Night PHX

Dance Fever
The Valley's rave scene is eerily comparable to the works of Dr. Seuss: Both are overly colorful, populated by bizarre characters, and offer tons of fun.

The all-night dance parties are ADD personified — a ginormous fun park for hyperactive teens and 20-somethings to dance until dawn amidst endless waves of throbbing electronic music and a thunderstorm of colored lights.

Some raves are run illegally, because of noise ordinances and a lack of proper permits. Since the local scene's heyday in the early '90s, the events typically go down in empty warehouses or out in the desert. While a few still operate illicitly, promoters have begun booking events in recent years at legal venues such as the Icehouse or the Fifth Avenue & Madison Center (which opened last summer).

If you make it to one, you'll know you're there. Ravers come dressed in garish, brightly colored clothing or sport neon-dyed hair. And they're also armed with playthings. Besides waving glowsticks and sucking illuminated pacifiers, ravers tend to strap impossible amounts of colored bracelets on their arms and wrists, as if they were a DayGlo Madonna from the '80s.

Local event promoter Mitch Palmer says it's all just part of rave culture.

"Kids just like dressing stupid, having fun, and not having to worry about shit," he says. — Benjamin Leatherman

Get the lowdown on the local rave scene at,, or through our listings at

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