The dance music festival environment has been rapidly changing which has led to frustration for many ravers along the way. But who or what is to blame? Is it Social Media, is it the “new-raver,” or the person who is there for the “wrong” reasons - and what are the right reasons? There are several factors that go into creating the perfect vibe at any particular event, but we all have our own individual sentiment on how a dance music festival should be. With the rapid explosion of EDM popularity, it’s easy to understand why the environment within the rave community is changing. If you happen to be one of the frustrated ones (and you’re not alone), then this short list could help you maintain a positive vibe and attitude at every festival you attend.
1) Patience, Patience, Patience!
We’ve all been there. You waited an eternity sitting in traffic and you’ve finally arrived at the festival so now you’re extra excited to see your favorite DJ. You run to the event with your friends and get there just in time to realize… so is everyone else! There’s a massive line to enter the gates and people are NOT happy! But what can you do? That’s right, RUSH THE GATES! That was a joke. Please don’t ever do that. Nothing says patience like stampeding your fellow ravers in an attempt to get in 10 minutes early with the risk of getting kicked out or arrested. Instead, exercise your ability to be patient. YOU WILL GET INSIDE, just not always as soon as you hoped. So don’t let this ruin your night, or anyone else around you who may be feeding off of the negative energy surrounding you.
2) Arrive Early.
Showing up early can help you avoid having to deal with long entry lines altogether. I know many of us like to pre-game and arrive fashionably late, but with rising festival costs, consider it financially beneficial to arrive early while getting the most out of your wallet and the festival experience. This is also a great time to go inside with your friends, get a feel for the venue, and a good opportunity to make new friends before it gets too crazy. Familiarizing yourself with the venue while it’s relatively early can help you to avoid potential pitfalls by finding meet-up spots, stages, restroom, and, worst case scenario, the medic tent. It’s always better to be safe then sorry.
3) Respect the Staff and Volunteers.
Some of the people working hard to make these events happen are not even getting paid. Respect that and listen to them. It’s not going to make your night or theirs go any better if you decide to not comply with what they have been trained to tell you. The ticket scanners are not trying to deliberately spite you with any potential system or computer glitches. When dealing with staff, know that things may go wrong. Ticket scanners may stop functioning, the system could cut out, the festival crew could be short staffed for whatever reason, a change in weather could affect logistics, and if you’re lucky enough to have to deal with Will Call you may get stuck with all of the above - but don’t fret, or get upset with the workers; know that these things happen, and if you frequent many festivals you‘ve learned that they often do. Whatever it is, know that the staff is working extra hard to resolve every issue within their power. Try your best to brighten their day and your own through mutual respect. Enjoy the experience safely, and responsibly.
As the rave scene rapidly expands, the festival environment is becoming more diverse with the influx of new festival-goers. Whether you’re a new raver or consider yourself O.G., taking the time to understand this new shift in environment (as well as past traditions) is crucial to maintaining positive vibes at each and every festival you attend. Remember, it starts with YOU! More and more you may find yourself crossing paths with someone who may have never attended a rave, or is not even familiar with the culture. Depending on the circumstances, it can be easy to ruffle someone’s feathers, so taking time to try and understand where they may be coming from can help maintain your own positive mindset. A rave is a place where all are welcome, so if someone happens to rub you the wrong way, take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. We all come from different walks of life, with different beliefs, and differing tastes in music so introduce yourself, but don’t force it. Some people don’t like being bothered, which is completely up to them. This also tends to be the case for many newcomers who might be a little weirded out by the whole thing. They may be experiencing it for the first time, so don’t scare them by getting in their face, even if it is with your bubbly personality :) If you happen to be someone who gets a little freaked out when a glover (those “glowy finger dancers”) starts wiggling their hands in your face, don’t get angry. Instead, kindly let them know you’re not interested, they will understand.
Sometimes we experience negativity which makes it easy to confuse where dance music culture is going… but it’s up to us to remember what it’s all about and set the tone for others to follow.
Header photo source: Insomniac Events