Ten rules to follow at underground dance music concerts

Categories: Commentary

rave-rules.jpg
Brandon Marshall

By Sarah Stanley-Ayre

Electronic music's recent surge in popularity comes with serious side effects for underground-party aficionados. Suddenly, Daft Punk is winning Grammys, and drunk girls (and guys) are ruining life at 4 a.m. in a warehouse somewhere.

Take this recent incident: Under a haunting pink hue Dustin Zahn tended to his machinery, hands poised above the knobs. My body was carried by the sound, hips oscillating, hair in my face, arms outstretched, at worship. I was in ecstasy, but I opened my eyes to someone shrieking, "Can you take a picture of my tits?"

She pushed her smartphone onto a bewildered onlooker. Much to my dismay, he aimed its lens directly at her protruding cleavage and snapped a series of photos. Her drunken friend laughed, peering into the phone's screen and haphazardly sloshing half of her drink onto the dance floor. In short, the magic was gone.

I could spend time being mad at these random people, but that would ultimately lead to nothing but more bad vibes. After talking to friends and other musicians who experience the same tribulations, I have assembled ten rules for proper underground dance-party etiquette.


10. Learn what a rave is before you call yourself a "raver."

steveaoki.jpg
Emily Benjamin
If Steve Aoki is playing, you are not at a rave.

Your bros at the dorm call you a raver, as does the neon nightmare you picked up at some bar last weekend and are now dating. Sorry to crush your dreams, but clearing the dollar store of glow sticks and eating a bunch of shitty molly doesn't make you a raver. Raving is pretty sweet, though. The term originated in 1950s London to describe bohemian parties that the Soho beatniks threw. It has been used by mods, Buddy Holly and even David Bowie. Finally, electronic music hijacked "rave" as a name for huge underground acid house events that drew thousands of people and spawned an entire subculture. "Raving" is entirely centralized around underground dance music. Not Skrillex. Not Steve Aoki. Not anything you would hear on top 40 radio.

9. This party is no place for a drug-addled conga line.

I had just come in from enjoying a cigarette somewhere around 3 a.m. this past Sunday morning, carefully dancing in the direction of the DJ booth, when I was confronted by an obstacle: a strange wall of bodies draped over one another in a straight line, dividing the entire dance floor in half. These people weren't moving. In fact, I couldn't even tell if they were still breathing. Um. What? Can you please play statue somewhere else? Also, I am begging you -- save your conga for a wedding party or bar mitzvah.

8. If you are not 21, you are not coming in here.

Just accept it. The security is checking your ID for a reason. If your parents call the cops looking for you, then those cops will show up. If those cops bust this party and you are nineteen years old and wasted, then everyone responsible for the party happening is fucked. You'll probably just get a minor in possession ticket or something, and your parents will be mad at you for a week, but is it really worth jeopardizing the party itself? There are plenty of eighteeen-and-up parties out there. Go to those instead.


My Voice Nation Help
41 comments
Ossama Hussein
Ossama Hussein

I've seen people fucking on the street at Mardi gras, so I guess raving always seemed tame to me

Thee Sigil
Thee Sigil

Rule 0: don't call it a fucking concert

Jeff Hulsing
Jeff Hulsing

my personal rule: stop going after age 30

Rod Segal
Rod Segal

How come ecstasy makes people dance like a prick?

John Anthony Gadd
John Anthony Gadd

obviously a guy who is advertising a foam party would have no freakin clue about what this article is talking about

John Anthony Gadd
John Anthony Gadd

Rule 11, which should really be #1 - don't dress like the people in the post above

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

^^^Crikey! When you consider proper grammar on the social media threads as your personal highlight of the day, then maybe....just maybe "yore" the one with issues.

Tom Ballard
Tom Ballard

Clubs, security, and top name DJ's are not underground. Illegal dance parties in warehouses with aspiring DJ's are underground.

Clark Snyder
Clark Snyder

Christ, someone using the internet knows how to spell "you're"! Refreshing.

Dusty Spangler
Dusty Spangler

First rule is if I'm there it's not really underground.

Kyron Rough
Kyron Rough

Ben raving since 98 nobody has a clue what a real rave and what the scenes really about especially westword smh

Gvrth Jonez
Gvrth Jonez

Spilling a drink amd asking for someone to take a picture of ur breasts wouldn't come close to ruining my night either.

Michael Roque
Michael Roque

I wish I partied in the 90s. I was in grade school then...

Gvrth Jonez
Gvrth Jonez

Ur entitled to your own opinion man, as well as I am. I'm def not the problem either. If you go to McDonald's expecting a pan seared peppercorn crusted 80/20 burger than you will be dissapointed. Go to a Skrillex or Aoki show (as she mentions), and expect a underground rave with all the 'plur-est of plur-erz' than you shall be dissapointed.

Jónatas Roze
Jónatas Roze

Actually, "You're only allowed to enjoy yourself in a way that doesn't ruin everybody else's night." And I think that's reasonable.

Larry White
Larry White

The writer of this article is in her mid-twenties... Wtf do you know about raves lol... Unless you were at parties in the 90's... I think you can keep your "underground concert" rules to yourself... =)

Kyle Williams
Kyle Williams

"you're only allowed to enjoy yourself how I see fit"

Jónatas Roze
Jónatas Roze

Nice rant, but the scene is already ruined and those who ruined it won't be interested in your "rules." Just keep hope alive that all of these methylone-addled drop-seeking glowkids get bored, married, and put their finance degrees to use with stories about their wild youth to share with their grandkids someday. And soon.

Gvrth Jonez
Gvrth Jonez

Whoever wrote this is an idiot. What does the classification of a rave have to do with adolescents and adults finding there own tranquility. To the writer- if your looking for a party with edicate and decency. Go to a bar

Josh DePaula
Josh DePaula

Good article, but daft punk was winning Grammys years ago.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...