Moving to New York three years ago, I xcxpected an amazing warehouse scene flourishing in Brooklyn with outlandish music, beautiful people, and the sense of freedom I had come to expect from the underground raves I attended in Oakland. I sought out the “underground” electronic scene, but many of these events were nothing more than see-and-be-seen, overpriced fashion shows for those who thought themselves too cool for clubbing. Some indeed had great music and good vibes, but none had the sense of community I longed for. I’d pretty much given up, settling on the idea that the West coast simply did it better.
But then came Thunder Gumbo: Cult of the Sacred Cowboy, the party I had been waiting for without even knowing it: the perfect underground! Hosted at The Paper Box in Brooklyn it had the best vibes around.
What made this potent concoction? Here were the magic ingredients in the Gumbo…
- Truly Beautiful People
The kind hearted, eclectic ‘gumbonians’ stole my heart! Just like at the Burn, these cats dressed to the nines: fur coats, glow paint, EL wire, lingerie, and wigs. They were even more beautiful on the inside, giving me stickers and a Nevada patch. They even taught me a few new dance moves in the silent disco tent. Sexy cowboys are easily my new favorite!
2. Funky Grooves for Every Mood
With three rooms, a live brass band, a silent disco, trap, deep house, techno, and plenty of funk, there really was something for everyone to dance to. The most danceable groove was Tr[otter] on the green channel in the silent disco. We all tuned onto that channel for a bit to boogie down together in the dome of love. My favorite set was Shisaa, a babe with great stage presence and some sweet samples on hand!
4. Art on the Spot
Ahhh to paint and be painted 🙂 The black light booth by the entrance was the perfect greeting to get us in the spirit of things. My war paint had me feeling ready for the night!
3. Live Drums
At 3 am 2Melo broke out a glowing LED drum kit during his set on the Wild Wild West Stage, which drove me wild. The rhythmic percussions mixed with the grooving bass was absurd. If this wasn’t a dance party before, you better bet it was after.
With the affordable entrance price, we felt ourselves compelled to buy some art pieces a bohemian goddess had created. When I asked what was written on this message, she replied:
“In the cave you fear to enter lies the treasure that you seek.”
Too many raves are lacking harm reduction these days. While I saw no one who needed help on site, seeing the DanceSafe booth at Thunder Gumbo brought me so much joy. The promoters obviously cared about our well-being and the lovely woman and I quickly struck up a conversation. I really want to give her and all of DanceSafe a hug for keeping our community beautiful!
I had some amazing interactions at Thunder Gumbo and learned new things about Burner and rave culture. I danced groundwork with a girl for a good five minutes, maintaining eye contact but never speaking. I helped a man interpret his dreams and waxed metaphysical while in line for the (heavily graffiti’d) bathroom.
What an incredible party! I am so glad to have become part of this community and will certainly be reporting on upcoming events!