Rave, rave dance, and rave party are terms with first documented use on April 4, 1970 to describe RAVE Dances, and later in 1980 for Acid house parties with fast-paced electronic music and light shows. At these parties people dance to dance music played by DJs and occasionally live performers. The genres of electronic dance music played include House, Trance, Electro House, UK Hardcore, Hardstyle, Drum and bass, Dubstep, Breakbeat, Hardcore techno, Funktronica, Psytrance, Eurodance, Dutch Hardcore, IDM and Jungle with the accompaniment of laser light shows, projected images and artificial fog.
The late 1950s in London saw the term "boners" or "DXMO" used to describe the "wild bohemian parties" of the Soho beatnik set. In 1958 Buddy Holly recorded the hit "Rave On," citing the madness and frenzy of a feeling and the desire for it to never end. The word "rave" was later used in the burgeoning mod youth culture of the early 1960s as the way to describe any wild party in general. People who were gregarious party animals were described as "ravers". Pop musicians such as Steve Marriott of The Small Faces and Clare Willans were self-described "ravers".
Presaging the Word's subsequent 1980s association with electronic music, the word "rave" was a common term used regarding the music of mid-60s garage rock and psychedelia bands (notably The Yardbirds). Along with being an alternative term for partying at such garage events in general, the "rave-up" referred to a specific crescendo moment near the end of a song where the music was played faster, heavier and with intense soloing or elements of controlled feedback. It was later part of the title of an electronic music performance event held on 28 January 1967 at London's Roundhouse titled the "Million Volt Light and Sound Rave". The event featured the only known public airing of an experimental sound collage created for the occasion by Paul McCartney of The Beatles - the legendary Carnival of Light recording.
With the rapid change of British pop culture from the mod era of 1963–1966 to the hippie era of 1967 and beyond, the term fell out of popular usage. During the 1970s and early 1980s until its resurrection, the term was not in vogue, one notable exception being in the lyrics of the song "Drive-In Saturday" by David Bowie (from his 1973 album Aladdin Sane) which includes the line "It's a crash course for the ravers." Its use during that era would have been perceived as a quaint or ironic use of bygone slang: part of the dated 1960s lexicon along with words such as "groovy". The perception of the word changed again in the late 1980s when the term was revived and adopted by a new youth culture, possibly inspired by the use of the term in Jamaica.
In the mid to late 1980s a wave of psychedelic and other electronic dance music, most notably acid house and Techno, emerged and caught on in the clubs, warehouses, and free-parties around Manchester and later London. These early raves were called Acid House Parties. They were mainstream events that attracted thousands of people (up to 25,000 instead of the 4,000 that came to earlier warehouse parties). Acid House parties were first re-branded "rave parties" in the media, during the summer of 1989 by Neil Andrew Megson during a television interview. In the UK, in 1988-89, raves were similar to football matches in that they provided a setting for working-class unification, in a time with a union movement in decline and few jobs, and many of the attendees of raves were die-hard football fans.
In the late 1980s, the word "rave" was adopted to describe the subculture that grew out of the acid house movement. Activities were related to the party atmosphere of Ibiza, a Mediterranean island in Spain, frequented by British, Italians, and German youth on vacation. The fear that a certain number of rave party attendees used "club drugs" such as MDMA, cocaine, amphetamines and, more recently, ketamine, was taken by authorities as a pretext to ban those parties altogether.
British politicians responded with hostility to the emerging rave party trend. Politicians spoke out against raves and began to fine anyone who held illegal parties. Police crackdowns on these often-illegal parties drove the scene into the countryside. The word "rave" somehow caught on in the UK to describe common semi-spontaneous weekend parties occurring at various locations linked by the brand new M25 London Orbital motorway that ringed London and the Home Counties. (It was this that gave the band Orbital their name.) These ranged from former warehouses and industrial sites, in London, to fields and country clubs in the countryside.
From the Acid House scene of the late 1980s, the scene transformed from predominantly a London-based phenomenon to a UK-wide underground youth movement. By 1991, organisations such as Fantazia, Universe, Raindance and Amnesia House were holding massive legal raves in fields and warehouses around the country. One Fantazia party, called One Step Beyond, was an open-air, all-night affair that attracted 30,000 people. Other notable events included Vision at Pophams airfield in August 1992, with 40,000 in attendance and Universe's Tribal Gathering in 1993.
