One night at EDM's funniest 4/20 party
Coming in HOT this week with a funny tale of a 4/20 party hosted by Insomniac’s new cannabis brand RNBW. This story is also a meditation on the *true* meaning of 4/20, and what it feels like to stand at the new frontier of cannabis and music (spoiler: it sucks). Rave New World is 100% stoner-funded—please throw some dollars to keep us truckin’. It’s the only way we’re able to stay independently ripped, plus you’ll get access to our Discord, which is getting more fabulous every day. Now grab a bong, and let’s go in.
My friend T was arrested for smoking a joint at Electric Daisy Carnival a few years ago. A random dude in an “I <3 Molly” T-shirt asked him for a hit, and my friend handed it over, saying “pass, puff puff.” Oopsies, dude was an undercover cop. My friend was put in a paddy wagon with kids rolling or tripping balls, all losing their shit. The arrested ravers became like a little family, even helping one kid who was rolling tits to ditch his drugs before getting processed at the station. The charges were eventually dropped, because the police didn’t feel like doing the paperwork.
This anti-drug kabuki is the norm at many electronic music festivals, which is a joke because… it’s sort of missing the point, isn’t it? So when I heard that Insomniac—the promoter behind EDC, HARD Summer, Electric Forest, and many other EDM festivals—recently launched a cannabis brand called RNBW, I was shook. Ravers know that Insomniac has a particularly unhinged no-drug policy; security shakedowns are so intense that weed vapes are often confiscated at the gates, along with LED gloves, pacifiers, stuffed animals, and other prohibited items associated with druggy rave culture.
It would be easy to dismiss Insomniac’s RNBW as a cynical play for dough—a savvy way to capitalize on cannabis’ obvious popularity among their demographic. When I went to EDC Vegas last year, I discovered that the cheapest way to get into the festival was to buy shit from RNBW’s new dispensary. After years of stuffing joints down my pussy to sneak past security, the idea that buying weed could now help me get into the festival was the ultimate irony. But this savvy marketing move also felt like a glimpse into the near-future, when celebrity DJ-sponsored blunts could be sold at music festivals, next to shroom-spiked kombucha and non-alcoholic beer. So what’s popping off at the new ~intersection~ of cannabis and music? On 4/20, I swooped by RNBW’s private “friends and family” party to find out.