What is This Project?
After EDC is a feature-length documentary about the fallout of a controversial event known as Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). EDC is an annual rave which originated in Southern California in the 1990s and has grown into the largest music festival in North America. In June of 2010, the event took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but what started as a weekend celebration of electronic dance culture ended with horrifying news reports of out-of-control riots, injuries and hospitalizations, and the death of an underage girl from an alleged ecstasy overdose. The overwhelming media attention paid to the incidents caused the Coliseum Commission to consider permanently shutting down rave-type festivals at the state-owned venue, despite the millions of dollars in revenue that such festivals have generated for the County. What followed was a response from LA County aimed at sustaining these events (instead of banning or criminalizing them) through a public health operation launched by local officials, researchers, event safety experts, and music promoters. This collaboration led to a series of recommendations and protocols that had never before been attempted by any government-sanctioned team in the United States, and signified a new relationship between authorities and the subculture of electronic dance gatherings.
What is DanceSafe?
DanceSafe is the United States' first and only organization - founded in the late 1990s - serving the health and well-being of youths in the electronic music scene. While our mission is to prevent the risks associated with drugs, we understand that our nation's drug war - based on prohibitive and punitive strategies against substance users - has failed at enforcing abstinence among young Americans. As such DanceSafe adopts a pragmatic, harm reduction approach towards behaviors within the rave scene, and offers a peer-based, nonjudgmental setting where our audiences can pick up factual, life-saving information and resources regarding the substances they may be using.
My name is Le Liu and I coordinated the San Francisco chapter of DanceSafe from 2000 to 2007. The organization's work and history will be featured in my documentary "After EDC," and DanceSafe will also receive a portion of the revenue from the distribution of the film.
Why This Story Needs to Be Shared
During the late 1990s the use of ecstasy skyrocketed as the fastest-growing drug of our generation. In response, our federal government launched a campaign - based on exaggerated warnings and limited research data - trying to convince American youths that ecstasy causes "holes in the brain," Parkinson's Disease, and other serious long-term damage. At the same time law enforcers around the country cracked down on raves and even resorted to arresting and prosecuting organizers of such parties. But in spite of the crackdowns electronic dance gatherings have become a multi-million dollar event industry, as indicated by festivals such as EDC. And today, the government's own statistics reveal that there are still 2 million Americans who try ecstasy for the first time every year, with ecstasy-related hospital emergencies doubling in recent years.
Our government's traditional approach has clearly failed and will continue to fail. It is time to disseminate fact-based, scientific information on ecstasy without employing scare tactics which only alienate youths and discourage them from believing anything the government has to say about drugs. It is time that youths and adults, that the rave community and the community-at-large start working together instead of against each other. It is time for authorities to cease its discrimination against a genre of music events. It is time to give electronic music fans and promoters an opportunity to be involved in the process of designing and implementing policies regarding rave-type gatherings. It is time that these individuals are treated as part of the solution, not the problem. It is time for our government to adopt a rational, realistic strategy towards the concern over drugs, and to handle such concerns from a standpoint of public health instead of criminal justice.
How Your Donation Money Will Be Spent
This project is currently in post-production and the $10K goal will go towards paying to shoot the last of the interviews, hiring a composer to score an original track, licensing fees for a few previously produced songs I really want to include in the film, licensing fees for some photos I also want to include, and general maintenance costs of my media and editing suite.
Should I still donate if this campaign has reached its $10K goal?
Yes, absolutely! The $10K figure is just a modest amount which will (hopefully) cover the costs of finishing the film. Once the film is actually done, the real expenses begin...
- Hiring a publicist to help market the film
- Graphic design and printing costs for fliers and posters
- Ad space and other advertising costs
- Hiring an entertainment attorney & other legal fees
- Film festival submission fees, plus travel & hotel costs to attend the festivals
- Independent theatrical distribution costs run upwards of $100,000
So in other words, even if we make 10 times our goal or more, every dollar will still end up being spent on producing, marketing, and getting this documentary out to as many audience members as possible. The possibilities are endless but all of it will cost money. The more donations we get, the farther this project can go!
Gift You'll Receive If You Donate $5+
You will have your name (and/or your company name/logo/link) included on the thank-you page of the film's website.
If You Donate $25+
If You Donate $60+
All of the above. PLUS an advance DVD copy of "After EDC" autographed by director Le Liu.
If You Donate $90+
All of the above. PLUS a DanceSafe goody bag which includes two full sets of informational cards (over a dozen different drugs & hearing protection), a water bottle, and five different 11"x17" harm reduction posters.
If You Donate $150+
All of the above. PLUS your choice of either one complete ecstasy adulterant screening kit from DanceSafe OR a set of DanceSafe clothing which includes one hoody sweatshirt and one t-shirt (assortment of sizes and women's/unisex/tank-top styles to choose from).
If You Donate $250+
All of the above. PLUS an invitation for two to the film's premiere (travel not included). PLUS your name will receive an "Additional Fiscal Contributions by" credit at end of the film as well as in all promotions listing entire film credits.
If You Donate $500+
Same as above except with a "Major Fiscal Contributions by" credit at end of the film as well as in all promotions listing entire film credits.
If You Donate $1000+
Same as above except with an "Associate Producer" credit at end of the film as well as in all promotions listing main film credits.
If You Donate $5000+
Same as above except with an "Executive Producer" credit at end of the film as well as in all promotions listing main film credits.
When You Will Receive Your Gifts
This depends on the gift. All names, links, and logos for $5+ donors will go on our website immediately. All DanceSafe merchandise (goody bag, clothing, ecstasy screening kit) will be shipped at the end of this campaign. Movie posters will be printed and shipped when the film is completed. DVDs will be available and shipped upon the theatrical, DVD, or web release of the film.