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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Don’t Let Negative Stereotypes Deter You from Raves

Jaylin Licup
โ€œI would absolutely recommend whoever, especially people who are going through a really tough time in life, just to give it a chance,โ€ rave attendee and harm reduction volunteer LaFrance Daniels III said.ย 

I believe that raves, music festivals, and similar events can be the most fulfilling and worthwhile things you can do for yourself, and you should not let the negative stereotypes stray you away from experiencing them.

These events happen all year round and I believe we should start breaking the negative stigmas associated with raves and music festivals to allow for more individuals to have the opportunity to attend them without fear or worry.ย 

โ€œI would absolutely recommend whoever, especially people who are going through a really tough time in life, just to give it a chance,โ€ rave attendee and harm reduction volunteer LaFrance Daniels III said.ย 

Daniels III said he was going through a tough time when he was in college and that through EDM and EDM events, he was able to love more, accept more, and feel accepted by others, which is why he encourages others to attend these events for the positive impacts they bring.

โ€œBeforehand I kind of knew about raves and I kind of knew about these festivals as kind of a big negative thing. Like, ‘this is where all these drug addicts go. This is where all the sin happens,'” Daniels III said.ย 

I also heard the same stereotype early on when I first gained interest in rave culture and asked my parents for their thoughts on the subject a few years back. They brought up concern about drug use and the danger that could occur at raves.

According to an article written by Merinah Buller from EDM Maniac, the negative stereotype of rave culture has historically said that raves are illegal, and has often associated raves with the war on drugs.

This impression of rave and music festival culture as a base for drugs had scared me from joining in the fun early on because of a fear of judgment from my family and peers. I later learned that it was not necessarily the case because, through experience, I have come across a respectable number of sober ravers.

However, for attendees who may consume substances at these events, volunteers like Daniels III are on-site at these events who help to support safe raving and festival experiences.

Daniels III said his biggest priority as a harm reduction volunteer is safety. He also said he wants to make sure that people understand that they can ask for help, and that it is ok to say someone is not okay.

โ€œIโ€™ve always loved helping people and to be able to combine two things that I feel passionate about, which is helping people and EDM, I find it to be the best thing in the world,โ€ Daniels III said.

Another stigma that people tend to have about raves is that they are too expensive.

โ€œI do wish it was a little bit cheaper because tickets are usually like $200,” Residential Assistant at California Lutheran University Angela Alvarez said. “I think, personally, the price is kind of worth it at the same time.”

When I compared ticket prices between a Harry Styles concert and a two-day electronic dance music event, Alvarez said they were similar in price. However, the EDM concert allowed attendees to see a bunch of different artists while the Harry Styles concert only showcased himself for about a two to three-hour event.

Daniels III said that back-to-back events or higher priced events can add up, but to him, these events were something that he saw as healthy and needed.ย 

โ€œI just mean that beware of FOMO and overspending. Save your money for the events that really matter to you. In the long run, you hold more value in the shows that you attend and they arenโ€™t tainted with guilt and stress,โ€ Buller said.

One last thing that may scare individuals from attending their first rave or music festival is the idea of acceptance.ย In rave culture, the acronym, PLUR has been implemented throughout many similar festivals to make them welcoming to longtime attendees and new attendees.

โ€œPLUR is peace, love, unity, and respect. It’s a mindset and it’s something that has to be cultivated,โ€ Daniels III said. โ€œIt’s about accepting others, it’s about loving the diversity that you’re around, even knowing that you don’t know anybody in the room but knowing that everyone is united by that music and united by that sense of culture that is gonna grow.โ€

The idea of PLUR is something that has created a welcoming atmosphere and a new outlook on rave culture, that it is a community that is ready to welcome anyone with open arms.

I experienced this welcoming and supportive atmosphere myself when I attended an EDM concert for the first time. I was pretty shy at first because the scene was pretty new to me but throughout the night, I actively saw PLUR in action as I had many people come up to talk to me, hug me, compliment me, and even dance with me.ย 

These fun interactions not only made me feel like I belonged but have encouraged me to continue going to these events because of the positive interactions of the community present at these events.

Alvarez said that within rave culture, there are beaded bracelets called Kandi that are made and given away by attendees to other attendees as a sign of friendship and acceptance.

โ€œโ€˜I love your energy, like let me give you thisโ€™ and you kind of remember it, like who gave it to you. You’re just like, โ€˜wow, people like me for me,โ€™โ€ Alvarez said.

Daniels III said Kandi is a memento giving service that you can look back on after a rave and think of as a great memory.

โ€œI have a lot of Kandi bracelets that I’ve saved over the years of raving that I’ll never give away. Imagine it being a piece of you that you give to another person, and that might go over a hundred different hands but it’s still a piece of you,โ€ Daniels III said.

I believe these bonds that are made with strangers are so impactful because the attendees at these raves come from all walks of life. Different occupations, financial standings, ages, and life experiences open up oneโ€™s perspective on the vast audience of those who attend these events.

โ€œTheir actual day jobs and their day lives could be anything, from working at a grocery store, all the way up to being a lawyer or even a doctor,โ€ Daniels III said.

This counters the notion that ravers and music festival goers are โ€œlow-lifesโ€ or have nothing else better to do. Ravers and music festival goers instead come from these varieties of life paths and come together to create memories for not only themselves but for others.

โ€œKind of funny to say, it’s kind of addicting to go. [It is] something you’re looking forward to.โ€ Alvarez said. โ€œSo, I think it’s just the energy that’s brought from the whole environment that makes you want to keep going back.โ€

I believe that going to a rave or music festival is something anyone should experience at least once. At the end of the day, an individual could at least say they had the opportunity to try it before deciding whether they like it or not.

โ€œWhen I got there it was nothing but hugs, nothing but love, nothing but talking to people I never thought I would see myself talking to. They were opening their arms, wanting to hang out with me and accepting me for who I was as a person, and that was a life-changing thing right there for myself,โ€ Daniels III said.

I had the opportunity to experience this loving and welcoming culture myself, and it was unforgettable. This is the reason why I believe that raves, music festivals, and similar events are life-changing experiences that should be appreciated for all their positive impact rather than the negative stigmas that surround them.

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