For those of you who aren’t familiar with Wendy Williams, she’s a former radio personality turned daytime talk show host. Most of the show is centered around celebrity gossip so it’s no surprise that the topic of Holly Madison’s upcoming summer wedding to Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac, was up for discussion during the “Hot Topics” segment of Wednesday’s airing. She lists the charges Pasquale is currently facing and hastily explains the reason for his current legal problems. She goes on to warn Holly not to go through with the nuptials because, if convicted, Pasquale could be serving up to 14 years in jail. This is fairly old news in the EDM world, and Wendy Williams giving her marriage advice to Holly is of no concern to most of us. It is the haphazard squawking that ensues when Wendy tackles the definition of “rave parties” that has the dance community vocalizing their enraged disgust in the comment box of the video on YouTube. According to Wendy, “these rave parties are huge with the kids, [and] they take drugs…the loopty doopty.” And, if that prejudiced description wasn’t insulting enough, she goes on to say, “they listen to that music that all sounds the same,” and proceeds to make a horrid noise resembling that of an annoying alarm.
What is ironic about Wendy’s mockery of “rave parties’ is that she recently interviewed Armin van Buuren on the show. I wonder if she knows that Armin was the closing headliner for the same “rave party” in the LA Coliseum in 2010, the last EDC in LA. Between her hollow interview with the world’s number one voted DJ and this 2.5 minute rant, it is blatantly apparent that this talking head has no grounds to be discussing dance music and culture and has made very little attempt to understand the spirit of it.
So, Wendy, class is now in session so take a seat and pay attention. These “rave parties” that you speak of are actually music festivals with multi-million dollar productions and a consumer base that trumps your viewing audience. The undeniable drawing power of these events is the MUSIC. If you actually listened to the music instead of judging based on preconceived notions, you would understand that electronic music is one of the most versatile genres with a rich and diverse history. From the experimental rock of the Beatles to the birth of house in Chicago to the beginnings of trance in Europe to the mainstream powerhouse it has become today, there’s a reason why electronic music has penetrated every continent and is surrounded by a loyal following.
Within that loyal following, there are festival goers who partake in substances to enhance their experience. People do the same at rap concerts, rock concerts, and country music festivals. To say that all attendees are “kids” who “take drugs” and are “all high” at “rave parties”, is a frivolous assumption based on the actions of a few. To proclaim such is a blind perpetuation of the drug stigma that continues to plague the dance community; a community that has been unfairly and negatively targeted by media for decades. Understand that the driving spirit of these gatherings is the love of electronic music and the joy of sharing that love. So, not all of us are kids on drugs looking for a way to kill time on the weekend. Most of us are hard working, responsible adults who choose to spend our hard earned money on these music festivals.
Wendy, do yourself a favor and, next time you open your mouth in front of a camera, make sure you know what you’re talking about. At the very least, get an intern to do adequate research on the music or interview people who have real experience at “rave parties”. Honestly, this approach towards finding any material for your show should be applied to all topics. But, if basing your chatter on fact is too complicated for you, just don’t talk about it at all.
Tell us what you guys think about Wendy Williams’ rant about Holly Madison’s Wedding Drama.
Skip to 6:43 mark