DJ HeavyGrinder is one of the headliners for HempCon, which is boasted as America’s largest medical marijuana mega show, next weekend. and she literally has nothing planned.“My sets are all free-styled, meaning that nothing is pre-mixed or picked before the show,” said the DJ, whose real name is Bobbie Merveille “I look at the crowd, get feedback from their reactions and let my set list reflect the energy I get from people.”
The 30-year-old, who blends together metal and electronic music, is one of 26 diverse acts taking part in the marijuana-centric event, which takes place April 18-20 at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino. Other acts include hip-hop and R&B star Ty Dolla $ign, hip-hop’s Problem and Badd Lucc.
In addition to the San Bernardino stop, which is the first on HempCon’s tour, the show is scheduled to head to San Francisco on Aug. 22-24 and back down to an undisclosed location in Southern California on Oct. 17-19.
There is expected to be more than 50 medical marijuana collectives, a 4/20 medicating area, on site evaluations, glassware, seminars from cannabis experts and more, according to officials.
This will be HeavyGrinder’s first time at the event and she’s “curious on how HempCon visitors will react to Metalectro,” she said.
In the past, metal fans have given her criticism about blending the genre with dance music in her sets.
“I’ve heard nothing bad from the actual artists,” she said. “From the fans, however, I’ll get criticism from those who can’t open up to the original version being touched, because with metal or rock music they have more hardcore fans so they do not really understand the other forms of music. Or they might but don’t want it mixed together, so they can’t understand crossing over very well.”
Compared to when she first started playing for crowds in 2001, HeavyGrinder said she has seen an influx of women into the electronic music genre.
“When I first started, there was really no women,” she said. “I think as the industry as become open and accepting to women over the years it’s expanding. There’s a reasonable amount of women compared to when I started. I took a lot of criticism. It was very hard being a woman DJ, now it’s easier. People are more respecting of women being a DJ.”