It’s no secret that Relentless Beats knows how to throw some of the best parties in AZ. An amazing time was had by all last Saturday night at Phoenix’s annual TRAPFEST! The event was held at the Pressroom in downtown Phoenix, which boasts a spacious indoor and outdoor area, multiple bars, and a killer sound system.
The night was a hectic, bass-heavy blend of trap, hip-hop, house, EDM, dubstep, and drum & bass. From chef outfits to onesies to LED costumes, everyone dressed to express.
MeanMugg, Four Color Zack, DJ CRAZE, and Just Blaze threw down outside while larger-than-life visuals projected onto a massive concrete wall beside the stage. Just Blaze (known for producing tracks for Eminem and Jay-Z) delivered a high-intensity set until 2 AM, complete with stunning dancers and mesmerizing visuals.
Inside at the main stage, the crowd raged HARD to the beats of GRiiM and GoodTimeMiller, followed by headliners Stööki Sound and TroyBoi (each hailing from London), and GTA of Miami. Some favorite tracks from the crowd included Stööki Sound’s “Uppers,” Troyboi’s latest collab with Diplo, “Afterhours,” and GTA’s hauntingly melodic yet bass-heavy “Red Lips,” featuring Sam Bruno.
The main stage’s floor was PACKED with fans, drinks in hand and going hard all night. Sweat dripped from everyone and clothing was scant in the AZ summer heat. Relief could be found under the Pressroom’s massive industrial fans, centrally located and offering some much-needed cool air.
The Pressroom’s 14,000 square foot space left plenty of room for people to dance to the music or chill on the outdoor patio for a breather. With the Desert Canvas totem held high, I set out with my good friend Alisha Cropper to speak with members and allies of the LGBTQ community. Here are some of their stories!
We first spoke to Mason, donning a chef outfit with a close friend. Mason, who is straight, has encountered many people in his social circles who are opposed to the LGBTQ community.
“I try to change their opinions,” Mason told us. “It’s not cool to be anti-gay.”
Next we spoke to a close-knit group of friends, several of whom are LGBTQ-identified. I asked Taylor, a beautiful and sweet transgender girl in the group, how long she’s been friends with her crew. Taylor replied, “A long, long time! Since I was ten years old…since I was a boy!” We all got a good laugh. Taylor’s transition sparked so much discrimination in high school that she was forced to leave and make her own path in life. There is an air of strength about her, and I applaud the tremendous courage it has taken her to live authentically.
Two other members of Taylor’s crew, Dezsarae and Megan, have been best friends for years, and recently took their relationship to the next level. This gorgeous couple is proud of their love and not afraid to show it. They are happy to be surrounded by an extremely supportive network of family and friends, who stand behind their lady love 100%. Megan’s message to haters is,
“Don’t tell me how to love and I won’t tell you how to dress!”
We are so happy to have met these beautiful people who wholeheartedly support equality for the LGBTQ community. We hope to see you all at the Desert Canvas All One Fest this Thursday night!
Next we met an introverted, lovely girl named Taryn from California, who came out as a lesbian at 15 years old. School administrators punished her for her homosexuality; she was deemed a threat and banned from changing with the other girls in the locker room!
Taryn told us about an interesting Outlook magazine article she was featured in back in 2009. Taryn’s grandmother, mother, aunt, and sister, all of whom identify as lesbians, were featured in the article as well. The article discussed a possible genetic component to homosexuality, showing haters that being gay is not simply a “choice” or something that can be changed.
Taryn moved to Arizona in 2008, and has since struggled to find a group of supportive, accepting friends. Alisha and I ended up spending most of the night with Taryn, and we even hung out after the show! We encouraged her to join the incredible Desert Canvas community, a community that welcomes LGBTQ-identified individuals with open arms.
An older gentleman named Frank told us about his teenage daughter, who recently came out as a lesbian. Not only is he 100% okay with it, but he actively encourages his daughter to follow her heart, go on dates with other girls, and pursue people she’s attracted to.
“You love who you love,” said Frank. “Who are we to judge?”
Edward told us a similar story about a friend’s daughter, Tammy, who came out to him, but still hasn’t come out to her own parents, for fear that they won’t accept her homosexuality. Edward hopes that in time, Tammy will muster the courage to tell her parents, and he will stand behind her every step of the way.
Next we talked to Justin, a straight guy with a number of gay friends who frequently face discrimination. Justin talked about his dislike of the “bro mentality,” including the stereotypical homophobic attitude held by many heterosexual men. Justin posed the question,
“Why can’t we all just get along?”
He doesn’t see the need for such harsh judgment. Justin added, “I love the EDM rave scene. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, whatever. Everyone is so accepting.”
That’s exactly the vibe that permeated the night—a feeling of love and acceptance. I was beyond happy to meet so many LGBTQ-identified individuals who have transformed the hate they’ve experienced into a channel for growth and strength. Every single person we talked to was friendly, kind, and happy to share their stories. The diverse crowd included everyone from first-time ravers to old-schoolers who have been part of the scene for years. It felt like one big happy, trappy family.
A huge thank you to Relentless Beats for throwing yet another party to remember. Thanks to the Pressroom for providing the perfect venue.
Thank you, above all, to the brave and kind souls who shared their stories of both defeat and triumph in the LGBTQ community. Remember, you’re not alone. Let’s stand together in the name of love.
Looking for the next great party of the summer? Check out what Relentless Beats has in store! Head out to Shady Park in Tempe to see Crywolf this Friday, July 22nd! Go see Adventure Club take over Talking Stick’s Release pool party on Saturday, July 23rd! And DEFINITELY don’t forget to secure your tickets to see Bassnectar at 2016’s Global Dance Festival!
Grab your tickets for all upcoming Relentless Beats events here.