Booze-free rave hits UVM

Unless you were burrowed under the proverbial rock, I’ll bet you felt an indistinguishable pumping bass shaking the sidewalk as you passed the Davis Center in the young hours of Sunday morning. Looking up towards the sound, you probably saw asymmetrical colored shapes grazing about the Grand Maple Ballroom. The pandemonium was Elixer, an event hosted by DJs Vasilis Varsakopoulos, a UVM sophomore, and senior Matt Joseph, which ran through the night between Nov. 10 and 11. The show also featured DJ Haitian as hype man to what at first glance looked like a sweaty rainbow swamp orgy of college students. A massive screen projected fast-moving, multi-colored psychedelic shapes over the DJ’s stage while the dance floor pulsed with locals and students swinging glow sticks and necklaces.When asked about the purpose of this event, Varsakopoulos expressed his dissatisfaction with Burlington’s answer to techno-hungry ravers and music lovers alike. “There’s no club scene, I was sick of having to go downtown to clamped up basements. This was going to be a dry event on a dry campus where people could dance,” Varsakopoulos said. Though Varsakopoulos estimates that Elixer drew approximately 1,000 students to the floor, organization for the event hit several walls before coming to fruition. “We had to overcome obstacle over obstacle … they didn’t believe there’d be 500 people there.” The resistance was surprising to Varsakopoulos, who wanted to encourage spending a Saturday night in a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment (this isn’t to say that the majority of its bleary-eyed attendants hadn’t done some proper pre-gaming). “It would’ve been more enjoyable if I wasn’t so overly aware and awkwarded (sic) out by how many people were sweating and grinding on each other all around me,” junior Travis Fryer said. “I do like the concept of this huge, open event for the public where everyone’s invited to have a good time.”Considering the sheer happiness you could see on the faces of those leaving, entering?? and scoring some dry friction, Varsakopoulos intends to make Elixer a biannual event at UVM. “People like that shit, I gave people the chance to listen to it in a proper setting,” he said.