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RAVING without the alcohol and drugs?

It can be done, as the recent PaintGlow Festival (PGF) proved.

Touted as an alcohol- and drug-free event, the electronic music dance party held at the Sepang International Circuit on New Year’s Eve went off without a hitch.

No mean feat, considering that it’s the first major rave party to make its way to our shores in almost two years.

Synonymous with alcohol and drugs, the last rave that was held in Malaysia came to a screeching halt because of substance abuse.

In March 2014, seven young people died after taking a party drug at the Future Music Festival in Kuala Lumpur.

This was in spite of the event organiser’s efforts to curb drug abuse at the event — it had sent out numerous anti-drug messages were sent out via its social media channels prior to the event as well as posted numerous warning messages at the entrance to the concert area and around the festival grounds.

Following the cancellation of the festival, Life in Colour, another live music event that was to be held a month later, was cancelled too.

The PaintGlow Festival, being the first glow paint party in Asia, also marked the comeback of the rave party to Malaysia.

Party crew splashing glow in the dark paint on partygoers at the PaintGlow Festival, the first of its paint party in Asia. — TRP pic by Kenneth Wan
Party crew splashing glow in the dark paint on partygoers at the PaintGlow Festival, the first of its paint party in Asia. — TRP pic by Kenneth Wan

From the get go, the organisers had made it clear that it was an alcohol- and drug-free event, and on the event day itself security was tight in accordance to government guidelines.

Despite the distance and tighter security, some 7,000 attendees turned up for the music fest closer towards the end. Of the number, almost 1,000 were foreign tourists.

The PGF is an evolving concept to delight partygoers with new visuals, new light shows, new acrobats, new dancers and other surprises.

Paint parties started in the United States but have since become all the rage in Europe over the past few years.

This is the first time the PGF came over to Malaysia — and Asia — and is supported by Tourism Malaysia.

Malaysians from all walks of life gathering to usher in the new year at the PaintGlow Festival. — TRP pic by Kenneth Wan
Malaysians from all walks of life gathering to usher in the new year at the PaintGlow Festival. — TRP pic by Kenneth Wan

The event featured a mix of local and international acts in the dance music scene, including acrobats and Tron dance performances.

Among the local acts were Balan Kashmir followed by Caprice. Other acts included Chukiess & Whackboi, BATE, Goldfish & Blink. Sandro Silva made a perfect closing act and 2016 was ushered in with fireworks, confetti and and gallons of UV paint.

Aside from the music fest itself, attendees enjoyed a free paint kit, and lucky winners received a free Ice watch during its giveaway prior to the concert.

There was also a variety of food trucks to satisfy hunger pangs between sets and discounted MyTeksi services for rides to and from the event venue.

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