Wednesday, July 10, 2013

MASSV was a massive disguise


    As a concerned 27-year resident of Ketchum, and a professional artist and musician, I have enjoyed many fine concerts and art shows and galleries in this valley. So, I have a few things to say about the MASSV festival in Ketchum last weekend.
    Basically, the newspaper said MASSV was for all ages and about showcasing music and art, in relationship to the proximity of Sun Valley, but it had very little to do with art and music, as I saw and heard something quite different. Much of the music was electric noise pollution, with plenty of swear words to compete with a drunken sailor.
    The laser show was way overrated, and does not even compare to what you can see on Youtube. The art was negligible, a few items that could have been Burning Man wannabes. I saw young girls, many who appeared to be under 21, dressed like hookers. I saw dancers on stage, dancing like cats in heat, with not much left to the imagination. I saw ambulances come and go, seemingly to pick up young kids who overdosed.
I saw unsupervised young people, smoking enough weed to make a sizable drug bust, enough alcohol to serve a heavy crowd at a local bar, tons of beer cans, trash woven in between tents parked right down to the banks of the Trail Creek stream, which was being used as a toilet, the fragile eco underbrush trampled on by drunken feet, and yes, more girls dressed like hookers.
Getting the picture? I saw a business, selling the idea of music and art, while allowing free use of drugs and alcohol by young people. There was a nice buffer zone with authority to keep the police at a distance along with casual onlookers or concerned parents, unless you paid the bucks for a wrist band.
    I heard loud, repetitive boom bass noise vibrating nonstop for two days from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and sleep was out of the question, so I might as well have been there anyway. I noticed that this weekend was the Fourth of July, already packed with people, traffic, noise and stressed-out working locals, and all the police on high alert.
    Let’s pull our heads out of the sand and face the inconvenient truth: This was a massive drug, sex, alcohol rave party at your expense, in your back yard, right under your nose, in your community, at the approval of someone or some bodies who should know better. The best thing I can say about MASSV is I did enjoy some guarded dancing and seeing a few of my friends, but the use of drugs, alcohol and the sexual theme of the majority of the concert put a major dark spot on it in the end, and the repercussions of this rave party will be around for a while.
    Please, no more rave parties under the disguise of art and music.

    Editor’s note: The newspaper story that previewed the event was based on materials provided by and interviews with the organizers.

    Annelie Greaney lives in Ketchum.

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