While the dress code may have been “black and blue”, skin seemed to be the dominant garment of choice at BlackJack21: Black & Blue 2011. 6000 ravers made the pilgrimage to their version of a holy site that this year found itself back at the Olympic Stadium…
Looking around the cavernous room filled with people, a mishmash of leather-latex-female-male-gay-straight dancing for hours, a Black & Blue virgin like myself finally begins to comprehend what exactly this is all about. The concept seemed foreign to me. A manifestation of a personal nightmare: dancing to techno music for 16 hours straight. Why would people do this?
With apprehensive footsteps into the infamous Olympic Stadium, my expectations for this night teetered on the abysmal. From outside the stadium you can hear the faint thump-thump of the monster inside. As I walk deeper through the maze of lines and into the full body search, a peculiar feeling can’t help but infect me. Excitement? With every foot I move closer, the beats and vibrations grow louder. We make our way through the security checkpoint, turn the corner and I find myself blown away. I was standing right in the belly of the beast. Thousands of people danced around me, and instantly it becomes clear. The people that fill this room, this is not just an activity for them. This is a lifestyle.
Even with thousands of individual people, all expressing themselves in their own unique way by their dress or their movement, taking a step back they seemed to be all united. From above it looked like one giant pulsing organism. My skeptic start had turned into a thirst for more. I wanted to be apart of this. Because Black & Blue is plain and simple COOL. A huge benefit by the BBCM for HIV/AIDS, which attracts people from around the world. My ignorance of this place, and these people before I arrived has vanished. Now replaced with nothing but awe and wonderment at the love and fun that gets to be shared by thousands of people for 16 hours every year.
The video is a small window into this world, watch it as only a teaser into the energy that one can experience by being there in person. Black & Blue 2012 anyone? Next time, I’m dressing up.