Mythbuster: Evan Massimino

Evan Massimino organizes awareness-raising "raves" in Idaho that blend music and information in a safe and artistic setting.

Concerts and raves often have a repuation for being a haven of drug use. Evan Massimino, 21, is working to change that in Sun Valley, Idaho, based on his belief that the music events that are drug-freecan be powerful positive influences in the lives of youth.

Evan moved from California to Sun Valley four years ago. "Growing up in California, most of my friends and family members were addicted to drugs," he says. "When I noticed the Wood River Valley had the same problem, I decided to do something about it."

For the past four years, Evan has been organizing and promoting electronic dance music events in the Wood River Valley.  At first, he was worried that the electronic music scene's reputation for substance abuse would be an issue. And he was right:  "With such a terrible reputation in the electronic music scene, I had my fears that this valley would not take kindly to what I was doing. Run-ins with local probation and sheriff officers, as well as city officials, made it difficult but since the electronic music scene has yet to develop here, I knew that there was a possibility to change the way our youth attended these events."

"My team and I strive to create and promote a safe and drug-free environment at every show. A few methods we use to handle drugs and underage alcohol use is increased guest participation, including learning workshops and visionary arts. Strong security and police presence, as well as a ground control team who patrol these events is our main source of drug and alcohol prevention."

Working with the Idaho Drug-Free Youth program, Evan says, is starting to earn him the Valley community's trust. "I will continue organizing and promoting these events while doing my best to keep our youth safe and drug free."