The Southern California rave scene needs a real solution to the drug problem more than ever, and Insomniac will introduce their new initiative Project #OpenTalk at the festivities at Escape this weekend. As a peer education center, Project #OpenTalk will give attendees a chance to get educated on drugs, mental health, and sex as a way to reduce harm at their events and beyond. With the RAVE act still in effect, this project can only do so much, but it will hopefully help the conversation to keep all festivals safer and their attendees smarter.
Project #OpenTalk was designed in response to drug-related hospitalizations and deaths at festivals, particularly in the electronic music community in Southern California. While Insomniac, like other festival production companies, still has a zero tolerance drug policy and conducts entry searches, they have at least acknowledged that more needs to be done to keep their attendees informed and safe. The service will allow Escape attendees, called “Headliners” by Insomniac, to approach a booth onsite at the event and ask trained peer educators questions related to drugs, sex or mental health.