16 Things Every First-Time Raver Needs To Know

16 Things Every First-Time Raver Needs To Know

Rave safely, my friends.
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So, you’ve begun to prepare for an upcoming rave. Maybe this is the first time you’ve even heard of a rave, and the only EDM you’ve been exposed to is Calvin Harris. Maybe you have a friend that convinced you to purchase a $500 ticket to a festival that won’t happen until June of next year. Maybe that same friend is dragging you to a Halloween-themed rave extravaganza and you have no idea what to expect. Or maybe you’re an experienced raver, but don’t know how to express the experience and vibes to your hesitant friends. Collected from the mouth of “Buzz” (an unnamed rave-goer who acquired his “raver name” at EDC 2014), a professional EDM expert, rave yogi with a PHD in “Being Lit,” and self-coined member of the PLUR Patrol, these tips and tricks should satisfy all those headed to the last music festivals of 2015 and beyond.

1. Go with a group of friends you trust.



You'll want to surround yourself with people who are respectful, and who will take care of you when the shit hits the fan. Not saying that it will, but raves are overcrowded, and with large crowds comes a huge chance of being lost. Utilize the buddy system and find a friend who is interested in seeing the same artists as you, so if you decide to break away from your group, you won’t have to do it alone.

2. Or, consider going solo!

You shouldn’t feel afraid to go to a rave alone! Although this is recommended for someone who has been to a rave before, many groups of attendees are quick to help solo ravers and welcome them with open arms into their group. If you’ve always wanted to go to a rave, but don’t have anyone to go with, it’s not unusual to find others who are alone at a rave and in the same mindset.

3. Dress to impress.

One of the best parts of a rave, other than the music, is the fashion! A quick search for “Rave Outfit” into Google Images will give you an idea of what to expect, although every rave or festival is different. There are many wonderful online sites that carry outfits for ravers, including more respectable sites like iHeartRaves and cheaper stores like Yandy for essentials. There are more traditional outfits of bright neon, “fluffies” for the legs, and thin fabric wraps worn on the legs, arms, and torso, but although these are popular, they are not the only thing people wear to raves. You’ll find that at a rave, you’ll want to wear something that balances between practical and unique, comfy and dazzling (although one should never sacrifice a good pair of shoes for something fashionable, especially at a rave. No one is looking at your feet). Even men take part in the rave fashion trends with bright, graphic-printed tank tops and even fluffies themselves. The culture of peace, love, unity, and respect fostered between rave-goers (PLUR for short) is what breeds an environment of tolerance for people of all walks of life, where people feel comfortable in their own skin. For this reason, you’ll see many attendees wearing next to nothing, and this is not frowned upon but instead celebrated. Whatever you decide to wear, be yourself!

4. Look over the specific guidelines of the rave you’re going to.

Online, there is usually a “Do & Don’t” page outlining the rules of the specific rave you’re going to. One rave may allow plastic water bottles, while another will not let them in. Some will allow sealed packs of gum, and others none at all. Some clothing items like LED gloves as well as kandi bracelets may not be allowed at some venues while they are completely accepted at others. Be aware of these guidelines and don’t expect a venue to be lenient, as bringing any of these contraband items, no matter how innocent, could be thrown away at the door.

5. Prepare the week before!

Go on an almost cleansing regimen: get a good night’s sleep every night, keep hydrated, take daily vitamins, and eat healthy. Give yourself a day or two off work after the festival to account for some sleeping in and recovery, as your body will be tired! A rave can turn into an entire night of sleeplessness and constant motion, and you’ll want to prepare your body for all the energy you’re about to use over the weekend! This is especially important for a festival that is longer than one night.

6. Bring your essentials!

Straight from the expert himself, you won’t catch a raver without the following items: water container/camelback (whatever is allowed for the festival), bandana (especially for outside venues), comfortable shoes/outfit, charger for phone (a portable charger works best, as outlets will be few and far between), and sunglasses!

7. Have a Kandi-making party!

If you’re going to a venue where Kandi bracelets are allowed, it’s good practice to make some beforehand so you can trade with other ravers! Buy some pony beads online or in the store along with some stretchy cord, and have at it! There is no wrong way to make kandi, and as you’ll see, many ravers enjoy making elaborate bracelets with alphabet beads, charms, glow in the dark beads, and even whole masks to bring to raves exclusively to trade with other attendees to spread the love that went into the kandi-making.

8. When you arrive at the venue, decide within your group on a nonmoving check-in spot.

If one or more of your group is lost, schedule a time for the whole group to check in midway during the event and afterwards before you all leave. This will ensure that everyone is being checked on and that you all leave the venue with everyone accounted for!

9. See an artist you’ve never heard of.

While perusing the set times, pick an artist you’ve never heard of and make it a point to go to their set. It could be the start of a love for a new artist who you’ll want to follow from one rave to the next.

10. Don’t rely on technology.

More often than not, your phone is going to die. Or you won’t have service. Or the one outlet you were able to find in the dark corner of the dirty bathroom at the venue is being hoarded by other technology-addicted festival goers, and your phone utters one last beep before it dies for what seems like eternity. If you need to bring your phone into the venue, turn it to airplane or low-battery mode, and put it into your bag and away from your hands when it’s not of immediate use – you’ll find that without your phone, you’ll be able to truly appreciate your surroundings. Plus, saving your battery for those perfect video moments during a set will help you relive your festival experience once the night has turned to day.

11. Make at least ONE new friend!

This is the time to share that Kandi you made before arriving! Make sure that if it’s your first rave, you tell them before you exchange, and they’ll show you the ropes. Meeting fellow ravers will only benefit you by giving you a chance to meet new people while also making friends who you may continue to rave with for years afterwards.

