The festivals we attend, the music that we listen to and the art that we make are often inspired by the experiences that many of us have through eliciting altered states of consciousness through a myriad of methods, ranging from the ultra-disciplined who choose to conjure consciousness through meditation and fasting to the psychonautically inclined who explore the realms of neuro-chemical alteration.
There are many different motives behind people’s choices of altering consciousness. Throughout our own lives, our motives change and shift as we evolve individually. It is important for us to stay consciously involved with our own choices. This seems like an obvious statement yet as life takes its twists and turns, we can sometimes end up in a place where our choices slip out of our own hands. And sometimes, even when we think we’re in control, we commit the ultimate human act of fallibility and mess up.
Our festivals are a place for us to explore and connect. A place for us to share and manifest our ideas and dreams into reality. And all of this is fun. Very fun.
But life is not all fun and sometimes things go wrong, whether we anticipated them or not. We are surrounded by a caring and compassionate community. One that is willing to reach out to you and listen, if you are willing to talk, or just sit and be in your company if you need.
This community response is solidified through the actions of DanceWize, a program from Harm Reduction Victoria. DanceWize is a peer-driven group whose goal is to make sure that our community is cared for and receives the credible and accurate information on how to minimise drug-related risks at our festivals. Often working alongside a festival’s medical provider, the DanceWize staff is a multi-disciplinary team with a tailored skillset (including senior first aid training) that enables the team to disseminate information on safer drug use, health and sexual health resources, and provide care for intoxicated attendees who are experiencing distress.
The team provides a safe space for you to rest in a supportive environment and can answer any of your safer partying questions. Next time you’re at a festival, inquire whether DanceWize is in attendance and go visit their chill out space.
Thanks go to Sass for assistance writing this article.
Author: Nick Wallis