Why Gloving is Not a Crime

The bans on gloving and other LED light shows from EDM shows and festivals are increasing at an incredible rate. While people have been buying high quality light show gloves from gloving companies such as Emazing Lights, KandEKreations and Orbit Light Show, big event companies such as Insomniac and HARD are doing their best to shut them out.

Why is gloving banned?

1. Chances of having a seizure becomes higher

The closest thing to a truly valid reason for gloving to be banned would have to be this one. People with epilepsy or anyone prone to seizures in general could risk experiencing one if they come into contact with fast, bright, blinking lights. But, what else does one see at a show that also produces the same effects as gloving? Oh right, the entire stage. This doesn’t mean I don’t condone people with epilepsy going to raves, it’s just simply hypocritical for an events company to ban something you produce yourself.

2. It’s drug-related 

The link between drugs and gloving is the most publicized of reasons for their ban. After an overdose that resulted in death at EDC 2010, authorities have been quick to point fingers at the EDM scene and everything related to it. Toronto even went so far as to ban any kind of EDM from their largest entertainment district. This request was put in by the owner of Muzik Nightclub who used “taking ecstasy on government lands owned by the taxpayers” as his argument to protect his failing business. 



3. People sit down on the floor and create a dangerous environment

Insomniac banned gloving in 2011, claiming “the image that it creates when groups of music fans are sitting or lying on the floor gazing at the designs reflects poorly and sends a false message of what the electronic dance music scene is about”. Pasquale Rotella even went so far as to hire an actual crew called the “Get Up and Dance Crew” to patrol the dance floor and find people sitting down, watching light shows and inspire them to ‘get up and dance’.

4. It’s another item that security has to search

I think this one speaks for itself.

Why is this relevant right now?

The reason I continue to beat this dead horse is because of two words I saw on the banned list at this year’s LED USA event. Light gloves. Although in this case LED does not stand for “light-emitting diodes” and rather my “Life Every Day”, regular LED event attendees should find this shocking. This is the first time in LED event history that light gloves have ever appeared on the banned list.


Only a few months ago at LED Anniversary, there were booths inside the Valley View Casino Center selling shirts that read “Gloving is not a crime”. Although LED events aren’t specifically glove-centered events, they have been very light show-friendly in the past. So why is this happening now? Why should we even care?

Well, as someone who gloves for a hobby, Tramps Like Us, LED Anniversay, LED USA and OMFG! NYE were all great events for me to not only enjoy amazing music but I also got to perform for people and trade light shows as well as tips. I made friends through gloving, traded kandi over light shows, made people smile and almost always received a hug as a thanks.

Why the industry is making a serious mistake

LED had the right idea when they decided to team up with Emazing Lights – back before the ban. By merely letting LED toys into your venue, you create a fun experience but by supporting and even selling these things at your events, you get happy customers as well as profit. After all, people still get seizures or sneak in drugs at shows where gloving is prohibited anyways.

1. Gloving is a form of expression

For many people, EDM events are a place where they are free to be themselves. Everybody has a way of expression. For some people it’s dancing, for some it’s singing, for glovers its gloving. To us, gloving isn’t just waving lights in people’s faces. Gloving is an artform. Just as for any other artist, each movement is the result of hours of painstaking practice and planning. To us, gloving is just as important a part of the experience as dancing. Banning gloving is essentially the same as telling the shufflers, “you can’t dance” and limiting the creative expression of their customers.  Banning gloving essentially goes against the accepting atmosphere that production companies are trying to promote.

2. Banning gloving detracts from the allure of events

By banning gloving, the industry is taking away from its own consumers. For glovers, events are one of the few places where they can display their art form to a wider audience. Other than Youtube and gloving competitions hosted by vendors, glovers have very few ways to increase exposure and share their art with others. Of course this won’t stop glovers from going to events for the music, but it certainly does make that choice between a $216 Beyond Wonderland ticket or a Vegas trip a little easier to make. That definitely can’t be good for business.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful light show by Team Ayo?’s Sharky to the beauty that is Cosmic Gate‘s “Be Your Sound”.

Lalita Stone

Lalita Stone

Four years after moving to the United States, Lita has become a full blown concert-going, DJ-stalking, kandi-trading raver. When she's not giving light shows to Calvin Harris, she's working on her B.A. in Literature at UCSB.
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