Learn more about Dank Institute Founder and Flow Arts enthusiast Patrick McGrory as he chats about his memories in the scene!
Name: Patrick McGrory
Rave Name: McG’s Mind
Hometown: Dirty Jersey
Current City: Long Beach, CA
Occupation: Founder of Dank Institute
Facebook: Dank Institute
What was your first electronic music event?
Jump back seven years to Downtown Tampa where I found myself waiting in line with my step-brother, anxious to see Afrojack. In line for an hour, bobbing and moving, we caught the attention of a few people who quickly asked us for pictures and to hang out. In short order, we were raving the night away with a group that became my rave fam during the big come up of EDM to an artist who would soon be headlining festivals across the country. I don’t think I have ever had as much fun as I did at my first event, where I finally felt pure unadulterated joy and freedom! I danced like a wildman without any style or skill but I felt more free for those few hours than I ever had before.
What/who influenced you to attend your first event?
Electronic music has been part of my life ever since my older brother brought home a pair of CDJs while I was in middle school. I would listen to him play Tiesto and Green Velvet while trying to sync the beat and find new music. The kick drum was mesmerizing and spoke to me. It wasn’t until many years later I had the chance to go to an event but hearing the subwoofers instantly brought me back to my parent’s basement and those old school tracks. He stayed away from EDM over the years but he sunk the hook in me young and I still love it!
What is one moment from an event that was special and why?
Raving has always been about something more to me. Going to see the music live is always a treat, but I found myself connecting with strangers over amazing conversations, starting a dance pit and learning to shuffle, or trading light shows and introducing people to flow arts more than watching to the DJ on stage.
Flow arts quickly became my favorite activity when going to events because I could be part of the show with my lights and performance. Trading light shows with my orbit has resulted in so many new friends and connections where I pop into somebody’s experience and share my art with them. Every chance I get to help impact someone in a positive way is always special to me!
What is your favorite festival or event?
After going to well over 50 festivals all across the country in seven years, I thought that I have had a chance to experience most of what’s out there. That was until I started traveling to the West Coast for Fests and seeing how different the vibe was. It seems each region has a particular feeling with the crowd, staff, event etc and they all have little bits that make them really unique and fun. But after my first experience at What The Fest in Oregon, I think I have definitively found my favorite festival! Everything about the experience was amazing and smooth from the awesome RV camping situation to the gorgeous HOT outdoor showers with a view, plus the immersive art installations.
What really stuck out though was the fact that the event wasn’t about the lineup, it was about having an experience. The set times and stages were arranged in such a way to lead around the forest, stage to stage. This curated a beautiful journey as you explored all they had to offer including three massive kiddie pools in front of the daytime stage! 10 out of 10 would recommend for anyone who stopped looking at the lineup and started looking at the experience!
What is your favorite electronic song and why?
How do you choose just one? Is that even possible? OK, gun to my head I would have to say my favorite song is Paul Oakenfold’s “Ready Steady Go”. This song takes me right back to the moment I got my first car. while waiting for months until the moment I could drive alone, behind that anticipation, I was thinking about the very first song I would play in my first cars stereo. These kind of things are important to a teenager. In a Fire Engine Red, Pontiac Grand Am, 17 years old me slid in a burned cd I made for just this occasion, turned it up to 11, and proceeded to listen to TRANCE goodness while causing permanent hearing loss that affects me to this day. Even though when I’m old I may not be able to hear the song anymore after so many festivals, I will always remember every beat of that song!
Who are your favorite artists?
Again with the hard questions! Ok, here we go: Kaskade, Illenium, Rezz, Porter Robinson, Tommy Trash, Benny Benassi, The Floozies, Tchami, and Nero just to name a few!
At this point in my life, I don’t look at the artist when I hear a song playing. Instead, I wait for it to make me feel something, bring me back in time, or simply just make me want to dance! There are so many amazing artists coming out it can be hard to stay on top, but when the music hits just right, anyone can be my favorite artist!
What are your favorite genres?
HOUSE HOUSE HOUSE! Four on the Floor always makes me move no matter what I’m doing! The steady beat builds and drops, not only make it incredibly fun to dance to. But if you’re talking about when I am orbiting or flowing Future Bass gets me every time!
What do you feel your “Identity” is in the electronic music community?
Making a unique rave identity or simply being able to stay anonymous and enjoy the vibes has always been one of my favorite parts of the community. You choose your level of participation! If you are just there for the music and want to be a nameless face in the crowd you can. But after you start going to a lot of events you realize no matter where you are, you can usually find a familiar face.
My particular identity as “McGs Mind” was always based in dance and flow arts. At first, it started with me wanting to share my flow and orbiting with people. But as the years went on and I started to grow in the community I found myself wanting to have a bigger role! I eventually started my own Flow Prop company “Dank Institute” and began making orbits, poi, and glowsticks so I could help spread the love of flow that won me over years ago! Now you can find me at most SoCal events spinning orbits and trading light shows rocking my Dank gear!
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself for the readers?
Electronic Music and its community have played a huge role in my life over the years. I have made more lasting friendships, seen more places, opened my eyes to new experiences, and even met the women of my dreams. Rave Culture and its community may not be perfect and often times we can find ourselves getting too enveloped in the “scene”.
We build these identities in this community but can sometimes forget about life outside of EDM. But for all of its pitfalls, I don’t think I would change a thing. Because of EDM, I’m in a happy long-term relationship, own my own business “Dank Institute” helping spread flow arts and orbiting in the scene, and have traveled the world over! Keep an open mind, save your money for NEW experiences, and there will always be a home for you in the music.
Stay safe, stay hydrated, and stay flowy, my friends! <3
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