“Messy;” that’s the one-word answer I’ve been giving to the question “How was LoveFest?” Sure, it was a beautiful day, I had fun and even danced to some good techno, but my overall impression of the event was that it almost exceeded FurCon in terms of kids going well beyond what they could, or should, handle.
The first sign of messiness came as I was standing behind the Tantra float with Kitty shortly after arriving. We were chatting with Saturnia when a man came over and asked us if he knew where to find a medical team, as he had just found a group of really "messed up" kids in need of some assistance; a few minutes later I noticed a kid stumble headlong into a trashcan and then just stand there, leaning forward against it, his eyes rolling up into his head. We moved on before I could see the outcome of this particular bad trip, but shortly afterwards, standing against a barricade and watching the crowd in front of the Kontrol/Auralism Records float, I had a more personal encounter with wretched excess. A very suburban-looking blonde girl, wearing the faerie wings and tiara that seemed to be the LoveFest fashion statement for girls this year, stumbled over and began rubbing herself up against me. More amused than shocked I said “Hey, having fun?” “Yeah,” she slurred, and proceeded to ask about my favorite color before her friend pulled her, loose-limbed and barely standing, back into the crowd. Shortly thereafter, on my way to get a drink, I saw an otherwise very attractive blond boy puking right in the middle of Larkin street, and then, coming back from getting that drink, a girl who was being led through the crowd by two friends went rag-doll limp and collapsed right in front of me.
Kitty later commented that, when he first got down there around 2PM, he was surprised by just how fucked-up everybody already seemed to be. Now, far be it for me to cast aspersions on people for losing their faces in whatever manner they chose in public, but c’mon kids, you need to learn how to maintain. When I was dancing to Alland Byallo’s set at the Kontrol float later, I took a moment to really look at the crowd around me. In front of me were five gay guys dancing shirtless and passing around a bottle of jungle juice; to my right was a group of younger kids, probably in their early twenties, including a very pretty thin, smooth, boy with shaggy blonde and red-streaked hair wearing aviators and with one cuff of a pair of fur-lined handcuffs locked around his right wrist; while to my left was a gentleman wearing a straw homburg, a button-up shirt with a vest, and aviators looking quite dandy and handsome, and all around a crowd of generally attractive, young people sucking on lollipops. It was obvious to me, being well-versed in such things, that everybody was pretty high, but there were no signs of the simply gross behavior I had seen earlier. This, I thought, is part of what makes the techno scene attractive to me, that it’s a scene where people like to party, but are a little more mature in the way they go about it. Walking around later it seemed to me that there was a direct correlation between the level of sophistication in the music and the overall vibe of the crowd, where the dumber the music got, the sloppier the crowd.
Kitty and I left LoveFest around 5.00; with the size of the crowd increasing, along with the lines for the portapotties and beverages, we didn’t really see much promise of the party getting any less sloppy, and, beyond Kontrol, there wasn’t much musically that caught my interest (I do have to give the HomoChic kids a shout-out for their “Death of Shade” float, which I thought best captured the renegade spirit that should be a major part of the LoveFest experience, but they suffered from poor placement between Tantra and Tweekin’ Records, whose sound systems simply overpowered HomoChic’s to such a degree that I couldn’t even hear them when I moved back a few feet from the speakers). I’m glad that San Francisco does LoveFest, and I’m even kind of glad that these kids, sloppy as they may be, have a chance to experience it, but, as another veteran partier of my acquaintance recently put it, I don’t really want to hang out around them while they go through their learning experiences.