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03 May 2014

TomorrowWorld Facebook Community Comes Together to Support DanceSafe

Many electronic dance music (EDM) fans find themselves frequently lamenting the bad rap their scene gets from the mainstream media these days.

(Non-profit DanceSafe promotes harm reduction and peer-based educational programs to reduce drug misuse and empower people to make healthy, informed lifestyle choices. Image courtesy DanceSafe.)
If one believes what is seen on television news, EDM events are filled with kids strung out on ecstasy, Molly, ketamine, and other so-called "club drugs." The current narrative pushed by many mainstream news outlets is EDM events promote a drug-culture that endangers America's youth, and should be reined in or banned completely [McLaughlin, Ross (1 October 2013). 11Alive investigates drug use at TomorrowWorld. WXIA-TV (Atlanta). Retrieved on 3 May 2014.].

Now, some electronic dance music fans are pushing back against the negative news with a positive movement of their own.

Nemo Alcazar, founder of the unofficial TomorrowWorld USA Facebook fan group, says that while he recognizes drugs are everywhere, he doesn't promote drug use.

Alcazar started TomorrowWorld USA shortly after the announcement that TomorrowLand, the legendary three-day Belgian EDM festival, was coming to America as TomorrowWorld. In less than a year, over 15,000 individuals joined the TomorrowWorld USA Facebook to make friends, build relationships, share ideas, and help plan their journey to TomorrowWorld in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia.

"We're a family," Alcazar tells Georgia Unfiltered. "And family looks out for each other. That's what makes the EDM scene, and TomorrowWorld in particular, different."

Colleen Ryan, a TomorrowWorld USA group administrator, agreed, saying, "Many of the group's members, who live in the same city or state, organized meet-ups to put faces to names they've seen online. They've grown close, stayed at each other's homes, and eaten each other's food.

"And they've got each other's back," Ryan continued. "That's the kind of community we're promoting, not drugs."

Still, Ryan said, she isn't naive enough to believe people aren't using drugs; and she's glad the DanceSafe organization partnered with TomorrowWorld in 2013 to push harm reduction and peer-based educational programs to reduce drug misuse and empower people to make healthy, informed lifestyle choices.

DanceSafe is a nonprofit founded in 1998 to promote health and safety within the music and nightlife community. According to the DanceSafe web site, the organization "neither condones nor condemns recreational drug use."

"Rather, we provide a non-judgmental perspective to help support people who use drugs in making informed decisions about their health and safety," the DanceSafe website reads.

"The last thing anyone wants is for someone to lose their life during what is, essentially, a large family gathering," Alcazar said. "That's why we support DanceSafe, and that's why we're coming together as a community to help support DanceSafe."

Alcazar recently designed bracelets (shown right) for TomorrowWorld freshmen and pioneers to sport while also raising funds for DanceSafe. The price is $5, and a portion of the sales proceeds from the bracelets, Alcazar says, will be donated to DanceSafe.

So far, the response to the bracelets have been very positive, with members of the Tomorrowworld USA Facebook group ordering several at a time.

Alcazar says he hopes group bracelet sales will permit a donation to DanceSafe each month.

To purchase a bracelet, visit