rave culture

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Rave Culture
What is a rave? Raving is a highly subjective experience. One person's best rave is another person's worst. Any attempt to analyze rave culture must recognize the highly personal factor of the experience. Author Daniel Martin defines a rave as “a long period of constant energetic and stylistic dancing exhibited by a large group of people in a hot, crowded facility providing continuous loud House music and an accompanying strobe lit psychedelic light show” . Since the beginning of this culture there has been much controversy on the legality of what goes on in the scene. Through the history, music, people, spirituality we are introduced to one of the newest things affecting pop culture today.
Rave culture can be traced back to Native American religious ceremonies. It can be traced back to anarchist revolutions in Italy and France. It pulls energy from many different directions. It had its origins in Chicago and Detroit disco clubs and gay dance clubs. England and America traded musical influences back and forth during the late seventies-early eighties until techno finally started to be formed. The actual rave movement, however, combining this new music with dancing, occurred in England. At almost the exact same time, raves started popping up in Manchester and Ibiza, a noted English vacation spot, in late 1987 and early 1988. At this same time, the rave phenomenon was taking hold in Germany, most notably in Berlin. The popularity of raves grew in both countries, and soon the intimate all-night dance parties were drawing thousands of kids. The first U.S. raves were held in San Francisco, long noted for its liberal and psychedelic culture. From here, they moved to Los Angeles and the rave scene was born in California.
The rave scene that was born in America was one of complete illegality. It began when Frankie Bones, a New York native and one of the U.S. DJ’s that was spinning in England, saw that the scene was moving into America, and wanted to bring it to his hometown of Brooklyn. He started a series of parties called Stormrave in early 1992. The parties started out small, 50-100 kids, and Frankie resorted to projecting videos of the massive raves in England to show kids what it was all about. It was during this period of Stormraves that many DJ’s made their debuts.
The music at a rave is techno, primarily electronically created music that gener...

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...rable and strangers become people to be loved. It was a perfect fit with the happy family that the rave scene was trying to create.
There is a tangible energy that goes along with dancing to extremely loud beats with hundreds of other people. Raves are a shared experience. A sense of unity often develops among ravers, in which, personal creeds, race, gender, age, sexual preference and everything else that our society places so much emphasis on simply fades into the background. At a rave when everyone is dancing you experience a feeling of collective organism and I think people that have had this experience view the world differently afterwards. Another phrase commonly thrown around in circles of ravers is that of PLUR, which stands for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. In many senses, PLUR is the dogma that ravers believe in.

Jordan, Joel. Searching for the Perfect Beat. New York: Watson-Giptil Publications,
Martin, Daniel. “Power Play and Party Politics: The Significance of Raving.” Journal of
Pesch, Martin. “Techno Style.” Zurich: Edition Olms, 1998.
Redhead, Steve, ed. Rave Off: Politics and Deviance in Contemporary Youth Culture.
Aldershot: Avebury, 1993.

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