Every human being in their life has been criticized for doing something that they truly love. Whether it is art, sports, music career, religion or a certain cult that they are involved in. This is exactly what is happening to the young people all over the world that dress in flashy clothes, carry glow-sticks and party until the crack of dawn. Most people, no matter how old, have probably heard of raves in their life. Though is what they have been told by the media, gossip in their families and talk on the streets about these certain partygoers really true? By examining the history, stereotypes, and general information about this culture, one may see how raves impact society.
Raves began mainly in the United Kingdom, when DJs began experimenting with house music, and bore Deep House and Techno. Even today the UK has the biggest rave scene and therefore suppress great individualism, since the rave culture holds a more bizarre appearance compared to regular cultures around the world. Many ravers attend to "express themselves" through their attire, which follows up with individualism. English DJs came back from Ibiza where they experienced ecstasy and the rave culture firsthand. After decades of the computerized music growing, these DJs developed a straight drum base that pulses at 115-300 BPM as the DJ "spins" using different pitches and speeds with a synthesizer. In Detroit and Chicago, DJs began to perform straight, repetitive drum beats over disco music. This was known as House, named after the club "The Warehouse". The genres of electronic rave music now days include Techno, Trance, Hard Trance, Progressive Trance, Hard House, Hardstyle, Jungle, Gabber, and Euro Techno. These raves were biggest in the late eighties, even though the electronic music and style of clothing were different due to the rise in computer technology and fashions. Rave parties last all night. The parties start late and end early in the morning. They take place in large abandoned places, such as barns, fields, stadiums, empty warehouses and airplane hangars. Everyone goes to raves for different reasons. Mainly people go to dance, loose themselves in the trance of the music and strobes, get high, and socialize. Since half the people at raves use types of illegal chemical drugs, such as forms of ecstasy and LSD, many cities have tried to ban them. The UK has even managed to ban all outdoor raves. Today, these all night parties still go on, but usually do not reach up to a crowd of over a thousand. This is due to major drug abuse and police laws.
Rave is a culture, and in every culture holds varieties of people. The average rave kid is between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five. In the scene many younger ravers wear distinctive clothing, some even wear or carry items that associate with drug use. For instance, some ravers that are seen wearing candy necklaces can disguise pills in with the candy beads. The ravers who wear pacifiers around beaded chains might try to look cute or strange, although some who wear these baby plugs suck on them to prevent teeth grinding while taking MDMA. It is common for ravers to dress for comfort. Wide legged and baggy pants are often worn along with a loose brightly colored shirt with different logos or symbols on them. The younger kids in the rave scene wear costumes, though all ravers dress differently. Some go to look like innocent children, decked in multi colored beads and accessories, carry stuffed animals, toys, and wear bright colors. Some wear wide legged pants with colored straps on the pockets, gas masks, goggles with radioactive signs, glow-sticks and fluffies (large multi-colored faux fur leggings). Other people who attend raves in average attire and what they are comfortable in, whether it be jeans and a t-shirt or revealing costumes. A rave is mainly what one makes of it, whether they go only for the music or because they simply love the scene and losing themselves in the crowd. However, one label in the rave scene is one that the media and people outside the cult recognize the most. They are the "candy kids", who are known to eat candy, smile a lot, wear bright clothes that look like oversized children's attire, and pass out stickers. These people are usually the kids who wear the pacifiers. Candy kids are said to give the rave culture a bad reputation, mainly by their hardcore drug use. Which is why the media and cultures outside of the rave scene look at them and assume that all ravers associate themselves in the "candy kid" label. Therefore the candy kids and true ravers had made a division, the only similarity the two have is they both live the life of PLUR (Peace-Love-Unity-Respect). Not to mention it is observed that a fraction of rave kids try to mimic the feel of a nursery and kids TV themes, with the vocals of some rave music sampled by baby talk vocals, baggy unisex clothes, pacifiers, lollipops, stuffed animals and camouflaging their drugs with sweets. It is easy for some people to attend raves not because they live by the culture and possess the ideals of PLUR, but simply because they jump on the bandwagon. Many young people who attend raves are not actually part of the culture, they only go simply because a group of their friends say that it is "cool". These individuals are prone to be there to get their weekly fix of ecstasy or acid, not because they love the scene and respect PLUR. Actually, many kids who overdose and get arrested or killed for selling or consuming caps are looked down upon by some in the rave scene. The last "R" in PLUR was added as not only respect, but responsibility as well, due to many people of the rave scene dying by dehydration and kidney failure from the ecstasy. Though it is true drugs are used at raves it is easy to stay away from, "Not everyone who attends raves uses illegal drugs, though many people who attend raves have more experience at drugs than most". Some alcohol is used at few of these night parties, but most ravers do not drink because it promotes aggression and violence, which goes against the ideal of PLUR. Common chemical drugs that can be found in the rave culture include ecstasy, which is the most popular, ketamine, LSD (acid), MDMA, or over the counter prescription drugs such as anti-depresants.
