Penn State students preparing for finals week will soon have the opportunity to blow off a little steam and get a little dirty.
"DAYGLOW 2012 - Life in Color," a touring electronic music event that bills itself as "the world's largest paint party" will take over the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park for two days, with shows starting at 7 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Tickets for the event, which ranged in price from $49.50 to $81, are sold out.
Fervor for the event follows two big electronic concerts hosted at the BJC earlier in the school year - Avicii, mastermind behind the radio hit "Levels," performed last November, then Sebastian Ingrosso, well-known as both a solo electronic act and as one third of the DJ super-group Swedish House Mafia, took the stage in February.
This photo courtesy of DAYGLOW shows a previous tour stop in New York City.
"DAYGLOW 2012 - Life in Color" will feature sets by DJs Chuckie and David Solano.
Rachel Elman, 18, a freshman at Penn State who attended the Ingrosso concert and holds a ticket to DAYGLOW, said she loves the "whole atmosphere and ambiance" at electronic shows. She added that they provide an experience outside of concerts in other genres.
"I really want to go [to DAYGLOW] because I think it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to something of this sort," she said.
Gallons of paint are shot from stage onto the audience at the event, and paint bottles are also for sale throughout the night if revelers have the desire to do the same to each other.
Brandon Kelley, 21, a senior at Penn State who will also be attending DAYGLOW, said he's been to paint parties before, but never one that also featured DJs in concert.
"I'm pretty excited, I think it's going to be pretty crazy," Kelley said. "People will be flinging paint all over the place. I expect to be covered when I come out."
The BJC is limiting the event to a 3,400-person capacity each night. The audience will be restricted to general admission floor space. Marketing Director Bernie Punt said they plan to limit spreading of the colorful mess by forcing the audience to use two emergency exit stairways made of concrete.
"Thankfully, it's water soluble," Punt said of the DAYGLOW paint, which is the only kind allowed to be used at the event.
Though they can control the paint component of DAYGLOW, university and State College officials are still worried about how well they can control the concert's attendees.
The concern stems from the number of police and medical incidents following the Avicii concert. Police issued 34 citations at the concert, 30 of which involved underage attendees, according to the university police log. Seventeen people were also transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center for alcohol-related illness, according to the log.
"There were students who kind of over-did it," Punt said of the event. "There was definitely some concern that this type of event attracted that type of behavior."
Assistant University Police Chief William Moerschbacher said the number of medical calls associated with the Avicii concert "consumed" both police and hospital resources. He added that the main concern for police with rave-like events like this are alcohol consumption and illegal drug use and overdosing.
After Avicii, the BJC sent out an email which issued a warning to students to behave themselves at February's Sebastian Ingrosso concert. If not, DAYGLOW, which was rumored to be coming but was not yet confirmed, would not be brought to the venue.
Students seemed to heed the message. Only 13 students were issued citations for public drunkenness and eight were taken to Mount Nittany, according to the university police log, a decrease from the Avicii show.
Confirmation and ticket information for DAYGLOW was revealed the next day.
"It was obvious that there were a couple young people coming here who were pretty messed up, but that's not what it's supposed to be about when there were thousands of other people having a blast," Punt said. "I saw so many people really into the music that didn't need to be messed up to enjoy it."
Punt said he's excited for DAYGLOW, and that he already has promoters inquiring about electronic music events for the fall. But Moerschbacher said they will have to "see how it goes" before making any decisions about future events.
"Certainly, from our experience, certain concerts are more likely to cause problems than others," he said. "With DAYGLOW, we certainly have our concerns. We've never had it before, so [university police] will just try to staff appropriately."
Elizabeth Goreham, mayor of State College, said she doesn't believe the event will be a problem for the town itself, adding that the BJC manages its events well. Goreham said she also had dinner with students who explained more about DAYGLOW to her than what she had heard initially.
"When I first heard, 'It's a rave for two days,' I thought it was the worst thing in the world," she said.
Though she was concerned at first, Goreham said she doesn't believe the borough will be making any special arrangements in preparation for the event. But Goreham did warn that they will certainly "keep their eyes open," and warned that anyone who causes trouble after the event will be easily identifiable.
"Come into town, have dinner and don't create a problem or a police problem," Goreham said. "Hopefully, that's what happens."
Keegan Tawa, 19, a sophomore at Penn State who also performs original electronic music, said he doubts many students are going to DAYGLOW solely for the music.
"I think a lot of kids just go because it's fun to get sprayed in paint and dance around," he said. "But there's nothing technically wrong with that."
When it comes to the drug culture associated with the electronic scene, Tawa said he believes Penn State has more of a problem with people drinking. He added that there is little that the BJC can do to prevent either type of substance abuse.
"It's just kind of inevitable," he said.
But as both a lover and producer of electronic music who's never done drugs, Tawa knows plenty of people who are just going to DAYGLOW to have fun.
"I go into these shows and just go nuts," he said. "Not everyone has to depend on it."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.