High pressure situations can give rise to humiliation long before you have time to open your Vine app.
Some signs of this impending doom often include: being in front of thousands of people and generally expecting nothing to go wrong.
Earlier this month, the dance music community had an all-time flub of its own. The kind of flub that goes viral faster than Snapchats of period stains on a festival bro’s shoulder.
The crime? Someone ralphed on stage at an Above & Beyond show and the Internet found the pictures.
Meet Jessica Woolard and Jasmine Alexander. These two Crayola-haired kandi girls are your quintessential EDM BFF’s―note the Batman and Robin costumes. The two had their meet-cute under the strobe lights at an annual EDC and they’ve been bonafide festi-fam ever since.
On Halloween in Denver, Above and Beyond headlined a show at The Fillmore Auditorium. Like any true A&B show, two lucky fans are chosen by one of the Three Muska-tears to join them on stage and “push the button” for the next song. It’s the kind of dance music gimmick that’s both a big ol’ pile of steaming aged cheddar and a PG-13 tearjerker. It was at this show that Jessica and Jasmine’s A&B dedication paid off.
“It’s funny because it was 11:11, so obviously we had to make a wish,” said Jasmine, who was dressed as Robin. “And for some reason, the last song that was playing before Above and Beyond [came on] had these lyrics that said ‘we are the lucky ones.’ We looked at each other and just knew it was going to happen.”
Well, someone must have telepathically intercepted that 11:11 wish. Because once Tony cut through the jungle of ravers and plucked these two off the dance floor, things started to look down for the girls―or in Jessica’s case, things started to come up.
The infamous backstage photo shows a scantily clad Batman shielding her face with red ringlets of hair while scooping a hot handful of liquid. Jono can be seen in the photo thinking, “Why didn’t I just become a lawyer like my Dad told me?”
“At first I thought she was crying,” said Jasmine. “Jono came up to me and said ‘I think your friend is puking over there.’ He didn’t seem upset to me. He was laughing about it. All I could say was ‘yeah… she is.’”
After close inspection, we couldn’t determine the contents of her upchuck. Both Batman and Robin assure me that neither were drinking or doing drugs, but chugging bottles of water. Which explains the waterylooking yak that’s reminiscent of anytime you’ve been forced into beer bonging.
Like any overnight Internet debutante, Jessica was soon exposed to the world of online trolls. A troll’s basic diet consists of the two main food groups: the vulnerable feelings of other people and the inability to differentiate between ‘you’re’ ‘your’ and ‘you are.’ The trolls that wanted a bite at Jessica were no exception. Bitter reactions clouded their Instagram, Facebook pictures, and any half-baked EDM news site that was looking for a few hits.
But finding the bright side in an otherwise glowstick-less moments is something these girls have a knack for. As advocates for good vibes, the girls brushed off these vicious responses from the Internet’s basement dwellers like they were dusting confetti off their spirithoods. But it was the backlash from some of their own―fellow Above and Beyond fans―that hurt.
“Above and Beyond fans are all about loving each other and being there for each other―being a family. It really bothered both of us at first, but I realize now that not everyone is the same,” said Jasmine. “Not everyone is a true raver, not everyone believes in PLUR. So as long as we give it and we show it, even if that makes a little bit of difference, I think that’s all that matters.”
Rising above in the wake of a troll-nado takes guts―the kind of guts that stay inside of your stomach. Once the photos hit the Twittersphere, Above & Beyond’s Jono tweeted out a witty little hashtag: #PukeTheButton.
With that, Jessica―the regurgitating gal herself―found a positive spin on things.
“I decided to turn the #PukeTheButton hashtag into something fun,” said Jessica. “I’m turning the hashtag into shirts. I want to turn something bad into something good. To me, this started to seem like something I could turn into an anti-bullying movement [of sorts]. At least, that’s what I would like to see come out of it.”
Despite some unflattering pictures and a stained Halloween costume, both girls say that they left knowing they accomplished exactly what they set out to do. Jasmine got Tony to sign her back and they shared a misty-eyed moment when he saw her “You Got To Go” lyric tattoo. Jessica had her redemption as well—she gave Tony her handmade sun and moon cuff, inspired by the track of the same name.
But if she could have chosen to toss her cookies at any other show?
“Maybe Dada Life?” said Jessica. But she quickly takes it back. “Actually, it would be Above & Beyond again. Even though I puked, I still got to push the button with my best friend and I would do that all over again.”
She’s quick to add one more admonition: “But at the next Above & Beyond show, we’ll probably make a sign that says ‘we puked the button, can we have a retry?’”
Watch a video of the puke-tastic sight here.
Rachael has been ‘that-girl-who-pukes’ too, you can follow her on Twitter: @rachaeldamore