There has been a lot of back and forth this week on Kandi and it's role in event safety. Last weekend, the homemade bead jewelery worn by some EDM fans was banned from the Mad Decent Block Party, after two young men died from what are believed to be health conditions complicated by MDMA use the weekend before.
Diplo, Mad Decent's owner and front man tweeted "I don't got nothing but love 4 u and your kandi i just want to take steps to make sure everyone is there 100% for the music. not other stuff". He later explained the decision in more detail, saying that there were "serious issues" with attendees hiding drugs in their kandi.
Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac Events, posted his support for kandi on his Facebook page when the news broke. And today, in a sit down with music journalists, he expanded his position, saying:
It has nothing to do with making the event safer. We have better things to focus on, more important things to focus on that can actually help. Let people wear what they're gonna wear. It's crazy. Dance music events were the one place you could go and not be judged. You're supposed to feel comfortable. If people have a belief or have something that allows them to connect with others by trading beads, that's a positive thing. Don't kill that. I think there's some misunderstandings. I don't think they meant to target rave culture. "
The other major event to ban kandi at shows is Gary Richard's HARD Events. Rotella describes the reasoning for HARD's ban as follows:
This is what I understood happened: HARD was more doing it as a fashion thing. They were not down with that look, which is crazy, because dance music has been about expressing your individuality
You can read more from the sit down on Vice's Thump.