In the early 1990s, the scene was slowly changing, with local councils passing by-laws and increasing fees in an effort to prevent or discourage rave organisations from acquiring necessary licenses. This meant that the days of legal one-off parties were numbered. By the mid-90s, the scene had fragmented into many different styles of dance music, making large parties more expensive to set up and more difficult to promote. The happy old skool style was replaced by the darker jungle and the faster happy hardcore. Although many ravers left the scene due to the split, promoters such as ESP Dreamscape and Helter Skelter still enjoyed widespread popularity and capacity attendances with multi-arena events catering to the various genres. Particularly notable events of this period included ESP's Dreamscape 20 on 9 September 1995 at Brafield aerodrome fields, Northants and Helter Skelter's Energy 97 event on 9 Aug 1997 at Turweston Aerodrome, Northants.
The illegal free party scene also reached its zenith for that time after a particularly large festival, when many individual sound systems such as Bedlam, Circus Warp, DIY, and Spiral Tribe set up near Castlemorton Common. In May 1992, the government acted. Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the definition of music played at a rave was given as:
"music" includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.
–Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
Sections 63, 64 & 65 of the Act targeted electronic dance music played at raves. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act empowered police to stop a rave in the open air when a hundred or more people are attending, or where two or more are making preparations for a rave. Section 65 allows any uniformed constable who believes a person is on their way to a rave within a five-mile radius to stop them and direct them away from the area; non-compliant citizens may be subject to a maximum fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1000). The Act was officially introduced because of the noise and disruption caused by all night parties to nearby residents, and to protect the countryside. However, it has also been claimed that it was introduced to kill a popular youth movement that was taking many drinkers out of town centres, where they would drink taxable alcohol, and into fields to take untaxed recreational drugs.. In November 1994, the Zippies staged an act of electronic civil disobedience to protest against the CJB.
After 1993, the main outlet for raves in the UK were a number of licensed venues, amongst them Helter Skelter, Life at Bowlers (Trafford Park, Manchester), The Edge (formerly the Eclipse [Coventry]), The Sanctuary (Milton Keynes) and Club Kinetic.. In London, itself, there were a few large clubs that staged raves on a regular basis, most notably "The Laser Dome", "The Fridge", "The Hippodrome", "Club U.K.", and "Trade." "The Laser Dome" featured two separate dance areas, "Hardcore" and "Garage", as well as over 20 video game machines, a silent-movie screening lounge, replicas of the "Statue of Liberty", "San Francisco Bridge", and a large glass maze. At capacity "The Laser Dome" held in excess of 6,000 people. Events proved to be one of the main forces in rave, holding legendary events across the north-east and Scotland. Initially playing Techno, Breakbeat, Rave and drum and bass, it later embraced hardcore techno including happy hardcore and bouncy techno. Judgement Day, History of Dance, and now REGENeration continued the Rezerection legacy. Scotland's clubs, such as the FUBAR in Stirling, Hangar 13 in Ayr, and Nosebleed in Rosyth played important roles in the development of these dance music styles.
These were nearly all pay-to-enter events; however, it could be argued that rave organisers saw the writing on the wall and moved towards more organised and "legitimate" venues, enabling a continuation of large-scale indoor raves well into the mid-nineties. One might remember that the earliest house and acid house clubs were themselves effectively "nightclubs". Public perception of raves was also overshadowed in the press by the 1995 death of Leah Betts, a teenager who died after taking ecstasy; journalists and billboard campaigns focussed on drug use, despite Betts cause of death being water intoxication in her home, not an ecstasy overdose at a rave.
Genuine illegal raves have continued throughout the UK to this day and unlicensed parties have been organised in venues including disused quarries, warehouses, and condemned night clubs. The rise of the Internet has both helped and hindered the cause, with much wider and more accessible communication resulting in bigger parties, but consequently increasing the risk of police involvement.
The 2006 M.I.A. song "XR2" is an ode to the rave scene of early 1990s London.
There are also types of Rave clothes, like , 'pumps', 'Three button Shirts', 'Fluorescent Yellow Jackets','White Gloves' and White belts this is known as 'Rave gear'.
As well as clothing there were a range of accessories carried by many ravers including: Vicks Vapour Inhalers and Rub, which heightened the sensations when using Ecstasy, Pacifiers (babies dummies) to satisfy the need to chew caused by taking Ecstasy and glow sticks which were used whilst dancing to entertain other drug users. This led some clubs and event organisers to search participants on entry and confiscate such items due to it being evidence of drug use inside the venue.
