The Drop: Megabounce

December 17, 2012

Megabounce Portland rave party It was the end of Winter 2011, in Portland, OR, and cannon culture was exploding.  As long as there was air in the compressor and a target to shoot, the beanie babies were flying. Like the gas hoses laid across the room, the parties stretched well beyond the night and deep into the next morning.  With balloons to blast and dubstep holding the pulse, time became irrelevant.  The only thing that mattered was charging the cannons and tamping the ammo before the next drop!!

Megabounce midget tossWe were weeks away from the first Megabounce. Wanderlust Circus was preparing to drop a dubstep circus party on this rainy little city like no one had seen before.  To make certain it would hit as hard as a bucket of rocks tossed against a brick wall, Mr. Creature was bringing in ghetto tech groundbreaker, DJ Assault, from the Motor City.  If any walls were hit that night, it was the wall of death on the dance floor! The circus games were unveiled, the acrobats stretched a volleyball net across the crowd, an abundance of balloons were filled and then deflated, and sure as the midget was tossed, the party stretched late into the night. Cannon culture, the bounce, and, most certainly, the drop, blew up.

At some point in spring and summer of 2011, glitter began to infect everything that we did. There wasn’t a meeting where we all sat down and agreed that we’d start producing shows heavily using glitter, but that’s exactly what happened. We all became glitter maniacs. I approached Mr. Creature and Noah Mickens of Wanderlust Circus about co-producing Dr. Smyles House of Dolls, a two-act glitter-gore circus-theater piece, while simultaneously, unbeknownst to me, Mr. Creature and Noah were in the midst of planning the next Megabounce—Glitter.

And sure, enough, the winter of 2012 was a fine, glittery mess. Everything we did, we did with glitter, and each time we had to do it bigger, better, and it had to sparkle harder than before. We were buying glitter by the case and not by the pack, and there were so many cannons, we built them a rack. Beanie babies were passé, although still a damn fine ammo, but now we were tamping down glitter so the air would shimmer and sparkle. If you could imagine doing it with glitter, somebody in the circus family probably did it.

Whole neighborhoods and venues had become infected with glitter. Performers’ and producers’ homes simply sparkled. In March 2012, Wanderlust Circus threw sparkling fairydust in the air, glued it to their faces and costumes and hair, shot it from air cannons, popped balloons with glitter in them, and dumped buckets of glitter on one another, all in time with the music. The glitter didn’t stop there… weeks later the people from the show would find glitter in their ears, in their nose, between their toes, and just about everywhere. There was so much glitter that it truly got inside us and infected our sparkly imaginations.

Megabounce Colors Portland partyBut the one thing that continued to grow as the theme of the party meandered was the circus games. Mr. Creature began playing circus games on a regular basis both as an organized and impromptu activity. The existing games were honed  and  refined, and  new  games were born and developed. A whole new party, a new art form, a whole means of mass expression was born as the Megabounce culture grew bolder and more definitive, and the fourth wall melted. Megabounce is more than a party, more than a rave, and more than a show.

“We’re gonna blow your brain into Red mist, your soul into a Yella streak. It’s gonna be better than a first kiss, but it’ll leave a mark and you’ll feel it in the morning, make no mistake,” said Wanderlust acrobat, and staunch team blue supporter, Scott Maxwell, on that fine fall evening a few months ago when Wanderlust Circus presented Megabounce: Colors. At Colors the best of the Wanderlust games that Mr. Creature had been working on all summer were taught to the crowd and played all in the midst of a wild, writhing dance party. It was strongly encouraged to come to Colors dressed in one of the primary colors and to join your team as soon as you got there: red, yellow, or blue.

Megabounce Jon Dutch Megabounce DubSteph Megabounce Camille Castillo





The team rivalries were jovial, fierce, and well-acted. The crowd really got into it, and each game was played with the ferocity and urgency they required. Team Red came out in force, dominating in sheer quantity of participants.  Team Yellow went for the highest-quality approach, with the hottest most amazing costumes imaginable. Team Blue was also a very popular choice, and had some of the fanciest fuckers at the party on board.

After several rounds of games, including balloon volleyball, circles, and beanie baby round up, the refs circled up to determine the winner, which task nobody envied. It really was a spectacularly enjoyable series of games, filled with as much laughter and glee as there was strategy and competition. There was a clearly dominant team, however, and in the end, teamwork prevailed, as Team Blue painstakingly toughed their way into a narrow lead that was nevertheless wide enough to WIN!

But the story doesn’t end there. Wanderlust games are happening all the time. At raves, festivals dance parties, and throughout the underground scene. March 2013 is right around the corner, and as sure as it will be Mr. Creature’s birthday, there will be another Megabounce. I’m sure you can imagine, the brain trust at Wanderlust Circus has been hard at work honing the existing elements of Megabounce, and inventing all-new aspects to insure that the party is bigger, better and wilder than anything ever seen before.  Personally, I can’t wait to see what they cook up.


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