Back in the mid-2000s, gloving got popular among California ravers fast. Like scary fast. This growth was especially scary to event promoters and government officials, who took swift action to try to ban it from all major EDM events in the early 2010s. Amidst the controversy surrounding the rising rave scene, gloving got labeled as drug related and dangerous.
Yet, despite this, the gloving community stands strong as a community of dedicated artists. Their work has proven the legitimacy of the art.
This year marks the 5th consecutive year of the International Gloving Championship (IGC), culminating 5 years of structured, competitive gloving all over the country. The gloving community stands strong with approximately 200,000 glovers worldwide. Gloving technology has developed to include modern implements like one-button customization, tinted colors and accelerometers from smart phones. Gloving has been featured on national television, professional sporting events, music festival stages, famous dance crews, top business blogs, music magazines and more.
Gloving has grown far beyond its roots. For it to continue to be outlawed at major music events is to show ignorance to the beauty it has created.
Insomniac Events, the biggest event promoter in EDM, instituted its glove ban in 2011. Since then, we've been working hard to build up the legitimacy of the art of gloving, and we have reached out in numerous ways to show them our progress.
After seeing the unfair treatment of glovers at Nocturnal Wonderland 2015, EmazingLights Founder/CEO Brian Lim wanted to take a different approach. That September he reached out to Insomniac's CEO Pasquale Rotella directly with a letter (above) calling for a meeting to discuss solutions. To our delight, he was excited to sit down with us.
Turns out Pasquale is a big fan of gloving. He truly appreciates the art we create, and he wishes that lifting the ban was as simple as changing the policy. He is the rave scene's biggest champion for freedom of expression and allowing you to become the "headliner" at his events. However, he has to protect the EDM scene from the negative stigmas that the greater public sees in gloving.
This is why we must now refocus our efforts toward government officials, local police and fire departments who work alongside him at our events. And we need your help.
Cultivating a widespread, accepted gloving culture means continuing many of the efforts that are already in place, as well as pushing our reach in new directions.
Sign Our Petition.
As we work on our next steps in approaching these public institutions, it is absolutely vital that we are able to show them that we have thousands of people who support the gloving movement.
Click the Change.org button below and sign your name.
"EDC 2012: I had a group of about 15 people standing around me when I was picked up in a choke hold and my pockets were immediately searched (which turned up nothing but my cell phone and wallet). By this time my new friends were all booing and telling the guard they wanted his name because they saw everything. He panicked, pulled me aside and told him I had to pay him $50 or he was ejecting me from the festival. I only had $15 cash on me so he snatched it from my hand, threw my gloves on the ground and told me to have a nice day. I wrote to Insomniac the day after I got home from the event and also left feedback on their survey, but got no response."
-- Gregg Lillie (Socks)
"I got ziptied and escorted out with my eLites taken from me."
-- Will Nelson (Blitzkreig)
"I've been pushed over by a security guard demanding my gloves and walked away without apologizing or helping me up."
-- Sunit Misra
"I was at an event by the beach and I sat there gloving to anyone who would join me in the sand. After a while a staff came up to me, lifted me off my feet and tossed me into the ocean, not only getting me wet but my phone and gloves. Once I got back on the sand he proceeded to escort me out of the event and tell me, 'Don't bring drugs into my event!"
-- Sebastian Amaral (Double A)
"I decided to start, I had only turned on my lights, when all of a sudden a security officer put his flashlight on me, I proceeded to get up and was tackled linebacker style. Held to the ground and told to give up my gloves or get thrown out. I asked to put them away, I was cussed at and told to give them up as they proceeded to push me out, I tried to explain the cost of gloves and still had to give up my gloves. I was treated like a criminal for nothing."
-- Kaleb Lane (MrLane)
"I've been gloving for 7 years now and have experienced it all. I've had gloves taken from me, at times I've had to bribe security to keep them, I've been kicked out, and other times I've had to run. I have also been tackled on 2 separate occasions for giving light shows. Probably have lost around 8 glove sets."
-- Wes Gerrie (Lightz Out)
"I was extorted for my kinetics for $40 right in front of Brittany Bilbia and Michael Marchette. Such bullshit. A+ for Michael telling to go fuck himself and reporting him."
-- Mike Nelson
"I was giving a show to this guy and the security tried to take my gloves and the guy offered him $20 and he went away. Dirty security."
-- Max Delacruz
"My boyfriends gloves almost got taken. When the security guard took him to the side. They stripped searched him. Pretty much made him take every piece of clothing off to prove whether or not he had drugs on him. The guy then tried to walk off with his gloves but he sat there and told him how much they really were (kenetics) and that they were an anniversary gift from me. So he ended up letting him keep them but threatened him never to take them back out or hell have them arrested. The security guards reason for all of this was apparently someone has a seizure on day 1."
-- Danielle Kooki Arnold
Gloving heals. EmazingLights' newest charity initiative "Glove4Glove" seeks to donate glove sets to those in need. These folks have found true expressive and kinesthetic benefits to gloving, combatting a wide range of physical and mental challenges. Get to know them below!