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The Millennial Pilgrimage to Sensation Innerspace, Brooklyn


By Alison Hillhouse,  MTV Insights

On October 26th, I witnessed something unusual in the streets of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Mobs of teens & 20-somethings were wandering about clad in all-white from head-to-toe, donning accessories such as white sunglasses, white furry boots and white angel wings.

 This was the pilgrimage to Sensation, an internationally renowned EDM (electronic dance music) festival making its first American appearance at Barclay’s Center.  I interviewed several groups of Millennials who traveled from places as far and wide as Buffalo, Denver and Amsterdam to find out what was so special about this particular rave:

1)    Once-in-a-lifetime

Millennials hunger to be a part of never seen before or again experiences… almost an antidote to a world that’s become so manufactured and where everyone has access to the same pieces of digital content. This was the very first time Sensation had travelled to the US, and young people wanted to be physically present at this once-in-a-lifetime event, which they could Tweet, FB and Instagram for friends who couldn’t make it (just check out the thousands of Instagram photos of Sensation Innerspace, many here)

2)    Generational water cooler

Millennials are community-oriented, and crave a feeling of oneness and unity – so an EDM show has almost become a religious experience for this generation. Sensation particularly achieves this with its mandatory “all-white” rule, and a few Denver 20-somethings who made the pilgrimage to BK explained they liked the dress code because of the “sense of belonging” it fostered.

via @shinsterrr

This crew also said they like how Sensation connects young people around the globe. “The whole world is connected, you can’t think locally anymore, you have to think globally” said Kan, 24. Al, 24 noted that these kinds of festivals feel right for his generation because they “transcend judgment and presumed stereotypes.”

Denver-ites: Linda, David, Al and Kan

3)    Hyper-experience

In a world that’s trending towards post-consumerism, experience trumps physical things…. particularly the hyper-experience offered by EDM shows.  Drugs are not required to feel transcended by the pulsating bass, multi-colored lights and fountains of fire & water spewing from the set of this $2.5M show. But it wouldn’t be an EDM show without Molly… as publicized on a young woman’s glasses below. And as I finished up my interviews and headed to the supermarket, I came across a pack of teens in all-white who were aggressively searching for the cough syrup aisle to concoct their own transcendental evening…

[Photo via @elisemami]