By Liv Ingram, September 4, 2014 —
Summer may be over, but the party’s just getting started. EDM renaissance man Diplo is bringing his touring dance music phenomenon, Mad Decent Block Party, to Calgary on Friday, Sept. 5.
Now in its sixth year, what started as a street party in Philadelphia has grown into a full-blown music festival headlined by some of the biggest names in the electronic music scene.
With stops in 22 cities across North America, the 2014 lineup is the largest to date. This year marks the party’s first international stops, with shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg this past February. Another first is the Mad Decent Boat Party, a decadent floating music festival sailing from Miami to the Bahamas for four days of sun-drenched raving.
While the festival has grown in scope, it has also grown in notoriety. After two concertgoers died and 20 more were hospitalized following drug overdoses at the party’s Maryland event, Kandi — the colourful plastic jewelry popular amongst EDM fans — was banned at future Block Parties.
The ban has many ravers upset and taking to social media to voice their displeasure, citing that there is no clear correlation between drug overdoses and jewelry. In a Twitlong post released in response to the controversy, Diplo defended the ban, citing safety as the reason for prohibiting the jewelry.
“I never wear Kandi and I understand it’s not drug related culture inherently. We just had serious issues with kids hiding it and there was a definite relationship between safety and security and made it so we had to ban certain items,” Diplo writes. “This is just a simple set of rules we are using to make things safer.”
Although the Calgary edition of the Mad Decent Block Party won’t be the most colourful rave, the main selling point remains the music. With a lineup including Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, RJD2, Block Party veterans Zeds Dead and Calgary’s Smalltown DJs, if there was ever something to turn up for, this is it.
Mad Decent Block Party rolls into Calgary’s Shaw Millennium Park on Sept. 5 and is 18+.