It’s 6:00pm on rave night. The venue looks gorgeous, ready to welcome in thousands of ravers from across the country. Some of the attendees are still at the hotel, adding the final touches of glitter on their cheeks. Others are already inside, giggling with carefree attitudes in their bright costumes that were executed so very carefully. But for some individuals, the evening looks a little different.
Dressed in bright orange t-shirts, a small group sits inside the back room of the venue listening intently to Conscious Crew Director, Gabe Ossa. These individuals make up the evening’s Conscious Crew Team. They’re going to be the eyes and ears of the show to help keep the community safe. While these individuals may have a smile on their face for the majority of the night, don’t be fooled; while the job is extremely rewarding, it’s certainly not one that’s taken lightly. During a show, Conscious Crew members are “the first responders on site, the eyes and ears to medical, and the interface between attendees and event staff.”
Founded, in 2013 it’s Conscious Crew’s mission to “powerfully inspire an enduring culture of safety and wellness in the dance community.” In other words, Conscious Crew is a bunch of really cool people who volunteer to help keep us safe at shows! The Conscious Crew team is made up of all types of individuals ranging from: firefighters, nurses, students, corporate employees, EMTs and military personnel.
I sat down with Conscious Crew Director, Gabe Ossa to learn more about this amazing program.
What is your official role/job title at Conscious Crew?
I am the Founder and Director of Conscious Crew.
How long have you been running CC?
I created the program in 2013 and I’ve been working at it basically every day since.
What was the inspiration behind start CC?
Conscious Crew was created as a way to make our events safer and to help attendees become more focused more on health safety and wellness at the show itself and also just in general.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Conscious Crew is super rewarding work. It’s hard to pick one favorite aspect because the whole program is just awesome. I’d say that seeing the transformational effect it has on volunteers has been super cool as well as seeing the impact on attendees. It’s like there’s been a shift in the atmosphere at our events – I definitely feel like attendees are looking out for each other ever since we started this program.
How would you describe Conscious Crew in one – two sentences?
The most badass group of ravers who get together to help each other have a good and safe night.
What kind of an impact do you think Conscious Crew has on the EDM community?
It’s had a noticeable impact on people and people taking care of each other. I believe people are more aware of being safe and looking. Eventually, the future goal or dream is to have community empowerment and initiative to take care of each other as a group whether or not Conscious Crew is working that evening or not.
What’s an average shift like at Conscious Crew?
It really depends. There’s different positions that all depend on various factors like how big the show is, what the crowd size is like, etc. Some examples of potential shifts are: operations team members, crew manager, roamers, safe room workers, chill zone monitors, etc. No shift or position is the same, but it’s a guarantee that you’ll have an impact in a positive way on at least one person.
Can you tell us a story of something powerful you’ve seen happen during an event with CC?
I see a lot of powerful things happen at every show so it’s hard to just pick one thing. If I had to pick I’d say that I love how Conscious Crew has many repeat volunteers. Sometimes they bring back family so it’s cool to see family members and a multi-generational group of volunteering and working together at a rave.
What advice do you have for people looking to apply?
Get CPR certified. Realize it’s a huge commitment. You are committing to be a first responder. It’s hard work, but rewarding work. You’ll need to be able to respect the time commitment. Don’t go expecting a normal festival experience. Instead, expect to have a different experience that’s a life-changing, real experience. I have volunteers who have volunteered that don’t want to go back to a show unless it’s helping somebody.
Conscious Crew also gets together outside of shows/festivals. Can you describe what that’s like?
Park clean ups, feeding the homeless, etc. it’s a tight-knit close family that does a lot of outings together to good in the community.
Do you want to give back to the Dance Community ?Learn more about the Conscious Crew family and stay-up-to-date when applications are released here. Or give them a “like” on their Facebook page! Don’t have time to volunteer? You can still help out by buying their NEW Electric Family bracelet here!