Naming the elephant in the room: Plans to create ‘Safe Party’ pamphlets

Posted on August 22, 2011


Let me first off say : I love the scene, it is my scene, I am at home out there in the bush with the sun on my back and the beat in my feet.

As some of you will know, I wrote a very angry blog about a week ago which I have now chosen to take down. In it’s place, this blog plans to focus more on addressing the existing distressing issues of unresponsible partying that can ultimately result in psychosis, rehabilitation and ending up somewhere like Valkenberg.

Basically now I have chosen to approach from an angle of ‘adaptation rather than mitigation’. We all know people who go to outdoor parties do IT, and we cannot make them do otherwise (people on the look-out for drugs have always -and probably always will -be catered for). We have recognised a Problem: now what is the Solution?

Banksy’s ‘elephant in the room’ -painted for an exhibition  to represent World Poverty – made headlines in 2006

How do we who witness the destruction caused by this shady approach to fun best deal with the situation? We who are concerned when we see kids younger than us looking really fucked up, probably on way too much? We who care and are ready to set aside the time and energy to DO SOMETHING if we thought it might help improve the situation?

It turns out this issue is waaayyy more complex than I at first assumed, plus it is an international problem (youth losing themselves to drugs) and so it follows that no quick fix or blame-game could possibly solve such a large-scale epidemic of lost souls.

I think the best thing to do is:

Firstly, aknowledge that this shit goes down and horror stories will consider to circulate  about good educated middle-class kids losing their minds and

Secondly, try to create a ‘safety net’ so to speak, supplying information and support when it’s needed by those partiers who push things too far.


One of the main problems in addressing this local issue is that people don’t want to admit that there are people taking illegal substances at these events – they are either ignorant of it or simply too scared to name the elephant in the room. But the longer we are in denial, the longer we allow the potential destruction of the younger generations state of mind.

I don’t judge those who experiment , as I too have had my fair share of this kind of fun and self-exploration, but I believe people need better guidance so we can be confident they are making informed decisions. I believe there is value in sharing our own experiencial wisdom, even if it means we have to admit we once dabbled in illegal substances.

Things like drinking and smoking of tobbacco could also be better addressed within these isolated arenas, as the damages of these legal substances must not be underated:

Occurances like alchohol-induced black-outs/brown-outs can be very scary (I know, I have experienced this first-hand) and binge-drinking can result in serious mental illnesses like Korsakoff Syndrome. Also, drunk-driving is a huge local issue and I feel it’s important we remind people that they need to have designated drivers to get them to and from the party.

The side-effects of smoking tobacco is a long long list, yet kids continue to think it’s cool even as the international perspective is shifting to thinking otherwise. Meanwhile, as SA struggles to keep up with this lastest world view on tobacco use, cigarette companies continue to promote and push these ‘deathsticks’ onto kids, which I believe is in itself unethical. (Not to mention that stompies have a huge negative environmental impact and it is literally impossible to pick up every single one after a party- join my facebook group ‘Stompers Againt Stompies’

A typical stompie graveyard – hazardous to mama nature

So what now?

I am working on creating ‘safe party’ pamphlets. Anyone who would like to get involved or just offer suggestion please email me on


Relevant links:

The health risks of tobacco use:

Advice on how to help minimize harm reated to psychedelic use:

A UK blog  guide on mentally surviving large gatherings/festivals/big parties:

‘Alice – the drug and culture project’  – events organisers in Germany who focus on ’Music, Mind and Politics’ in the sense of creative forms of expression, critical activism for social change, as well as fun and personal development.

Tips on safe drinking:

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