There are many words that I can use to describe my world yesterday, the two most prominent would be interesting and exhausting. I attended the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival as a volunteer for One Spirit, a group raising money for Lakota youth on Pine Ridge. Rockstar Energy Drink is allowing One Spirit to set up a booth for fundraising at all 23 concerts nationwide, and that is just the beginning of how awesome Rockstar Energy Drinks is. I was asked if I could bring any cultural items or wear any regalia to increase visibility and improve donations. I answered yes on both counts.
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!
Sunday dawned cool, dark, and foggy, the forecast called for 70% chance of heavy thunderstorms and a continuation of a multiday flash flood watch. We need the rain and I would gladly trade out a hot sunny day for a cool wet one. I brought lots of trash bags to stash my shields in case things got wet. It was a good day, cool, cloudy, and with just enough sun breaks to make the day interesting.
I put on my ribbon shirt and head gear, a coyote hide with pesa and feathers, I should have pictures shortly. The early crowds reacted favorably so I also threw on my breastplate, bandolier, and dance aprons. I felt like a beacon of color in a sea of black death metal shirts. I had not seen so much black since my last trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Death metal is not my scene, I did my best trying to look comfortable and confident as I stood there holding my Oglala Sioux flag. The crowds were not receptive to the flyers so I ditched them found a high traffic area near the booth and waited for people to approach me. I got lots of high fives, fist bumps and horns. The coyote headdress was a big hit. If people wanted pictures I let them take a photo and requested that they go over to the booth and give a donation. I would say 80 to 90% of the people actually gave money.
LAUGH IT UP FUZBALL!
I got some good laughs, the first was when a group of young teenage girls walked past and one of them sniffed her armpit and then loudly stated, “Hey guys my armpits don’t stink!”. Another person was walking past me and I shifted my weight at bit. He jumped about a foot and a half “Holy sh*t, you’re real!” Another woman stopped. Looked at me, “Oh my god what did you do to my dog!”. There were other Lakota’s there and I was treated well by them. I may start a trend as they thought it was a great idea to be dressed out. I even met a few people I know, Buff, a fellow sun dancer was rather shocked to see me there. Sadly there were also a number of D-bags. I was called Chief many times, asked if I could give them any peyote, others woo woo woo’d in my face, I did my best not to react to that behavior.
ECSTACY IS A FUNNY DRUG!
The rollers treated me like a mobile petting zoo, several people were fascinated by the different textures of the material I was wearing, the bone breast plate and coyote fur got a good deal of stroking. Strangely I got pretty comfortable with it, as long the person asked first. I jumped a few times due to unexpected contact. These people were obviously on something and I am going to guess ecstasy by their behavior and fascination with my clothing.
WHO THROWS A SHOE? HONESTLY?
I noticed several people there with only 1 shoe. I wondered about that till I took a break and was looking towards the secondary Jagermeister stage. Every once in a while a shoe would fly up into the air. I guess throwing shoes is a thing. Don’t ask me about it I am just stating what I witnessed.
PILA MAYA YELO!
By 6 pm the crowds had emptied out and were moving into the main stage so we packed up and went home. The promised rain started just as I drove into Castle Rock. It was a long and exhausting day. I need to give mad props to Rockstar Energy Drinks, they provided all vendors with cases of product. I especially liked the large black cans that were simply filled with water. I am not a huge fan of energy drinks in the first place so the water was greatly appreciated, not to mention that they were providing One Spirit a good opportunity to raise money for Lakota children.
One Spirit is also a great organization, the donations I helped to collect were going to their youth program but they also provide food and wood deliveries for winter heat. If anyone wishes to help out the people living on Pine Ridge, One Spirit is now my first response. If any readers wish to help out, here is their donation link.
My date with mayhem was enjoyable and certainly entertaining and interesting. Death metal is still far from my favorite music but the fans are generally good people with good humor, yes there is a death metal band titled “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Upon a Burning Body” band members are pretty awesome. Most attendees are just letting it all go for an afternoon, and there is nothing wrong with that.
If you would like a date with Mayhem, One Spirit needs volunteers for the following dates and cities.
Dallas Tuesday, July 10th
Houston, Wednesday, July 11th
Atlanta, Saturday July 14th
Cincinnati Tuesday, July 24th
Cleveland , Wednesday July 25th
Camden, NJ /New York and Philadelphia areas Friday July 27th
Washington DC/Northern Virginia Sunday July 29th
please contact Bonnie Rathjen, ONE Spirit Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 462-6360 and she will help you make it happen!
Update! Pictures are here.
Feathers avail for 10 dollar donation
Yea this is me laughing, no mirror so my pesa was crooked… oh well.
Donation feathers and buffalo teeth.
Little tiny buffalo scull.