Many people remain in the dark about raves but they have recently been gaining an increasing amount of popularity and prominence as electronic music is starting to appear more in mainstream songs through artists like David Guetta. With the crazy high-energy environment, whimsical costumes like fur boots and sequin bras and immense crowds, it’s not difficult to see why people are beginning to become more curious and interested in raving.
The word “rave” comes from the root word resver which means to dream, wander or stray and the British actually used the slang term “rave-up” to refer to wild parties in the 1940s. Techno music emerged from Europe and quickly gained a dedicated audience within the U.S. and thus began the “ravers movement” which has been compared to the radical ideals from the sixties decade (hence the universal raving motto: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect) As for rave venues, they began in small underground areas but have now taken on an entirely different level, transforming into renowned annual rave dances like Together as One, the Electric Daisy Carnival, and Beyond Wonderland that bring in 10,000-200,000 people!
When it comes to raves, there is a vast amount of clashing opinions and experiences about the allure and fun factors but also the dangers of raving culture. Many possess the mentality that rave dances are filled with drug users who behave in harmful or strange ways. As a personal choice, certain people do attend raves under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, but the majority go because they truly respect raving culture and are entirely in love with the music genres of trance and house.
Keep in mind that a large number do go under the influence of drugs such as: ecstasy (stimulant), ephedrine (stimulant), ketamine (hallucinogen), LCD (hallucinogen), magic mushrooms (hallucinogen) and more. With such a large amount of people in one place, it is extremely important to be aware of your surroundings and to not share personal items such as cosmetics, water, or food. In fact, because of the dangers of such substances, many raves have banned items like baby pacifiers (which people on ecstasy use to avoid grinding their teeth), Vicks vapor rub (used as an inhaled substance), and light gloves (which some ravers use to give elaborate “light shows”).
Rare and one-time events like ravers going around and stabbing others with HIV-infected needles, being trampled to death, or being drugged or dying from raves maintain the hesitant mentality of ever attending a rave. On the other hand, there is an entire culture involving “kandi” or handmade bracelets, an incredible atmosphere, outrageous costumes, the fun of meeting new people, and of course the most important of all — the music. Some popular electronic artists include: Avicii, Kaskade, Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, Above and Beyond, and many more. More information on raving events can be found through the Insomniac events website.
I have personally attended a couple of major raves such as the Electric Daisy Carnival and Beyond Wonderland (which are events hosted by Insomniac). Beforehand I was extremely skeptical and wasn’t sure what to expect. I heard stories before about people dying at raves so I was actually quite scared. I was initially pretty overwhelmed by the vast crowd and the energy levels were just crazy! But because I went with my closest friends they helped protect me from strangers and showed me the ropes so I could eventually enjoy myself. I love electronic music and raves are such an incredible experience with so many diverse people with different races and ages that all come together for that one day to enjoy the music.
All in all, whether you should attend a rave or not is entirely a personal choice, but if you do choose to go, here are a couple of tips and some information to keep in mind.
- Buy tickets early. Tickets will usually go on sale two-three months before the event and can be found in participating stores or online websites. Prices will range from $30 up to $300 depending on the longevity of the rave, how big of an event it is and when you buy them. Prices will usually increase $5 weekly.
- Go with people you trust and feel comfortable with. You will be around a massive crowd of strangers in an open and crowded area so it is essential that you stay with your group at all times.
- Pre-plan. Due to the high amount of people gathered in a single area, cellphone reception is horrible. You should plan ahead with your group where to meet if a person gets lost, where you will be the majority of the time, etc.
- Stay hydrated. Water bottles are usually not allowed at raves but are sold at the venue. If you do not wish to splurge on multiple bottles, you can invest in purchasing a canteen that some raves provide and refill with no charge.
- Only bring small bags. Only small purses or bags are allowed into the venue and you should use one with zippers that you can keep close to your body to avoid stolen items.
- Be cautious. Always be aware of your surroundings, your group, and your belongings to avoid dangerous encounters.
Have you ever been to a rave? What are you questions or experiences?