A rave, a show or an event. It goes by many names but one thing is the same throughout all of them, the music. The music brings people from all walks of life together in a way that is rarely seen anywhere else. While EDM music might sound like just electronic noises from a computer to some people, those who love it feel it as their heartbeat and happiness. When you first step into this scene, there are some key things to remember and take with you to bring on the best experience you will have.
1. PLURR is the basis for everything, so don't forget it!
PLURR. An acronym that is the basis of everything the rave scene is and strives to be. It stands for peace, love, understanding, respect and the more forgotten R, responsibility. PLURR is what keeps the EDM community as close as it does. We, as a group, look after each other. I have never felt so safe in a public space as I do at raves. There is the expectation that people will be kind, be happy and become friends. I have made some of my best friends through raves and I would not give that up ever. So as a newbie raver, come in with a positive attitude, don't judge people and be kind and you will have a great time.
2. Kandi and not the kind you eat!
One important thing to remember is that its Kandi with a K and not candy. Kandi is beaded bracelets that people trade at raves. They are sometimes super intricate and gorgeous and others are simple. A lot of people make Kandi memorialize certain shows that they go to and to trade with people they meet. Besides bracelets, people also make masks and necklaces with charms called perlers. When you trade there is a specific handshake to learn.
3. Don't be afraid to dress crazy, be yourself!
Rave Fashion has so many different styles and within it, everyone can find their vibe. There are Kandi Kids who wear lots of crazy bright colors and of course Kandi, then there are Bassheads who primarily wear dark colors with harnesses. When you first go to a rave, be prepared to see all sorts of things. People use raves as a release so you might see people wearing very sparse clothing. Don't make comments unless it is to compliment! While there are many big rave companies, try and support original creators like Rave with Migente, Rolita Couture and Rave after Rave.
4. Sober or not is your choice but be smart about it!
Drugs at raves are going to be there and it is naive to think they are not. However, the choice of whether you participate is completely up to you. There is nothing wrong with either choice and there are many people who are on one side or another so you will find people like you. Some of the drugs you might find are molly, LSD, acid, shrooms or just alcohol. If you are going to partake of the party favors you need to be responsible. Don't go so far down the path that you put yourself or others in danger. During an event, people might offer to give you substances and while they all seem very nice, use your best judgment and be safe.
5. Oh shoot I forgot...
The last five minutes before you leave for a show are extremely busy and important. You are in a rush trying to get cute pictures or maybe take one more shot before the uber comes, however before you leave check one more time to make sure you have everything you need! The easiest way to carry everything is in a fanny pack; there are hundreds of different styles and will leave your hands free in the event. In your fanny pack, you should have 4 main things. First, an unopened pack of gum to soothe your jaw if you are using party favors, also a great way to make friends in a crowd. Two, your FULLY CHARGED phone, this will be crucial because you WILL all be split up at some point. Three, your ID, for obvious reasons. Four, your ticket, if it is not on your phone. If you have those things, you will be set. Another thing that is helpful is empty water bottles to fill up once you enter the venue.
6. Don't be afraid to break the freaking rail!
Here's the rule at a rave, if you are going to be at the front of the crowd you better be going ham. Don't get to the front and just stand there recording the set on your phone! That's not cool. Don't be the dude in the snapback from this gif. Don't shove and push your way to the front. Say excuse me and thank you and people will move for you. Depending on the music, you should start headbanging and tossing your hair around, like in the gif above. Let loose and have fun. At the heavier shows, the goal of the front liners is to break the security rail. It is a sense of accomplishment you get from working together with the people around you. So if you're in front, go ham and break that rail.
7. Don't turn down a light show, because you will not regret it!
If someone offers to bless your life with a light show, do not turn them down. Light shows are most often done by glovers like in the gif above, but also can be done by people with LED hula hoops and LED light whips. There is a definite art and craft to putting together a routine, so pay attention the best you can and give it the respect it deserves. In the right moment at a rave, a light show can blow your mind, so everyone should get to experience one. Just let it happen!
8. Just relax and feel the music!
Take a deep breath and relax. While there is a lot to remember about raving, the most important thing is to have fun and make memories. Don't be afraid to get out of your head and let loose. Talk to a new person next to you, bust out that crazy dance move that feels right, just do it. If you have questioned the easiest way to find out is by asking. The Rave community is like one big family and we look after each other. Tell people you are a newbie and they will want to do whatever they can to help you. So go rave your heart out!