Top 10 rules of the rave: A guide to underground dance party etiquette

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Disco_Ball_Anna_Gulbrandsen.jpg
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

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 smart phone 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.

See Also: Top 10 Twin Cities dance venues


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

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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 Barfly 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. Its 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 19 years old and wasted, then everyone responsible for the party happening is fucked. You'll probably just get a minor consumption 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 18+ parties out there. Go to those instead.


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57 comments
Delirium
Delirium

Wow and you claim to be a raver ?


You enjoy EDM you ARE NOT a raver.


Where's the plur ? Everyone has the right to do what the fuck they want that's the spirit. (Yeah, one person's freedom ends where another person's freedom begins.)

fenris.benito
fenris.benito

Whoever wrote this is clearly a dick. For example, rule number 7 basically says "It's alright if girls hit on guys, but not if guys hit on girls".

Roke74
Roke74

Fuck rules!! let's just stab everyone on a lsd trip!!And fuck everyone that moves!!




Morons it is no rules it's common(incommon) sense.

Your freedom end's when you fuck with other people's freedom.

Yes we all do stupid shit.You ''can '' do it as long as it was done involutarely.

dennydjr1
dennydjr1

Hi im dennis I never been to a rave I been bar hoping and I can hold my drink and I did weed and crack. I like to go to a rave I dont know where thay are at just look to have fun.

RASPUTEN
RASPUTEN

this article is an abomination and should give the general population an extremely good idea of exactly who City Pages has representing their joke of a newspaper. How could you possibly suggest there's any etiquette involved in tripping psychedelic drugs? SMH

Stephen Fink
Stephen Fink

This community deserves an apology and this article deserves a retraction.

Debra Grouse
Debra Grouse

Well, Sarah Ann Stanley-Ayre knows what she is talking about and I love her. Do what she says. Just...you know, do it. You will never be as cool as she is, but with her advice, perhaps no one will notice.

Joe Duggan
Joe Duggan

lol lol don't hit on people at a concert lol don't do it tho

Joe Duggan
Joe Duggan

Or don't, just don't be an asshole

Joe Duggan
Joe Duggan

Ah, remember you're just reading the crappy citypages facebook page. Dude was possibly right for #3 and #5, but if you're laying down rules for a moment of pure human-music interaction, you have no idea what raves are about. The rules: Don't fuck up somebody else's day. Done. Maybe, show some love to your fellow who isn't looking too good.

dyLABs
dyLABs

@djqbot if there's security & ID checks it isn't underground

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

Mainly raves are attended by Liberals. If Liberals die by overdosing, then that is a good thing. Fewer Liberals= Less Government parasites. 


It's a Good Thing.

serocell
serocell

@djqbot the raves I went to if you didn't know the score you didn't get the phone number in the first fukin place...

hippystephen
hippystephen

Holy crap, Sarah. I guess you'd just hate me! Strange, maybe I've never raved... Wait, did you write this article the day after doing your serotonin depleting drugs??

'Grats tho. I think you've just created a category for 'hipster raver'

Love love

Brad McGraw
Brad McGraw

Also, people at the good parties don't need to be told any of these. Plur peeps

ULTIMATERAVER
ULTIMATERAVER

I WAS RAVING WHEN THE MCRIB WAS STILL A MENU ITEM.

albert
albert

hey this was funny. you guys stop being a buncha turds. 

Christian Johnson
Christian Johnson

Thanks for giving me 10 reasons to be thankful I'm in my 40s

Alex Bissen
Alex Bissen

City Pages status quo here. It's incredible how quickly and fully this rag had gone down the shitter.

Sarah Sepeda
Sarah Sepeda

This article is absolutely ridiculous, obviously a 'raver' didn't write it! You just condemned, judged & took out almost all that is fun at a rave. Lighten up & live a little. A rave is NO place for you. Nice try though. A 'journalist' should do better research. I think you should look for a better calling...

ajwieber
ajwieber

Wow, hypocrites much? I love how most of the people commenting on here are the judgmental ones and probably didn't even read the whole article to begin with. 

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Raves were totally meant for rules.