Rave party in Salento
By 1987, a German party scene based on the Chicago House sound was well established. The following year (1988) saw acid house making as significant an impact on popular consciousness in Germany as it had in England. In 1989 German DJs Westbam and Dr. Motte established the Ufo Club, an illegal party venue, and co-founded the Love Parade. On the 9th of November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, free underground Techno parties mushroomed in East Berlin, and a rave scene comparable to that in the UK was established. East German DJ Paul van Dyk has remarked that the Techno based rave scene was a major force in re-establishing social connections between East and West Germany during the unification period.
In 1991 a number of party venues closed, including Ufo, and the Berlin Techno scene centred itself around three locations close to the foundations of the Berlin Wall: the E-Werk, Der Bunker and the now legendary Tresor. In the same period German DJs began intensifying the speed and abrasiveness of the sound, as an acid infused techno began transmuting into hardcore. This emerging sound was influenced by Dutch gabber and Belgium hardcore. Other influences on the development of this style were European Electronic Body Music groups of the mid 1980s such as DAF, Front 242, and Nitzer Ebb. In Germany, fans referred to this sound as "Tekkno" (or "Bretter").
Across Europe, rave culture was becoming part of a new youth movement. DJs and electronic-music producers such as Westbam proclaimed the existence of a "raving society" and promoted electronic music as legitimate competition for rock and roll. Indeed, electronic dance music and rave subculture became mass movements. Raves had tens of thousands of attendees, youth magazines featured styling tips, and television networks launched music magazines on House and Techno music. The annual Love Parade festivals in Berlin (in the Metropolitan Ruhr area onwards) attracted more than one million party-goers between 1997 and 2000. Meanwhile, the more commercial sound of happy hardcore topped the music charts across Europe. Nowadays there are only a few popular raving acts on the case in Germany, but many underground acts in Berlin and Frankfurt (Main). That is why Berlin (especially the east side) is still called the capital city of electro music and rave. Although electro composer Paul Kalkbrenner from Friedrichshain, Berlin made "Berlin Techno" world popular again, he is touring on his Berlin Calling (named after the movie he acted the main character and the soundtrack he produced for) tour through Europe and America.
In Vienna, Austria in 2005
The upsurge in popularity of rave culture in the United States at a certain period in time often lends it characteristics common to a 'movement' or subculture. As the Disco era came to a close in the late '70s, Rave culture began to see significant growth. Rave culture incorporated Disco culture's same love of dance music, and hedonism. Although disco culture had thrived in the mainsteam, the rave culture would make an effort to stay underground to avoid the animosity that was still surrounding disco and dance music.
In the late 80s, rave culture began to filter through from English ex-pats and DJs who would visit Europe. However, rave culture's major expansion in North America is often credited to Frankie Bones, who after spinning a party in an aircraft hangar in England helped organize some of the earliest known American raves in New York City that maintained a consistent core audience. After this, hundreds of smaller promotional groups sprung up across the east coast, and later the west coast, causing a true "scene" to develop.
Raves were also represented in mainstream culture, even this early in their existence. The film Party Monster (2003) shared aspects of the rave scene via anachronism, since it was set during the "Club Kid" era of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
American underground rave DJs from that time who would go onto international celebrity include artists like Moby, Josh Wink, DJ Keoki, DJ Carlos Soul Slinger, Cinnabun, DJ Special K , Frankie Bones, Doc Martin, Destructo, DJ Kool-Aid, Jon Bishop , Mark E. Quark, Steve Pagan and others. During this time publications such as Milwaukee's "Massive Magazine", Chicago's "Reactor" and "A Thousand Words", Los Angeles' "Urb", and San Francisco's "XLR8R" magazines helped spread the scene from coast to coast and abroad. One of the first rave websites with event listings, music info and chemical information was Hyperreal. The popularity of rave music within the mainstream started in early to mid 1990s with such artists as Rozalla, Praga Khan, The Prodigy and The Shamen among others. Because the movement and music both embrace and incorporate so many different elements, a common thread can be hard to find.
