Preview: Eugene Musicians Against Sexual Violence host New Year’s Psychedelic Ball at WOW Hall
This New Year’s Eve WOW Hall will hold the Eugene Psychedelic Ball, hosted by Eugene Musicians Against Sexual Violence (EMASV) and sponsored by Oregon Herbal Remedies and High Lights Garden Supply. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the first band performing at 7:20 p.m, and the music will last until 2 a.m. on New Year’s morning.
As hosts, EMASV will make occasional announcements throughout the night, introducing the concept of a safe space and teaching behavioral tools for healthy interaction. The group will also provide a point of contact for any concerns people have regarding safety throughout the night.
Created in September of 2016, EMASV is a way for the music community to empower its members and take ownership of safety at shows. It has teamed with Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) to organize a few of their own shows. All bands performing at the Psychedelic Ball are members except Crown Chakra and The Shivas, who are part of a sister group in Portland.
Tim Khadafi, the event organizer and member of Snow White, a local dark and dreamy two-piece band, is trying to launch an entire Psychedelic Ball brand in Eugene. He is attempting to cultivate the psychedelic movement in part as a way to bridge gaps in the music community and create a more inclusive and safe space, and he is currently working on organizing several events per year, including a multiple-day spring festival with bigger headliners.
The Psychedelic Ball was organized “in response to the toxicity in the club culture and desire to create a euphoric and healthy human experience,” Khadafi said.
Lauren Hay, singer and keyboardist for Snow White, described modern club culture as “a time to get blackout drunk and expel all of your stress or angst or whatever, and then start all over again.” The psychedelic Ball was created to provide a safe alternative to this culture. “You have to carve out spaces for an alternative experience where you feel comfortable, safe and empowered,” she said.
Hay says it’s not only the music itself, but the combination of visuals, community and performances that make the ball an exciting way to spend New Year’s Eve. She hopes the ball can “engage people physically and mentally in an alternative experience that hopefully creates an experience of growth.”
“[The psychedelic movement] is a response to the somewhat cliché and obvious social oppression we’re all suffering as we become more institutionalized,” Khadafi said. “It’s the artistic way of pushing back on that and sort of challenging ourselves as individuals to increase our own empathy as a means of improving the entire community.”
In an effort to engage the audience’s senses and facilitate a psychedelic experience, Mad Alchemy, an analog liquid light show, will provide visual entertainment during the ball. These projections are made from water, oil and dye, and they are created live in response to the music. The group has been around since San Francisco’s hippie heyday. They will bring 15 projectors, lighting up the entirety of WOW Hall.
In the spirit of New Year’s, a countdown and toast will be held at midnight, and the audience is welcome to get fancy or freaky, and embrace the festivities.
All of the bands are from Eugene with the exception of headliners The Shivas and Crown Chakra. Despite the psychedelic theme, the bands cover a wide musical spectrum: with garage-ridden sounds from The Blimp, to the fast and groovy Egotones; shoegaze elements from Snow White to the catchy and poppy Psychomagic; the doom-influenced Sacred Trees and the Shivas’ oldies psychedelic sound.
Two stages will be set up, the main stage and the downstairs bar stage. Seven bands will perform on the main stage and four will play during mainstage set changes in the bar. The downstairs stage is restricted to those age 21 and over.
“For all the serious intent we’re putting into it, it’s a party, and it’s still a rock ‘n’ roll show,” Khadafi said. “It’s not an uptight place.”
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of show. They can be found on WOW Hall’s event page. People are encouraged to purchase tickets early due to the venue’s 600 person capacity.
7:20-7:50 p.m. Mainstage: HOLLER HOUSE
7:55-8:25p.m. Downstairs CREEP CREEP JANGA
8:30-9:00 p.m. Mainstage: SURFS DRUGS
8:55pm-9:25pm Downstairs SACRED TREES
9:30pm-10:00pm Mainstage THE BLIMP
9:55pm-10:25pm Downstairs THOM SIMON
10:30pm-11:00pm Mainstage EGOTONES
10:45pm-11:15pm Downstairs CROWN CHAKRA
11:00 pm-11:45pm Mainstage SNOW WHITE
11:50 Champagne Toast/Midnight announcement mainstage for champagne toast
12:15am-12:50am Mainstage PSYCHOMAGIC
1:00am-2:00am Mainstage THE SHIVAS
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.