By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
"They flew me to Texas twice to go to a couple of events they had," Lokey says. "I couldn't even buy a pack of gum without them paying for it."
Gloving's growing popularity has not been without controversy. Insomniac, an L.A.-based rave promoter and host of the gargantuan electronic music festival Electric Daisy Carnival, banned gloving from all of its events last year, vaguely explaining that light shows send "a false message of what the electronic dance music scene is about." When asked for further clarification, Erika Raney, Insomniac's communications director, explained that LED light gloves "distract from the fan experience," likening them to "beach balls at a baseball game."
But most glovers believe Insomniac's stance has to do with the perception — false, they insist — that gloving is mostly done for partygoers high on ecstasy. Because ecstasy dilates the pupils and has mildly psychedelic properties, rapidly moving bright lights look extra-dazzling to anyone feeling the effects of the drug.
Munch, like most glovers, acknowledges that the sport has its roots in drug-enhancing glow stick shows but believes it has progressed to where "it's more about the artistic traits."
As for Emazing's Lim, Insomniac's ban only made him more determined to prove gloving has gone legit. He views the International Gloving Championship, Emazing's hundreds of slickly produced YouTube videos and a recent "gloving challenge" on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew (featuring Emazing glove sets) as parts of a "nice portfolio to be, like, 'Hey Insomniac, check us out.' Yes, gloving back then was this way, but look at it now.
"Our goal," Lim adds, "is to show the world that gloving has evolved from this rave thing into a respectable art form."
In the meantime, glovers like Munch will have to practice their art form on the down-low at Insomniac events like Beyond Wonderland and Electric Daisy Carnival.
"I just sneak 'em in," Munch says. "I'm one of hundreds that do that."