There's no getting around it: At raves, things can get weird. Awkward. Uncomfortable.
Rave newbies often just don't know what they're getting into. True ravers -- not frat boys looking to act nuts or the randoms who know one song by a certain DJ -- follow a code of conduct, a mentality that traces its roots all the way back to the hippies and that peace-and-love stuff.
With the rave scene's rapid expansion, due in no small part to the popularity of mainstream artists like Skrillex and Steve Aoki, representatives of EDM, some Kandi Kids and ravers complain that the scene is losing touch with its roots. Yes, there are drugs. Mostly ecstasy. But that doesn't mean that your stoned behavior doesn't have consequences, and that the prevalence of mood enhancers makes it impossible to be annoyed by someone acting out of line.
So, in the spirit of our "Don't Be An Asshole" concert post, here are a few words on rave etiquette. Yes, drugs tend to loosen things up, but that doesn't mean there are no boundaries at a rave. Fucked out of your mind or not, you can go overboard. Yeah, even at a rave.
There are some basic rules to raves, and then there are a few that I consider personal rules. Number one in my book is to enjoy and express yourself -- and dance. Remember that no one is going to judge you for the way you are dancing. No -- we reserve judgment for the drunks who continue to bump into you and then creep on the girls nearby who rolling their faces off.
Some health concerns: Seriously, stay hydrated! Water is your best friend. Since you will be dancing and moving around a lot. I can tell you from past experiences, don't say "no" to a bottle of water. Yes, you will be sweating, so shower prior to going and wear deodorant, please. I've come to notice some tend to let that slip their minds. Clearly, you need to be in a group. Don't go to these events by yourself. It can freak you out if you don't have a clue who anyone is, especially while tripping. But I can guarantee that you will meet others.
And, of course, don't overdose! That tends to ruin it for the other people at the rave, not to mention, you know, you.
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And if you're only into the aggressive sounds of Skrillex, take a minute to figure out what "PLUR" means. "P" is for peace; violence has no place in rave culture. So drunks, please stop with the fights and save it for a bar. "L" stands for love. You will see acts of love throughout raves. That's what all that hugging is about, you know? "U" is for unity. It's more than just an event -- we're united under the influence of the music. "R" stands for respect. I mean freakin' show some regard to feelings around you. Have respect for oneself and the environment that you are in.
Just a few friendly words. It's all about having a good time and taking care of each other -- so, next time, examine the social boundaries of the rave and get ready to enter the PLUR world.