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Photos: The great disappearing shirt crisis of Global Dance Festival 2014

Global Dance Festival -- by some metrics the largest EDM festival in the region -- brought a typically powerhouse lineup of bass purveyors to Red Rocks over the weekend. Over three days, thousands of fans flocked to the park for sets by the likes of Adventure Club, Zedd and Waka Flocka Flame (GDF has recently been experimenting with new genres). By all accounts, it was a solid progression for a music festival a decade-plus in existence.

But we regret to inform you that tragedy dampened the otherwise-upbeat mood on the event's first night. Suddenly, without warning, huge numbers of attendees found their shirts shrinking and even disappearing. Some tried to make do with makeshift replacements -- the effect seemed lessened for costumes and reflective materials. Veteran photographer Aaron Thackeary did not flinch, and we are able to bring you this report from Backbeat's reporters, supplemented by his photographs. A word of caution: This account contains images that may be upsetting to some of our readers, particularly the parents of teenage girls and office managers seeing this over the shoulders of their employees.

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7:00 p.m. MST: There has been some shrinkage. We remain in high spirits. A stranger offers us candy and we accept, because we are highly susceptible to peer pressure. 7:20 p.m. MST: Suspicions are beginning to mount. The mysterious power has torn holes through a woman's shirt. She and a friend are trying to build a force field from a plastic hoop. We wish them luck and move on. 7:40 p.m. MST: We witness an attack firsthand. Helplessly, we watch as a festival patron is thrown against a nearby SUV. Her shirt will never survive. 8:01 p.m. MST: Fighters emerge as a new world order sets in. Knit clothing seems safe from harm, and we elect the discoverer of this defense Supreme Commander. 8:30 p.m. MST: Men seem to be affected in smaller numbers, but those who are lose their shirts completely. In their confusion, victims appropriate symbols of cultures that don't belong to them. The unseen attacker has a sick sense of humor. 8:34 p.m. MST: Sequins are discovered to deter the shirt-destroying force as well. We elect a Semi-Supreme Commander. 8:54 p.m. MST: Some people have now lost their shirts entirely. But they remain stoic. We're in this together. 9:24 p.m. MST: One man struggles against the bonds of his unnatural attire. Fight on, brave dance music fan. 11:20 p.m. MST: We are exhausted, but the attack seems to be over. Exposed midriffs litter the ampitheatre, but it could be worse. We have our tattoos and our bass drops and our pants and most importantly each other.

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