12. Dare to be sober!

Don’t let anyone pressure you to drink a lot of alcohol or take any type of drugs that you don’t want to take – especially if it’s a random stranger or someone in the crowd. That’s why it’s extremely important to pick a good group of friends to go with in the first place, who you can trust will be looking out for your best interest. Although you may meet ravers who swear that drugs and rave culture are inexplicably tied, it is simply not true. There are countless rave goers who stay completely sober for the entire festival, there simply to enjoy the music and the atmosphere!

13. Ask for help if you need it.

If you decide to forgo being sober, understand your limits and know when to ask for help when you need it. IF you begin to feel dizzy, faint, or sick for any reason, most venues have EMTs stationed throughout in order to help those who need it. Whether or not you are under the influence of substances, it is important to always disclose what you have drank or taken to an EMT. By doing this, you allow the EMT to properly care for you, which is the whole reason they are stationed there in the first place.

14. Stay hydrated, hydrated, hydrated!

Most rave venues now have water refill stations where you can fill a water bottle or camelback to stay hydrated during a set. Being in close quarters with huge crowds, especially for outside venues, is going to zap your energy, and you are not going to want to lose your perfect center spot in the crowd in order to fill up on water. Prevent this by refilling every time you pass a refill station and by drinking as much H20 as possible.

15. Don’t sit – DANCE!

A major element of the rave is, of course, the music! The best part of the accepting atmosphere of a rave is no one cares how you dance – feel free to let lose, relax, and be yourself. Everyone around you is there to listen to the music, so dance to your heart’s content!

16. Be open to new experiences.

A rave or music festival is an overkill of the senses – the crowds and the kicked up dust, the lights pulsating to the highs and lows of the music, the closeness between you and others around you ebbing and flowing, moving closer and closer with time. Embrace each environment as a new experience, and approach each venue, artist, and crowd with open eyes and arms, and you’ll be sure to have an amazing time.


At the end of your experience, whether you were a first-time raver or an experienced attendee, make sure to immortalize your experience by writing it down in a journal or scrap-booking the pictures you took during the event. And, of course, once you wake up the next morning...decide which rave is next!

Cover Image Credit: http://edmmaniac.com/

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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To Percy Jackson, I Hope You're Well...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus are both series which helped shape my life. I want to share my love for them here, with you.

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Two days before I moved from New Jersey to California, I had a late night at a friend's house. Just a few miles outside of my small town of Morris Plains, his house was out of the way and a safe haven for myself and my mother during a harrowing and strenuous move. My father had been across the country already for almost two months trying to hold down his new job and prove himself. His absence was trying on me (at the tender young age of nine years old) and my mother, and we often spent time at my friend's home, as our mothers got along well.

That night came the time to say goodbye for the very last time, and as our mothers were tearfully embracing at the door, he ran up to me and shoved a book in my hands. Bewildered and confused, I tried to give him my thanks but he was already gone - running away in a childish fit that expressed his hurt at my leaving more than any words he could've said. I looked down at the book in my hands. It was a battered copy of Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," with its binding bulging slightly out in a strange fashion, the cover slightly torn and bent, and quite a few pages dog-eared. The book wasn't in good condition, but I took the time to read it. I was ensnared and enchanted by the lurid descriptions of mythology, of the lovable characters of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, and the upside-down world they lived in. Over the course of the move and our eventual settling into our new California home, I devoured the series adamantly, reading "The Battle of the Labyrinth" almost five times in the fifth grade and eventually finishing out with "The Last Olympian." The series accompanied me through a difficult move and a whirlwhind of early puberty; by that time, Percy and friends I knew intimately as my own companions. When the series ended, I happily parted with it, and began other literary conquests (namely in the realm of classics).

After an almost year-long break, I re-discovered the series in sixth grade. I hadn't realized that there was a companion series to the first, in fact, a continuation - The Heroes of Olympus. I lapped up "The Lost Hero" and "The Son of Neptune" with greed, and eagerly awaited the arrival of "The Mark of Athena" the following year.

One of my most vivid memories of middle school was sneaking downstairs the morning of the Kindle release of "The Mark of Athena", sneaking past my parents' bedroom as stealthily as I could in the wee hours of the morning to get my kindle and immerse myself in the world. I believe I finished it in about two days. For the next two books in the series, I followed the same pattern: get up early, read it as fast as I could get my hands on it. "The Blood of Olympus", the last book in the series, came out in my freshman year of high school. After finishing the second series, I shelved my much-loved paperbacks for good, and turned myself to other literary pursuits. I eventually relocated to Virginia, and went to college. Percy and friends were almost forgotten until my first year at the University of Virginia.

I was devastatingly alone my first semester at university. I didn't know what to do with myself, entombed by my loneliness. However, at the bottom of my suitcase, I found my old Kindle Paperwhite, with both of Percy's series neatly installed for me. I made a resolution with myself: I would reread both series, reading only at mealtimes where I sat alone. By the time I was finished, I wanted to see where I was compared to when I started.

Re-reading the series was like coming home. It was nostalgia, sadness, and ecstasy wrapped into one. I delighted in revisiting Percy's old haunts, his friends, his challenges. However, it was sad, knowing I had grown up and left them behind while they had stayed the same. It was a riveting memory train which made me look forward to meals, and eased my loneliness at school. Gradually, as the semester progressed, I was reading on Percy's tales less and less, as I found my friends, clubs, and organizations that gradually took up more and more time.

I still haven't finished my re-read, and am about halfway through "The Blood of Olympus". I've come a long way in the almost decade since I first received that tattered copy of "The Lightning Thief", and I still have some ways to go. So thanks, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Jason, Piper, Reyna, Nico, Frank, Hazel, Leo. Thank you for growing up with me. I'll never forget you.

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