With the next FNL Level Up happening in just a few short weeks, I wanted to share my experience from the first event with everyone, and encourage you to attend so you can see it for yourself!
The first FNL Level Up occurred just a few short days after I released my blog post about bringing the roots back to gloving, so I figured it would be good for me to be present at the event to not only interact with the new generation of incoming talent, but to witness first-hand how much the scene has evolved over the last several years.
I’ve attended many different variations of glover meetups and events—all the way from the very first FNLs in random parking lots, to the packed & sweaty events at the first EL store in West Covina, and of course IGC, the largest gathering of both recreational and competitive glovers from around the globe. FNL Level Up was easily one of the best gloving-based events I’ve attended so far.
Things have positively progressed since I last stepped foot into an event like this, and it was extremely well-organized and fun. I definitely will attend again, and wish glovers around the globe could experience this—I have high hopes that we’ll get there in due time as our community continues to grow!
Anyway, let’s get into some details.
Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised by the stage setup for the DJ, the lighting, and the FNL logo projected onto multiple screens hanging from the ceiling. It felt official. The music was a good mix of trance, bass music, techno, house, etc… a little something for everyone! As I continued to wander around to explore the venue, I ran into The Camera Guy who is responsible for producing so many of the legendary videos that we all know and love. He was roaming around throughout the night recording all of the different light show artists—this includes poi and orbiting too! I thought this was great, especially for those who wanted get a high quality show recorded, along with some great exposure through EL’s audience. No, there are no qualifications to be recorded… all you need to do is ask him! I should mention that his editing skills coupled with the high quality equipment he uses is to die for!
There was plenty of space for all of the gloving talent there, and I even saw some parents in the room spectating as their sons/daughters traded and hung out with their fellow glover friends. This was a first for me, and it is really refreshing to see that gloving and its community has rapidly evolved and expanded into something that parents are comfortable involving their children with—I can’t say this was the case 5-6 years ago. This is a clear indicator of the strong progress the community has made over the past several years to shift the way the world thinks about gloving!
I had the chance to interact with a lot of glovers who were just starting out, and it was inspiring to see their enthusiasm and drive, along with the willingness of the veteran glovers to interact, help, and build relationships with the new talent. I wish my favorite glovers were as easily accessible when I first started (it took me nearly a year to meet with my favorites!), but it’s great to see that there are now opportunities such as these to really unite the wide spectrum of glovers in a highly positive environment.
Aside from trading light shows all night with old friends and new faces (monster trades with some strong upcoming talent: Slayer and Riftwalker were my favorites for the night), I was able to take a break at the fully stocked bar (21+ only), and catch up with people I normally don’t get a chance to hang out with—it was definitely interesting to discuss the shift in the gloving scene, while hearing perspectives from both the old and new generation of glovers. One thing is for sure… we are all deeply in love with this art, and it has brought us a strong sense of unity that many people won’t get to experience in their lifetime. Absolutely incredible, if you ask me.
I highly encourage all of my fellow glovers to get together and participate in these types of events—it really is one of the best and most important ways to unite and build relationships with one another, while keeping the community alive. Hell, I booked a last-minute flight less than 24 hours before the event, and flew down to LA for a day because I care that much about the art, the community, and its future. Well worth it, and guess what? I’ll be doing it all over again.
See you all at the 2nd FNL Level Up on Friday, April 22!