets get this going…a small group of people where at one can report the police officers for any unacceptable behaviour then they can be there else fuck them let us be and we can look out for eachother…yes people have passed away and we all whom attend feel for the loss…but one person out of hundreds over three days in a single location is better than the hundreds if not thousands that die everyday in this country due to the lack of competency of our SAPS thanks all hope we find a better way than things are now also to those whom don’t agree I do not believe this is the best answer I am open to being wrong but at the same time the way things are right now…DOESNT WORK

  6. Keep it simple: regulate suppliers and create an informal market. Control what is sold and to whom. And keep the kids out. Drugs are cool and all, but eventually you grow out of them. And the cops, they’re just doing their job. It’s Darling, not fucking Mannenberg.

  7. For some info about what is rolling around Cape Town and also insight in to how to manage the recent increase in aggressive “policing” by the SAPS please check out Party Safe Cape Town on Facebook.
    If we can get back to being responsible for ourselves and what we do then we end up not needing to be policed. Perhaps then, maybe, we go back to having the freedom to enjoy ourselves however we please.

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