Huffington Post Article:
Sober Tents Provide A Festival Oasis For Music Lovers In Recovery
For many music fans, summer festivals are a beloved annual tradition to take in live sets from some of their favorite bands under the stars while surrounded by friends.
And for some fans, their festival experience isn’t complete without knocking back a beer or two or, in more illicit cases, using other substances.
The fact that many festivalgoers drink and do drugs makes attending such gatherings especially difficult — if not impossible — for music fans who are struggling with addiction or are in recovery and fear they could be triggered into using again.... (Click Here To Read Full Article)
Spectrum Local News Austin Coverage:
Sober tent provides retreat for ACL fans struggling with addiction
AUSTIN, Texas — There’s a misconception that music festivals and intoxication go hand in hand. While not true, the choice is challenging for festivalgoers in recovery.
“I've been sober for eight years," said Andy de la Cruz, a volunteer for Sober Park. “I never had a stopping point I always went past that threshold of having a good time into another oblivion. It's been important for people to know that you don't have to attend any kind of music show and have to drink to get the full fun and experience out of it.”
Sober Park is a group of people choosing to stay drug and alcohol free during the music festival.... (Click Here For Full Video Coverage)
Fox 7 Local News Austin Coverage:
First time at ACL: Sober Tent for festival goers in recovery
AUSTIN, Texas — During the ACL music festival, for many, it's a time to listen to their favorite bands live and have a drink or two. But for some festival goers that may be extremely difficult because they may be struggling with an addiction problem or are in recovery.
That was the situation for recovering alcoholic Patrick Whelan about 20-years ago, “Do I get to go see live music? What is going to be fun for me? Where do I get to go and have a place to blow off any steam? What's it going to look like? That unknown, that not knowing what it's going to look like when I don’t drink, when I don’t get high, what does life look like? Nothing scared me more than that thought,” He said.... (Click Here For Full Video Coverage)
Wide Awake Stories Radio Show:
Insomniac Launches Wide Awake Stories Radio Show
We hear countless stories about festival life and rave culture come in and out of Insomniac HQ on a daily basis. From Headliners rocking out in the middle of our festival crowds to life as an Insomniac performer, we’ve explored the different ways our dance music culture permeates everyday life. Everyone has a story, and we want to tell yours.... (Click Here To Read Full Article)
A Message From A Young Man:
"Insomniac Saved My Life!"
We received a message this week of a young man who came to Nocturnal Wonderland with 23 days of sobriety. He had no idea about Consciousness Group. He saw a tent in the distance in which he stated "Was a bright light amongst darkness". He was interested in the bright tapestries and beautiful big smiles. He was sure what it was thinking that it might have been some folks who believed in tapping into Consciousness through hallucinogens. He said "I love hallucinogens so lets go see what these people are all about". He was afraid that he was going to lose his sobriety for lack of support. As he approached the tent, he was welcomed by two members of Consciousness Group explaining what they were there to do. As he expressed his disbelief in the fact that there were other people at a festival who were sober, he was invited to a meeting that was starting at 9pm. This young man showed up to the meeting where he was invited in with 40 other people who were clean and sober. This young man stated "That meeting changed my life and changed my sobriety. I struggle with believing in some sort of a Higher Power, but I was proven that day that I was being taken care of cause I was on my way to use drugs and instead I was guided to a Greater Power then I could've ever imagined would happen to me". This young man was filled with so much gratitude that Insomniac would allow this to happen with in it's festivals and says "Insomniac saved my life".
News Coverage Of Harmonium At Bonnoaroo:
New York Times Article:
Remembering Last Night’s Music Festival in the Morning
When Grace McClellan attends two music festivals — Governors Ball in New York and Bonnaroo in Tennessee — this month, she will be among friends who feel more like family. Their shared bond, along with a love of live music: They’re all sober.
Ms. McClellan, 31, first stopped using drugs and alcohol three years ago, and she knew then that it was a risk to attend Bonnaroo, which, like many festivals, is known for its hedonism. But the festival had been her tradition for nearly a decade, and after only 30 days in recovery, she went with her old crew of drinking buddies. “I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t still have fun,” she said... (Click Here To Read Full Article)
Wall Street Journal Article
Events Promoter Insomniac Tries to Keep Lid on Drugs
The 40,000 fans expected to attend an electronic-dance-music festival in Southern California this weekend will be able to mingle with fire twirlers, run through mazes, take in light displays—or attend Alcoholics Anonymous-style meetings.
Chicago Tribune Article
Sober Side tent a haven from Lolla's temptations
On Friday afternoon, while a steady rain fell on Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Patrick Whelan watched warily as a handful of teenagers and 20-somethings ran for shelter beneath the nearby trees. There, waiting for the storm to pass, they drank beer and lit joints. Whelan sat in a folding chair a few feet away, the pungent smell of pot wafting toward his space, a small tented lounge he had named Sober Side. The name was a nod to the South Side. At the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee, his tent was named “SoberRoo”; at the Lightning in a Bottle music festival in California, he had called it “Lightning Without a Bottle.
”He visits about 10 festivals a year, and the name of his tent changes each time.
But its goal never does.
My Life as a Sober Mentor
At its best, raving can be an incredible experience for the senses. The melodies of the music, the vibration of the bass, and the sparkle of the visuals combine, flooding the brain with feel-good chemicals that compel us to dance and put an unwavering grin on our faces.
Unfortunately, for some people in our culture, these life-affirming moments can be triggers that lead to harmful, addictive behavior. Yes, drugs and alcohol are present everywhere in society, but they are found more often in celebratory environments. For folks who battle addiction, the thing so many of us find joyous can become the thing that is most destructive. Just ask Patt Ochoa, the leader of Insomniac Consciousness Group (ICG), a volunteer initiative that provides space and support for clean and sober ravers at events like Electric Daisy Carnival and Nocturnal Wonderland.