Amy Rayburn
Amy Rayburn

Wow! A rave with rules?! Are you serious? I think the author is completely missing the point of a rave. What you are describing seems to be more of a dance party than a rave, but since there hasn't been a real rave in a few years I can see where you would get confused. Just don't try to impose your conformist ideals on the rest of us who actually enjoy and embrace the strange.

intyper72
intyper72

Its obvious this person wasn't around raves back when raves where truly in. This is probably the 2nd 3rd year and she's become jaded with the scene. It happened to all of us who where there. Her etiquette is ridiculous and only DJ hoes truly believed that way back in my day. Its a rave, get fucked up, meet people and dance.

oldskool76
oldskool76

You sound like you spend more time at Marquee than anywhere else from the sounds of this article.

Sherman Doe
Sherman Doe

Yes hipsters. People who complain about how it used to be better instead of doing anything to make it better.

Bryce Otter Larson
Bryce Otter Larson

Cheshire Pixie:I was talking about the author of the article. Sorry for the misunderstanding, i realize it sounded like i was talking about you specifically. I've also been around the proverbial rave block. And I think the scene nowadays will never nor wants to be the scene of the nineties. Most of the younger fans are there for the same reason. Enjoy some quality music and friend time.

Cheshire Pixie
Cheshire Pixie

Taken over by hipsters? WOW. I was going to underground parties almost 10 years ago now, and I can say, we abided by these rules and had a WAY better, more loving and inclusive community than the crap I see in the club scene ravers these days.

Bryce Otter Larson
Bryce Otter Larson

Cheshire Pixie: "Getting weird" means leaving your 'everyday' at the door and embracing the out of the normal around you. Drugs are just enhancers for the weird if you go down that route. It's completely unfortunate that the scene has been taken over by hipsters who need to put rules on a community known for inclusion with next to no rules... other than the last rule. Keep that info to yourself!

Cheshire Pixie
Cheshire Pixie

keep the drugs at home, let the music be your drug.

czootzoot
czootzoot

Raves don't have rules, she's missing the point. Don't be judgmental for one, also who gives a S%$* if someone wants to take drugs.  Also this is the type of chick you probably meet at a party and when you say hello.  She replies "UHHH why are you talking to me." There's no room for people this arrogant at a PPPPPAAARRTTTY. It's all about letting loose being nice and doing whatever the hell you want. I do agree with the sex thing, but that's about it.

Aus Tin Padilla
Aus Tin Padilla

By getting weird I mean dressing up, hanging with your friends, and, yes, the occasional drug use...nothing wrong with using drugs and listening to music.

Kaia Rubin
Kaia Rubin

Hasn't been an actual rave here since the 90's .

Cheshire Pixie
Cheshire Pixie

Getting weird, which usually involves someone out of their damn minds on a substance of some sort, isn't what this scene was about, and it's completely unfortunate that this is what people think events like this are for these days.

djqbot
djqbot

@dyLABs It’s necessary in the US. Hundreds/thousands of people & no security is just irresponsible. Kids drinking carries jail time.

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@DavidFoureyes  


Well, at least when Obamacare kicks in, I will take comfort in knowing that when they OD and end up in an ER, I won't have to pay for it. Oh wait....It's not a tax..............if you like your plan..............you can keep your plan............you will save $2500/year..................if you like your doctor, you can keep your..................to raise the debt ceiling would be to......marriage is between a man and a woman......If I had a son......................


Oh,  and how about those Michelle Bachmann's gaffes again? How much did those cost you? You know.....like Obama's lies....the lies that you fell for? Twice. How much did your health insurance go up? Mine was cancelled and now my family is without insurance because we cannot afford the $3700 deducible. Feel good about your past 2 votes? If anyone in my family gets ill, I will send you the bill. After all, you are a fucktard liberal...you enjoy paying for other people's free shit.


O-Bam-A

O-Bam-A

O-Bam-A


"I promise that my administration will be the most transparent in the history of the United States.................................."   

dyLABs
dyLABs

@djqbot that's why free / squat party scene is underground.

serocell
serocell

@djqbot '2 miles past the barn there's a shed wait until your fag goes out and you'll be there'

serocell
serocell

@djqbot and descriptions so vague you needed the right drugs just to understand where the fuker was.

serocell
serocell

@djqbot warehouses are nicer, you get that, 'can you hear bass?' moment

serocell
serocell

@djqbot oh no for us it was like 6 people flying around in the back of a battered transit hoping the acid didn't wear of before we got there

djqbot
djqbot

@serocell hahaha in the US they’re always in warehouses, little less vague that way

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