RAVE CULTURE kentith kaniff
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This essay will explain rave culture. The reason that I chose to research and write on this topic is that I am involved with rave scene and enjoy going to "raves." From researching this topic I discovered that rave culture displays many of life’s simple pleasures, such as dancing.
Over the last 10-15 years, a new trend of parties has been evolving. These gatherings are known in the media as raves, and are often simply called parties by those attending them. A rave is an all night event where usually young people gather in a social atmosphere while listening to hypnotic dance music. These parties have slowly evolved into spectacles of total sensory overload. The first is the social aspects, unhindered freedom of expression of ones self through dance, dress or any other mean without fear of ridicule from others. The second is the dancing and its often quasi-spiritual effects on those partaking.
The key to the success of raves is the positive atmosphere, or vibe. Raves are renowned for people's acceptability and tolerance for others. They are safe havens for people who wish to be free from social pressures. Because of this, many ravers (person who attends these parties) are dressed differently then people you would normally see. Bright colors, clothing with different textures and feel, and generally clothes that is very comfortable to dance with. A sense of unity is formed between the partygoers; they attempt to form a community of sorts through there individuality. People feel free to go up to strangers and start up conversations. They also become very comfortable with everyone around them and try to share this feeling with others. This is a very important part of the whole Rave experience. When this occurs, then the party kids can truly feel free to be themselves in every way. This is something quite rare in today's commercialized society, which often dictates what is normal, and what isn't. Seen less and less as a spiritual tool and more as a form of entertainment. Today young people are re-discovering dancing and music in an experience much like people of the past through these all night parties. The music played at raves is very reminiscent of the pounding beats of hand drums, which are ancestors used to dance to. Young people, between the ages of 15-30, mainly attend these parties. At these parties the crowds of people are worked up into frenzies of energy, with people dancing hours on end without stopping.
Another part of the rave experience is the lighting and surroundings. In the summertime many parties are held outside in desolate, and sometimes quite beautiful surroundings. Out on the West Coast of B.C., many of the parties during the summer are held up in the surrounding mountains of the lower mainland and around lakes. These serene settings all add to the utopian experiences created by a rave. During the winter months when it is to cold to hold a party outside, raves are held inside banquet halls, vacant buildings, or wherever a big enough size room can be found. Often these venues can be quite plain and boring in contrast to the vibrancy of a party. Stage type sets are brought in to conquer this dullness, usually with a theme associated with the party. The most important part of the backdrop for a party though is the lighting system. In order to fulfill total sensory overload, expensive laser light systems are brought in to aid the whole experience. These lighting systems can cost in the thousands of dollars and are often run by computers. As a DJ is building up the crowd so that they can go off, the lighting and lasers follow suit accordingly. When the DJ has the music peaking and the crowd is going off, the lasers and lights are usually shining as brightly as possible and are flaring off in every direction.
Raves are a medium for young people to get together, forgot about the problems in their everyday lives, escape from the world around them, and be free to be themselves for a short period of time. In Vancouver and many other Canadian cities, raving serves as an open-minded sanctuary from