Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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So you're probably wondering why I decided to do my speech on the rave culture. The kind that is usually looked down on as a low form......get this! Imagine a night of dancing, listening to music, talking with tons of stranger, doing drugs and maybe getting caught up by the police. Sounds like a dream right? For many ravers this dream becomes a reality. That is just a simple description of the a normal ravers life is like.

Trust me it gets more complicated.

Raving has swept up the nation over a small period of time. It hasn't exactly sprung up over night though. Raving began back in the early 90's. It was focusing on the young adult population, but was quickly spread to the teenage population. One of the first raves was held back on June 15th, 1991, at a warehouse off the shores of New York. The rave was called Return To XTC.

It was a huge party that lasted all night. Since then raves have sprung up all over the nation. Raves are held in remote locations. From abandoned warehouse and small airports to open fields or underground buildings/mines/ The reason why they are so remote is because of the loud music that is played, the large crowds it attracts, and basically so that no authority-such as police find "˜em and break up the scene.

Raves are basically one huge party that lasts all night long with music and specialized lighting. Sometimes even days. So you might ask what people do at raves. The answer is simple. To listen to music, dance, and "chill".

Music is a major part of the rave, because music is what helps make it up and allows the people to dance. There are always numerous types of music being played. The types of music are techno, happycore, trance, house, jungle, hard "˜n epic trance, breaks, ambient, acid breaks, 4 beat, hardcore, free form, acid techno, progressive, and progressive techno. These sounds are usually produced by a large variety of d.j's. We're talking thousands.

One of the most famous rave d.j's you might know is, Fatboy Slim. Don't forget that music goes hand in hand with dancing. The dancing that takes place at raves is similar to how people dance at a club. Only there is one exception... they use glo-sticks.

Glo-sticks are sticks filled with the chemical acid and bleach water.

When the stick is snapped it creates a glow-lite. Ravers who dance with glo-sticks call the form liquid. Liquid is the basic free style of using hand motions with feet movement. The illusion it creates, is that a person is dancing with an invisible ball that moves with the beat of the music.

When combining music with dancing in the liquid free form, the floor lights up. But dancing isn't the only activity that is done.

As I mentioned earlier, people chill at raves. Chilling can be defined as dancing or talking, but in many cases at raves they refer to doing drugs. Drugs are always sold at raves. But don't get it wrong. Not everyone who goes to raves is a drug user. There are 2 main types of ravers. Kandy who attend the raves just to have fun and not do drugs at all. And then there are Regular/hardcore ravers. Regular ravers do drugs such as marijuana, acid, speed, and the most common ecstasy. These drugs put ravers in an altered state of mind, causing everything around them to be hyped up. The drugs are either used or abused. But with both comes the consequences of o.ding. Dying, having to be on them for 1 day to about 3days, or being arrested by the police. Kandy ravers don't have to deal with that. Though there are 2 types of ravers, they all dress alike.

Dressing for a raver has no limits or rules. Ravers wear anything from baggy jeans and cargos to tank tops and T-shirts and polos. They also love to accessorize. Some accessories include visors, glo-beads and bracelets, tiaras, headbands, glitter, hair dyes, glitter, face paint, glo-lotion, necklaces (hemp, bead, glo, ect.) , rings, chains, sunglasses, and whatever they can get their hands on. A common name for the clothing and accessories is vibe wear. At raves, ravers set no rules, or boundaries. The people who attend raves are in good moods. Ravers tend to be the loving caring accepting type. Unity is a main theme expressed. There are no specific races, genders, intelligence levels, or social classes. that one must have or be in order to attend raves. Though this is true many who are from a more conservative culture look down on the raver culture as a bad thing. Despite this many people from all cultures attend raves. From the city & ghetto kids to the more suburbanized ones. Anyone and everyone is accepted.

In conclusion, I hope that I have helped express the raver culture to all who never knew it existed or those who have had little knowledge on it. So when you read or hear about raves and ravers as a negative thing, think again. Raves are just huge parties welcoming all. And the ravers are just like you or me. They are just out there to have a night of fun. Dancing, listening to music, and "chilling".