The Sensation dance party, Wicked Wonderland, held in the city’s largest football stadium. The dress code was all white. The party goes from 10pm to 6am. Tickets cost about $100 (69 euros).
The placed is filled with thousands--probably tens of thousands people--dancing. [Update: there were 40,000 people on each of the two sold-out nights. Public transportation was excellent, night train schedules were posted in the bathrooms, and special free busses were running between 1 and 5am when the metro is shut down] Top DJs spin. It’s an upscale rave. Does that mean people are taking drugs? Of course.
Nobody overdoses. Nobody dies. A good time is had by all. Many if not most of the people are high on marijuana and/or ecstasy. There’s also a full bar.
[click on the picture to get an idea of the scale of this event. It is HUGE.]
Because of our war on drugs, there’s no equivalent to this DJ-music party scene in the US. It's actually illegal. Nobody can make money on such a large scale event because they all get shut down by police. It would be like closing down Yankee Stadium in the 1920s because people were drinking at baseball games.
In Europe, this party scene is a job-creating industry. This one sounded like fun.
Sensation White was the best or at least the most impressive dance music party I have even been to. It was at the Arena, but they did it up really nicely. The stage was in the center with four thrust parts going into the four corners. That meant that your section of the audience was broken up and smaller and there was stuff close to you.It should be noted that two years ago the Amsterdam police were not actually going so far as to take people to jail for drug use. But they were taking people out of the party and giving them citations. Taking any action for marijuana in Amsterdam is pretty much unheard of. Much less "harassing" people who otherwise were not causing trouble. This year was more laid back.
They did the place up so well with details and hiring hundred’ of models to work there. Everyone was actually dressed all in white, and the atmosphere was superb. And so many hot 20 somethings. Mmmmm. And 30 somethings and 40 somethings too. It was an exciting mix actually. And it sounded good. There, it’s official, a stadium set-up can sound perfect. I want nothing less in the future, please.
Unlike two years ago where police in plainclothes were harassing party goers and arresting joint smokers (for what I’m not sure), this year they were present, helpful and in the background.
We did one e before getting on the metro and I had two more in my shoe. In the other shoe I had a joint and left a decoy joint in my pockets. When I took it out at the frisking, they said it wasn’t allowed. "Why?" I asked.I wrote back and said I was shocked that anybody in Amsterdam would have to resort to a “decoy joint.” It's "just not mokum," I said. His reply:
You are allowed to have 5 grams [about 1/5 of an ounce] of weed in a bag and roll your own. But not a pre-rolled joint because, “We don’t know what is in it.”
“You can go outside and smoke it right now if you want,” a second security helpfully offered.
I thought that was very reasonable, but let them take it. I smoked the secret one over the evening in their classy, not stuffed, not smoky smoking room. The football stadium had windows the opened!
On one hand it is ridiculous that I would bring a decoy roach. And it’s not Amsterdam. On the other hand, I think it’s still nice that I can bring a decoy roach just to see what the police/security will do and not be worried that anything bad will happen. Of course I know they are not going to make me take off my shoes, so drugs get in.Is this man a blight on society? A junkie? A long-haired hippy freak? Quite the contrary. This man, who may or may not be my brother, is a husband, a father, and employees lots of people. He is a businessman.
Were it not for the permissive and successful drug policy of the Netherlands, he would not be in Amsterdam providing jobs and paying taxes. He never would have visited in the first place.