Our society has many different cultures, and the rave scene definitely has impacted it. The people who see the rave culture as one large drug fest have taken it to the authorities and had gotten many of the night parties banned. The quote "Instead of money and power, rave called for empathy, intimacy, spirituality and the joy of losing yourself in the crowd" holds a powerful message. The rave culture, like every other, has a dark side along with a positive lifestyle. It has been said that the media have made the rave culture look like it is nothing but a multitude of young people getting together to get high and dance to techno, which is not the case. The media looks at raves and sees nothing but the negative, which happens to be the illegal chemical drug use. Therefore the media portrays this to the rest of the public. So when a certain individual that has little to no knowledge of the rave culture instantly get the image of a group of kids wasting their lives on ecstasy and killing themselves from overdose. All thanks to the media who have no idea what "in-depth" reporting really is. Ravers are artists and dancers who love the repetitive beats of techno and trance. They are the hippies of modern day and spread the ideals of PLUR. How can one say that it could not affect our society positively when it tries to portray peace and love to people as individuals? The reason is the rave scene does have drugs, but it is not based solely upon drug use and open sexual activity (as what the media calls it). FOX News reported a rave that was held for all ages at a family event, the sponsors stated that it was a rave forbidden to drug use. The party was shut down, but only because the sponsors did not have a party license. After reading this report one can see that there are multitudes of individuals in the rave scene that want to spread their culture in a friendly environment. If one is worried about the issue of the drug use at rave parties, they can realize these are found in every culture! It is true that statistics show over half of ravers have experienced drugs, but not nearly as bad as the media comes off it to be. At raves, if one decides to take the pills, he or she does it on their own actions and must reap the consequences. Plus, ravers on drugs do not go around the entire crowd and pass out caps of acid and ecstasy like candy, nor do they force any person to consume them. The media and talk on the streets have said in the past that people drop caps of ecstasy or acid in the drinks of others when not looking, basically forcing the fellow raver to do the drug. When in reality this does not happen in the rave culture, but at adult nightclubs where one can order drinks from a bar. Mainly the only beverages used at raves are bottled water or energy drinks, which would be difficult for someone to slip in a cap without the other person noticing. Rave is a culture mainly about the music; it is a culture of escaping the reality. Nothing about the environment seems to be real, techno and electronic music is the only genre in the world that is not made with real instruments. One raver states, "It's all about the music, and the love of music and each other". Another raver also states that rock and rap concerts are just s bad, or worse, when it comes to drug use and open sexual activity, "Take your news cameras to a Korn concert and see what type of things go on there!" (Chelle). The ones who stereotype and label that all ravers do drugs along with their partying is outrageous. At least half the ravers in the culture have never done drugs or drank alcohol at a party, only attend for the vibe and heart of the rave culture that lives by Peace-Love-Unity and -Respect for all people.
This scene and culture has impacted our society in various ways. It has helped young teens in time of depression and solitude. The rave culture accepts these people that need to find a place in the world where no one will judge them by their past, family life, interests and dress code. Ravers love each other and will accept anyone no matter how bizarre or broken they might be. That is the ideal of PLUR! In fact, multiple raves in the US are sponsored by good causes, such as canned food or clothes drives. The media needs to discover and strongly focus on the positive of the rave scene, not only the drug use. The media and news reporters, plus videos on raves, never even mention the significant part of the rave culture, which happens to be the PLUR. For instance, Sandra Pupatello made a video that is shown to students in grades seven through nine called "Dancing in the Dark". This video shows kids the dangers of raves, not once does the visual mention any of the positive in the rave culture, nor does it mention rave being a culture at all. It only portrays raves to be parties that are all about getting high, and the lights, bright colored clothing and glow-sticks are only used for enhancing the drug affect. Equally important, she states the possibility of sexual assault. Which is unrealistic for the fact that many people occupy raves, and others constantly surround the individuals. Most ravers would not promote sexual assault or attack at their gatherings, since it goes against PLUR in every way. For more examples of the media pursuing the negative in the culture, such as a report on the information bulletin in 2006 that stated a twenty three year old man died and a dozen hospitalized after overdosing at a rave. Even though this sounds tragic, notice that this rave held over fifteen thousand people, and less than twenty were hospitalized from drug abuse, and around seventy were caught with ecstasy. A most hypocritical discovery is that society promotes evens such as Rockfest and Warp Tour to young adults, and many parents send their teens to these concerts with no problem. Though the amount of drugs and drinking along with violence that go on at these hard rock concerts are unbelievable! There is much more trauma, fights, drug abuse, sexual assault, and drinking at these punk rock events. Notice that the news and media hardly ever report the traumatic action that goes on at these scenes. Yet they attack the rave culture and brainwash the public that your children are not safe if they attend the night parties, but they have nothing to worry about while they send their teens to Rockfest and Korn concerts? Society markets these rock and hi-hop stars to be "cool" and encourage young people to attend their event, where the dangers that lurk there are just as equal or even worse than those of a rave. Therefore, the rave scene can be considered safer, due to the fact that it is mainly focused on PLUR and can give many young teens a chance to find friends and a group they fit into. The mother of a young adult said that she feels that the raves to not encourage kids to take drugs one bit. Though she, along with every other parent should, warned her children about the dangers of illegal drugs. This is simply because they care and love their young adults, but it is outrageous and hypersensitive to be freaked out by the rave culture and ban them over a one sided story.
In conclusion, by studying the history, stereotypes and general information of the rave scene proves how the rave culture influences young people in a most positive way. The music is the main tool, and techno electronic music is made with creativity and skill. It has changed our society's view on music and made people experience the pure joy of rave. The reader will have the knowledge on the other side of the rave culture's story, and see that they live by PLUR and simply respect electronic music along with lightshows and positive attire. Make the media known to the PLUR, and help them spread the true meaning the rave culture possesses.