Image: Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2018 Main Stage. Credits to edmsauce.com
By Katherine Snyder
Electronic Dance Music, known as EDM for short, has been around in the music industry for decades now. Ranging from Dubstep to House, it is a huge genre for people to explore. Over the past couple of years, many people who are fans of EDM have been stereotyped for listening to this music. For those unaware of these stereotypes, many people in the community who listen to this genre and go to festivals are labeled as drug addicts, as drugs are a part of the festival and rave culture. People have also been stereotyped as “uncultured” and “idiotic” because they like listening to what people call “computer robot noises.” However, all of this isn’t true when it comes to the rave community, and people don’t care to learn what it’s really about.
The rave and festival community is one of the best things you could be apart of. It isn’t like any other culture or community you’ve seen. It is very easy to make friends and bond over the music together. The people are so kind and welcoming, and you can always find a friend or even a random stranger to talk to and headbang with at a show or festival (headbanging is a very big part of the community as well.) This community exemplifies acceptance- and that’s what makes it so beautiful. A lot of the group is based on the saying “PLUR” which means Peace, Love, Unity, Respect. No matter what you look like, your size, age, etc., you will always be accepted by people in this community.
In addition to making amazing friends, there are so many unique components to the raving scene that make you feel so alive and happy. For one, finding music that helps set you free is so cleansing. It may just be a bunch of computer-generated sounds, but the way artists put them together and execute their music is truly an indescribable. There are many big festival and show traditions that come along with the community, including making “Kandi” bracelets, which are bracelets made of colored pony beads and letter beads that have a saying or word on them. At festivals, strangers will trade their bracelets with each other in an act of the PLUR movement, which signifies that they’re welcome in the community. It may sound stupid, but receiving these bracelets from other people and having them as such a small, inexpensive memory is truly an experience in itself.
Sadly, I cannot list everything involved in the rave community and culture or this article will go on forever, but if you’re interested in this topic, definitely search more about it. No matter the stereotypes, the rave community is just one of the most amazing things to explore. Going to music festivals, meeting amazingly kind people, making awesome friends, bonding over music together and being free to let go are just some of the highlights. For myself, I am a part of this community heavily, and I have to say this is my calling. Becoming happy with life, no matter what group or culture you’re a part of is one of the best feelings. I hope everyone out there, whether it be this community or something else, finds the thing that makes them feel whole.