Nocturnal Fest fans ‘unfairly stereotyped’

Dear editor,

It has recently been said by some in our small town that events such as Future Fest and Nocturnal Fest only bring trouble and flood our streets with miscreants and drug dealers.

This is simply ridiculous.

There seems to be a base assumption that anyone who dresses differently or listens to a certain type of music must be affiliated with recreational drug use.

This is an unfair stereotype.

Does recreational drug use happen at these events? Absolutely. Are illegal drugs sold as a result of these events? Certainly.

But the fact that some individuals attending these events cannot follow the law is not reason enough to attempt to ban such events.

Every year at our fair there are people arrested for fighting or public intoxication, but would we ever shut down the county fair? No. We wouldn’t even consider it.

There are drugs bought and sold on the streets of Rockdale already.

A large amount of illegal drugs are taken off the streets in large drug busts in our town on a regular basis.

As a young man who lives in Rockdale, who attends parties and knows a wide group of young people, I can tell you that these drugs are bought, sold and used daily.

They are traded and used so frequently that many of us who are “in the know” wonder how it is that there haven’t been more drug busts.

This recent attack on the “techno” music scene which is developing in our area has nothing to do with drug use.

It is a direct and biased attack against the people that listen to techno.

It is an attack on people that certain members of our community consider to be “different” or “weird” and because they are different they are deemed dangerous degenerates.

I have lived with and battled this attitude my entire life.

Because I dress differently or listen to “alternative” music it is assumed that I am a neer-do-well, a hooligan, and a “stoner.”

While many of our high school athletes and supposed “Christian” teenagers do drugs, get drunk and cause trouble, me and my so called “trouble-causer” friends and many of the young people like us sit quietly at home on the weekends.

Our town has a golden opportunity in these events to expand culturally, to add more to our small town than just Mexican food restaurants and antique shops, and yet people are attacking them.

We constantly and frantically search for a way to bring money into our town and people cry out “Our town will dry up and blow away without Alcoa!” and yet they ignore the mini-booms that these events bring to our economy.

Frankly, this is nothing but ridiculous, close minded ignorance.

By banning these events we would be ruining one of the extremely few and infrequent chances to improve our economy.

It doesn’t make any sense.

Benjamin Edward Grismer

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2010-09-16 digital edition

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