Courtesy of Freepik

PLUR your way through your first rave


Courtesy of Freepik

Raves have started to gain popularity among college students, especially here at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Raves are music festivals where people flock to listen to electronic dance music (EDM) late into the night. Among college students, raves are a time when friends get together, dress up and create life-lasting memories. With the increasing popularity of EDM, more and more college students are starting to attend these events. However, the predominant notion of raves and EDM are negative, and the main questions with raves are: how do people listen to EDM? And how do they prepare themselves for a two-to-three-day bender? Although the idea of a rave may seem daunting and intimidating, this guide will make sure you are prepared and excited for your first rave.

  1. Create a playlist with your friends

Most first-time ravers don’t know what genres or songs to expect when they go to a rave. Gather some friends who are familiar with EDM and create a shared playlist on any music platform. This way, you can be introduced to some different genres of EDM and familiarize yourself with some classic EDM songs. If your friend group is all first-time ravers, no worries. Whether you prefer Spotify, Apple Music or another streaming platform, rest assured that there’s a pre-made playlist waiting for you, filled with tracks perfectly suited for the upcoming rave. 

  1. Make some Kandi

Kandi are bracelets that are made from beads, charms and other materials, usually with words or sayings. Kandi holds significant importance to the rave community as these bracelets are intended to either be worn, traded, or given to other ravers as a sign of PLUR. PLUR — Peace, Love, Unity and Respect — is usually a symbol of being respectful and kind to those around you. Receiving and giving Kandi is like giving or receiving gifts during Christmas. It feels good to give out Kandi, and you feel special when someone gives you Kandi. It’s a great way to spread positivity and show you care about those close to and around you.

  1. No limitations on clothing

The coolest thing about raves is that you can wear whatever you want, and no one will judge you. Raves are all about inclusivity and being expressive, and a great way to show that is what you wear to the rave. The majority of the ladies wear cute lingerie that matches the theme of their friends. If you don’t feel as bold, colorful crop tops paired with shorts or skirts are also viable. For the guys, the majority of them wear tank tops paired with shorts or track pants but some will also layer with bold button-up shirts. Another staple for rave fashion is pashminas. Pashminas not only spice up your rave fashion but also provide comfort and warmth when it gets cold later in the night. If you can’t get your hands on a pashmina, aluminum blankets will also keep you warm.

  1. Watch out for your valuables

Although raves are a safe space for fun, they are also a hotspot for pick-pocketers. Raves are notorious for phone thieves and there have been many accounts of people’s phones being stolen at raves, myself included. To combat this, never put your phone in your pockets and constantly check if your phone is in your hands. The safest way to ensure phone safety is to get anti-theft phone lanyards on Amazon, which are about $13. You can also get a fanny pack or a small cross-body bag in which you can put your phone or other valuables without having the fear of losing it. Speaking of valuables, if you are planning to take substances at a rave, make sure you purchase them from a credible friend and test them for fentanyl

  1. Set up rendezvous points with your group

Before entering a festival, your rave group should set up rendezvous points inside the rave with time stamps. Setting up rendezvous points with your rave group is extremely important as most raves lack service or fast data, which makes communication difficult. Since there are so many people at a rave, it is easy to get lost when moving through large crowds. There will also be instances where your group will split up because they want to see different artists. By setting up rendezvous points, everyone will be on the same page on where to meet and finding each other will be way more efficient. 

  1. Spread some PLUR

Again, PLUR is a symbol of being respectful and kind to those around you. The whole concept of raves is that it’s a safe space where everyone is kind to each other while listening to music. Some first-time ravers don’t know any better and are aggressive or rude towards others. When moving through large crowds, make sure to say “Excuse me” and “Thank you.” Don’t be afraid to compliment other people’s clothing or totem poles. Check up on your group to make sure everyone is okay, and lend a hand out to strangers if they need help. After all, everyone is there to have a great time, and most people will help you out if something happens to you.

  1. Be open-minded and have fun

The most important thing you can do at a rave is to have the best time of your life. The music might sound strange or weird since it’s your first time, but if you have an open mind, you will start to enjoy it. Most rave tickets are expensive, so the least you can do is to have fun. Raves are one of the few places where you can be as expressive as you want without anyone judging you. Don’t be afraid to talk and dance with other strangers. Raves are all about meeting and making new friends, and it makes the rave experience much more enjoyable. Remember, the rave is only as fun as you make it.

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