I have been writing here at EDM Sauce for years now. I slowly have worked my way up from an intern to COO. That being said over the past few years of hard work and incredible experiences, I have had a lot of personal struggles, mainly with addiction. Many of which I have written about in various reviews, as well as in our Diary of An Addict series. Still many of these life changing moments were written about and never made their way onto the site. In some cases for personal reasons, and others because it was just not pertinent to the story I was telling.
Over the years, I have shared some of these unpublished experiences with friends, family, publicists, managers, artists, other media members and just random festival acquaintances, and have gotten the same feedback: I should write a book. This, for a long time was just a pipe dream, not something I ever truly took seriously. Literally millions of people in this country are afflicted with the disease of addiction, many of them through incredible stories have found recovery, and then some of them have even gone on to pen Books about their experience. Every success story of living in and overcoming addiction is a story worth being told. I just never really knew the right way to tell mine. That was until a particular person who works for a publisher contacted me after reading several of my pieces.
I sent them the notes I have taken, journal entries I have penned, as well as articles I have written that were both published and scrapped. They came back to me a few days ago with an idea, that they wanted to see if I was interested in pursuing. After taking some time to consider this, I have decided to take my collection of both personal and public pieces and expand them into a book. It will be a an overview of several different music festivals I have attended, where I was at in my life and recovery during that time, and the impact each experience had on me. So I thought I would share with all of you, the people who have kept me writing for all of these years, a small outline of the chapters contained in this book.
Electric Zoo 2011
I had just turned 19, and drug addiction was manifesting itself in some reasonably serious ways. I was getting ready to go off to college at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and was ridden with anxiety about it. I knew that I was devastatingly addicted to opiates and the thought of going away to school was terrifying. That being said I shoved all of those feelings down into a dark space where I could ignore them and left to NYC with two of my best friends. We spent the weekend sleeping in the back of my suburban in a parking garage and in the end came out on the other end hoping for the best but preparing for the worst as college loomed ahead.
Electric Zoo 2013
After getting arrested for felony theft charges, going to a long term treatment center for addiction, moving to a different city and relapsing on heroin things got dark in my life. I soon started to use the drug intravenously and overdosed. I came within an inch of losing my life. Only 45 days later, I journeyed back to NYC, once again in recovery. I experienced my first music festival sober, but held a dark secret the entire time that would only come out years later.
I made my way up to Bethel Woods, the site of the historic Woodstock '69 to experience the inaugural addition of Mysteryland USA. It was the first major festival I covered for EDM Sauce and second festival I was to experience in recovery. The entire weekend was beyond incredible. The people I met who remain in my life today, the artists I started relationships with and the visual production of the entire experience made for a realization that working in this industry was my calling.
Hudson Project 2014
After amassing almost a year of continuous sobriety I made my way to the festival which at the time looked to be a complete game changer. In upstate New York with one of my best friends, I experienced a relapse, a hurricane force storm hitting the campgrounds, and an aftermath of epic proportions that in the end require the red cross needing to come to provide aid. That being said the entire weekend was unimaginably special as I met people who remain in my life today, and little did I know it would be one of the last times being able to experience a festival with two of my close friends before addiction took their lives.
Electric Forest 2015
I was deep in vicious bender. Things in my life were an absolute mess, but on the outside I attempted to maintain a thin veil of manageability. Regardless I attempted to secure enough heroin to make it through the nearly week long trip from Philadelphia to Michigan for Electric Forest and back. The result was a disastrous story of going into brutal withdrawals across state lines, humiliating myself in ways unimaginable, losing my girlfriend at the time and in the end realizing that I was on deaths doorstep. It was my final wake up call and rock bottom.
After moving to Texas in late summer of 2016, I planted roots and got back on track with my recovery. I built a life down in Texas and continued to move forward working here at EDM Sauce. Things were going amazing, and I was planning on meeting one of my best friends from back home in Austin for the festival. Only a week out though we suffered an incredible loss, his brother and one of my best friends was taken by drug addiction. Together we decided to still make the trip, and what we found at Carson Creek Ranch was nothing short of spiritual. Our story of healing, friendship and recovery makes for the final chapter to this story.
So here you have it. The best outline I can give of the book that is being written right now. It is in it's early stages but we are planning for a release in late 2017. Names of people and potentially festivals will be changed, but the entire contents will be absolutely true. Talk about a terrifying yet exciting endeavor. I have always felt comforted by the acceptance of our community when getting vulnerable about my experiences but this will take it to an all new level. I hope I can bring you an accurate portrayal of what happens when addiction, recovery and the festival circuit all collide in the most tragic and beautiful ways.