Events

Psychedelic Party Coming to the Sports Castle

A psychedelic celebration is coming to the Sports Castle on Saturday, January 21.
A psychedelic celebration is coming to the Sports Castle on Saturday, January 21. Brandon Marshall
A psychedelic celebration is coming to the Sports Castle.

The Psychedelic Club of Denver meets on a regular basis to discuss local psychedelic reform and drug harm reduction, but it began exploring larger, more entertaining events after Denver voters decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms in 2019. The club's upcoming Castle Bash and Mindful Marketplace, set for Saturday, January 21, at the former sporting goods store, will be a day-long gathering for artists, drug experts, local vendors and people interested in psychedelics, according to Psychedelic Club of Denver boardmember Nate Priebe.

"It helps fundraising for the club, so this is another way to support our harm reduction efforts and public education motives. It's not just a place for local artists and vendors to sell their wares, though, but also a place for people to commune," Priebe says.

Fresh off a statewide victory in November 2022, the Psychedelic Club is ready to capitalize on Proposition 122 and the growing interest in natural-drug therapy and psychedelics. The measure decriminalized the use of psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, DMT and ibogaine, and laid the groundwork for their regulation; psilocybin's framework is expected to be implemented by next year.

The club hopes to see upwards of 400 people attend the free Mindful Marketplace and to gain a few members, as well. Priebe says the event will include a handful of discussions on safe psychedelic use, mushroom cultivation, drug harm reduction and how to implement psychedelics into yoga (that program comes with a free yoga session), as well as tarot readings, live music and a silent auction. On top of vendors, music and educational chats, organizers have booked an arcade bus, food trucks and Frick Frack Blackjack, a cashless version of blackjack that allows players to barter just about anything — except real money. The Castle Bash that follows is a ticketed event.

Psychedelic sales and open use won't be allowed at either, he adds, but the Castle Bash's Eventbrite listing claims the clubs does not "condemn [or] condone the sale or sourcing" of psychedelics and other substances at events.

While some stakeholders have anticipated a psychedelic gold rush in Colorado with the passage of Prop 122, Priebe says the event isn't industry-focused. Nor does the Psychedelic Club of Denver have an official stance on the measure, which was opposed by grassroots psychedelics advocates for over-commercialization.

"We don't want to gate-keep, but we do want to create a more tight-knit and intimate space. Our three core mission components are harm reduction, public education and community building. For centuries, if not a millennium, that's where psychedelics have inhabited," Priebe notes. "And we don't want to lose sight of that."

Convincing Sports Castle management to host a party celebrating psychedelics took a little convincing, according to Priebe. But if all goes well this weekend, the club's next bash, scheduled for June, will also be held there, he says.

"The mainstream acceptance has gotten more commonplace," he explains. "I felt a lot more awkward calling insurance companies to insure the event. I feel like I have to justify it less and less."

The Mindful Marketplace runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 21, at the Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway. Over fifty local artists and craft vendors will be on hand, and there will be panel discussions, too, as well as a yoga session at 4:30 p.m. Admission to the Mindful Marketplace is free. The Castle Bash starts at 8 p.m. and runs until 1:30 a.m. with performances from DJs Viru$z el Moreno, Malahakam, Elf Arrow and Edamame; tickets to the Castle Bash show are $20 each on Eventbrite.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell

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