Alys Matthews & Kevin O’Neill

Alys Matthews and Kevin O’Neill are devoted music lovers and volunteers with DC DanceSafe, the local chapter of the national nonprofit harm reduction organization that promotes health and safety awareness in the rave, festival and nightlife communities. DanceSafe, which neither condones nor condemns recreational drug use but acknowledges its existence in the music scene, is best known for distributing drug testing kits and for performing on-site drug checking at events whenever possible. DanceSafe volunteers staff booths at raves and festivals, providing unbiased educational information about various recreational drugs, safer sex, protecting one’s hearing, and other issues that affect music events, as well as distributing free water, condoms, ear plugs, sunscreen, and other safety essentials.

Kevin has been involved in the music scene since 2009, most often as a volunteer, while Alys became involved in 2011. Both made the decision to volunteer with DanceSafe after recognizing a need for individual responsibility as members of the music community. They hope to encourage those they interact with to perform risk assessment, take care of each other, and make more informed choices while partying. Moreover, they hope that as we as individuals teach and learn from each other at parties and festivals, we can all take a sense of community and celebration home with us to share with the larger community of daily life.