Humans of TomorrowWorld: Bradley Spears, the Cancer Crusher
I mentioned in my introductory post to this series that the TomorrowWorld USA forum on Facebook is this unique alter-verse where people don’t slam each other down and try to prove who is headiest. Rather it’s truly about the PLUR, and not in the fake way. People in this group really feel connected– even though they had never met and still hadn’t even been to TomorrowWorld yet.
Our first Human of TomorrowWorld that we’re highlighting is truly special. Sensible Reason discovered Bradley Spears through the TomorrowWorld USA Forum back in July. Bradley shared the following post to the forum:
The outpouring of love, care, and concern in response to his post, a personal post which anyone in the world could see, was unbelievable. Everyone cheered for Bradley because, even though they had never met, they shared the same values and would soon be sharing in the same experiences at TomorrowWorld. Sensible Reason recently caught up with Bradley to how his TomorrowWorld experience. The sense of community will lift you up:
Sensible Reason: You shared a personal story with the TomorrowWorld forum that received a lot of positive attention. What was it about the group that made you feel like you could share this story with thousands of strangers?
Bradley Spears: Well, one thing that people may not know is that I’m new to EDM. I mean, the songs that got me into EDM when I was young were Daft Punk’s “One More Time” and Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone,” but I knew nothing of this genre of music. As I got older, the more I learned about this music, the more I saw how nice the people involved in it were. Every single time, it was just nothing but kindness, love and understanding. So when I had the opportunity, YEARS later, I finally decided… I’ll share some of that love back. The circumstances are unfortunate, but it’s amazing to share something with a group of people that have always shared something with me. And it just felt right. Natural.
SR: What is it that drew you to come to TomorrowWorld?
Bradley: One of my good friends, Linh, actually told me about it. This was my very first festival, believe it or not, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to see what they are like. Not only the people, but the music as well. There were so many artists I had never heard of that I got to see, and so many artists I’ve always been fond of that I was able to see. It was just a great escape that I didn’t want to pass up.
SR: What is it that makes this festival unique?
Bradley: This is what makes my lack of festival experience unique. I do not know. This is my first. I can say that I have never heard of something becoming such a fairytale for people before. And that is what makes TomorrowWorld unique. It’s truly another world. Where no one is sick and no one is negative. It’s a happy place.
SR: What was your experience like at TW?
Bradley: It was surreal. I have never, in my entire life, felt something as magical as TomorrowWorld. Every single day, I can go on and on about how awesome it was. It all climaxed on Sunday, when I got to wear my “I beat cancer” tank and received shoulder rides, high fives, shots, met artists who shared THEIR personal stories with cancer…It was just beautiful. I have no words for it.
SR: Did you meet up with any people from the forum?
Bradley: Oh, yes. Tons. In fact, I’m even in my own group. BGW. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what it stands for (Bitches Gone Wild, haha) but I met just about every single one of them. Not only that, I even met a few international people from the Tomorrowworld USA group. I met so many people that just wanted to high five me. Or take a drink with me. Simple gestures like that… It made it all worthwhile to meet strangers, who I now can call friends.
SR: Do you think that your experience of overcoming cancer effected/heightened your experience at TW? In what way?
Bradley: In every way possible. A lot of people go to festivals all the time. Every year, they go to multiple ones. They know what to expect and have that set adventure. I, for instance, knew nothing. I knew nothing of festivals, knew nothing of even concerts really for that matter. And, if we’re just being honest, I didn’t even know I would make it long enough to even see TomorrowWorld… You never know with my condition. But I did. And that heightened it more than you could ever imagine. It allowed me to not take even staring up at the clouds for granted. And I didn’t. There was one moment where for 30 minutes I cried looking at the clouds. It was enchanting…
SR: How has this experience changed your outlook on music festivals and the people who attend them?
Bradley: Not knowing how festivals are, I didn’t know what to go on but if they are anything like TomorrowWorld, I will forever be indebted to people who attend them. The warmth, kindness, loving, attentive, beautiful souls I got to see were truly one-in-a-million. I never had any negative view of people that attend festivals, I never had an ignorant view of the scene. If I had, I would have never wanted to go. I knew deep down, behind the media-fused madness, there was a magnificent center. And I was right. It was just an amazing experience that I really can’t wait to reciprocate every time I go. I just hope everyone is able to experience what I was able to. It’s such a waste not to.
Bradley Spears’ story is absolutely touching. It truly exemplifies the spirit of TomorrowWorld and the humanity surrounding the whole festival. TomorrowWorld is unique in that it creates an environment where people can feel comfortable enough to share personal stories like these with thousands of people and know that only positive vibes will be reciprocated. Through technology, people who have never met can reach out across oceans, across political barriers, and across cultural barriers to connect around a feeling that a cultural event creates.
On the media today, the “rave scene” and “EDM” are so easily exemplified as a homogenous culture based around drugs, when in reality it is stories like these that show the complexities of this keystone moment in global youth culture (because this isn’t an “America thing” is a worldwide movement; and youth in spirit and mind, not in age). We hope to keep sharing with you more of these stories to weave a more clear and more beautiful mosaic of who are today’s Humans of TomorrowWorld.
Be sure to check out the TomorrowWorld Aftermovie, which was just released, here!
Can’t wait until September? Mysteryland, sister festival to TW, will be in New York this Memorial Day weekend! Tickets on sale now! More details here!