In today’s society, the idea of loud music, pretty lights, and minimal clothing has become a more prevalent way for teenagers and young adults to spend their time. The idea of raves began mainly in the United Kingdom, as a way for DJs to experiment with house music. Many of the rave goers in the UK were able to express themselves by the bright, flashy attire they chose to wear, which created a sense of individualism. As well as the attire, people got a first look at the rave culture and ecstasy. Rave is a culture, holding a variety of people and many different reasons as to why people attend and enjoy raves. It is a way to loose yourself in the trance of music, dance, socialize, and get high. There are many components that go into attending a rave, purchasing a ticket, finding your outfit, and acquiring drugs.
In this day and age everyone wants anything for a cheap price. People will go to many extremes just so that they can get their item for a fraction of the cost, for example people will camp out if they know they can get their item for 50 percent off of the original price. Same goes for rave tickets, people will ditch school just so they can stay home where there is faster Wi-Fi, in order to buy their tickets for 40 dollars off the original price of 100 dollars. If you aren’t lucky enough to get the tickets on pre-sale, it is extremely important that you get it within seconds of the regular sale because they sell out very fast and prices can double. A lot of kids will wait anxiously by the computer or telephone waiting for the moment tickets are available for sale just because they cannot afford an 100 dollar ticket for a rave and need any discounted price possible. My friend Lorni said “the 40 dollars I can save on my ticket is definitely going to go into my outfit”. Which signifies that going to a rave is definitely not something that is cheap but it is important that you scope out your options for ticket prices because the remainder money can go to your outfit or accessories. There are even some people that are willing to skip school or work and stay at home just so that they can get a couple of tickets so that later on they can sell the ticket at a higher price to turn a profit. The reason why kids these days are willing to stay at home to buy their tickets rather than buying it in class is because they do not want to risk the site crashing on them while in class due to the fact that normally schools have bad internet. Since the rave culture is such a mainstream lifestyle right now, individuals are willing to do whatever it takes just so they can fit in and purchase tickets to these events. After purchasing the ticket the next step in going to a rave, that takes a lot of time, effort, and money constructing is the outfit.
Raves are fun and exciting but usually one of the best parts about going is the outfits and the accessories preparation prior to the day of the event. This process is what makes most people excited and pumped up even more knowing that the date of the event is just around the corner. When it comes to outfits, guys usually don’t have much to plan since most just either come shirtless or with a neon tank and shorts. If they were to really dress up, they would typically wear furry things on their head or funky costumes they have designed themselves with a beaded or LED mask. As for girls, they would wear a tutu, bedazzled bras, colorful spandex, or would just go crazy and wear costumes with wings and LEDs everywhere. I interviewed one of my friends explaining her outfit preparation, “I spent about 2 hours in Michaels just looking for flowers and jewels and then about 3 more hours at home hot gluing them all to my bra”. There are also occasions where if they were to go as a big group, everyone would have a certain theme and dress accordingly to it. As for footwear, most would wear closed toed shoes since the chances of getting stepped on are so high especially with such a big crowd. But of course, an outfit is never complete without its accessories therefore one of the main components of a rave outfit are the beads/bracelets. These are actually not hard to make considering that they only consist of a color pattern, a few words or special beads and then you attach them on an elastic string. What usually happens is someone gifts some of their bracelets to someone who may not have any or they would just exchange “kandi” with one another. At the beginning of the night, what started out as a single bracelet can grow into multiple cuffs and an arm full of beads by the end of the night. When exchanging bracelets with one another it is known that you recite “peace, love, unity, and respect”. These bracelets represent a kindness that brings the rave community and culture closer by being a conversation starter that can double as a gift. Each individual has put some sort of their creativity into these bracelets; therefore it is interesting to see what kind of bracelets the people around you come up with. Following the outfit preparation usually comes purchasing and procuring drugs.
The rave culture has many stereotypes; one being that everyone attending raves is on drugs, has drugs, or wants to get drugs. From the outside looking in it looks like people just want to be able to live outside of their bodies and really be able to enjoy the music. To get the full story about the influence of drugs at raves, I talked to a couple of my friends that have experiences drugs at a rave first hand. Each has unique responses but one common theme was how easy to access they are. No matter what event, show, or festival one attends, the drugs needed to “have a good time” are there, for a cheap price hidden in some girl’s bra, or the bottom of a guy’s sock. People feel the need to do drugs at raves specifically uppers because it makes the music more intense and the experience more exciting. The feeling that the drugs give the body is euphoric and mind blowing. Throughout the concert people need to re-up their dosage, and that is when the people selling the drugs come in handy. A rave is somewhere people can let themselves go and feel free to try new drugs, and feel that they are in a safe area to try them. One of the drugs MDMA (molly) makes a person extremely social and comfortable in their environment, which is why most people take it at raves. One of the friends that I interviewed described her experience with molly as, “indescribable and amazing. It is nothing I have ever felt or experienced before. Nor have I ever felt so in sync with the sound of music and the amazing lights”. The drug helps the body relax and be okay with being surrounded by 5,000 people you don’t know. However, one of my friends said that he tried Molly for the first time at a rave and his body did not know how to handle it because of the loud music and people everywhere. That experience swayed him away from drugs for years because he had such a bad time while on the drug. This is another point that was made by the friends I interviewed, if you try drugs at a rave make sure that you are with people that you trust and you know wont leave you alone if your body responds negatively to the drug. The main message about drugs being apart of raving is that a person must feel comfortable in the environment that they are in, as well as the people they are with in order for them to have a good time.
The culture of raves has changed our society’s views on music and has made and encouraged people to experience the pure joy and wonders of raves. Rave goers live by PLUR and respect the music as well as the lightshows and attire. Raves encourage creativity, laughter, friendship, and individualism, something that is so valuable in our society. Although there are many pricy components that come with going to a rave, the experience you get is simply priceless.