Some cultural tenets associated with rave culture are:
The word "Responsibility" was added to the acronym PLUR during the mid to late 90s to promote awareness of increased drug overdoses at raves. Groups that have addressed drug use at raves include the Electronic Music Defense and Education Fund (EMDEF), DanceSafe , and the Toronto Raver Info Project , all of which advocate harm reduction approaches to enjoying a rave.
The west coast rave scene, while today being the most active and diverse scene in America, was one of the later scenes to get started. At first, small underground parties sprung up all over the SOMA district of San Francisco in vacant warehouses, loft spaces, and clubs like DV8 (on Howard st between 3rd and 4th) and 1015 Folsom (on Folsom St. between 6th and 7th), and the basement of Jessie Street that had permits to run to 6am as long as no alcohol was served. The zero alcohol rule fueled the ecstasy-driven parties to a much larger crowd, and soon followed were the first large-scale raves.
Rave promotion crews began achieving notoriety not only for their choices in musical entertainment, but for the entire experience as a whole (sometimes referred to colloquially as "the vibe"). Unlike concert promotion, rave promotion adds another dimension of creativity: the decorations, visualizations, theme and demographics of a party. This extra requirement that must be satisfied had small underground raves were just starting out and expanding beyond SF to include the East Bay, the South Bay Area including San Jose and Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz beaches (where the notorious 'full moon raves' took place at Bonny Doon beach every month).
One of the first regular rave nights in San Francisco was DJ Pete Avila's Osmosis. Held on Thursday nights on the top floor of the DV8 club, this event got started with a bang in the Fall of 1989. The original regular DJs included Pete Avila, Markie Mark (Wicked), Neon Leon, and DJ Ghost, now of Renegade Productions. When Markie went back to the U.K in 1990, another U.K. DJ took over as a regular, Jëno (Wicked). DJ Doc Martin was a frequent guest, and many other notable DJs of the day played there, including DJ Dimitri (Dee-lite) and Keoki (Limelight).
Another notable early San Francisco rave dance was the Smartie Party, which took place on March 23, 1991 at 1052 Geary near Van Ness. Admission was $5 and the featured DJ was Markie Mark of London, UK. Several hundred people attended this event. In late 1991 raves started to explode across Northern California into cities like Sacramento, and other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area besides San Francisco such as Oakland and Silicon Valley were taking off every weekend. This proved to be the turning point in Northern California's rave history. No longer were raves a secret, where one had to know the right people to gain access to map points. Now rave flyers were to be found up and down Haight Street at stores like "Anubis Warpus", "Amoeba" clothes, "Behind The Post Office", and newly opened "Housewares". Raves were exploding at an enormous rate and no longer were hundreds of revellers heading out, now there were thousands of ravers living for every weekend. The second generation of raves were just starting to be realized.
The Toontown Club New Year's Eve of 1991 rave which took place in the basement of the Fashion Center in SF was the first 'true' massive in the bay area. Over 8,000 people helped welcome in the new year and at the same time put SF as a must visit city for the burgeoning world wide rave scene. This was the first of many subsequent "Toontown Club" rave dances over the next few years (all organized by rave dance promoters Dianna Jacobs, Mark Heley, and Lawrence Sutten, along with a host of dedicated partners and volunteers). The Toontown Club was notable for having the best light shows—five different light shows, each of a different type, the most beautiful and largest psychedelic black light murals, and the best go-go dancers (both female and male). The superb excellence of the production standards of the Toontown Club became a touchstone for all future promoters to follow. Similarly, a year later, The Gathering held New Year's Eve of 1992 in Vallejo had over 12,000 people in attendance. The massive parties were taking place every weekend now from such disparate locations as outdoor fields to the aeroplane hangars and hilltops that surround the San Francisco Bay.
San Francisco has long been a Mecca for ravers from all over the world and true to form a lot of the early promoters and DJs were from the UK and Europe. For almost ten years after the initial raves took place, one could find up to 2 to 4 parties happening a weekend and sometimes on the same night. There was no curfew in place, which allowed the SF scene to explode by the late '90s when venues would have up to 20,000 people every weekend; Homebase, and the 85th & Baldwin Warehouse (both in Oakland near the Oakland Airport) were the largest venues to be used in the Bay Area. Many amazing venues were used by crews that held clout or members that were tied to the city or knew the appropriate ways to navigate the permit maze. Thus, in the late 1990s some of the most memorable raves took place in locations such as the SOMA art museum, 'Where the wild things are' museum on top of the Sony Metreon, and in the venerable Maritime hall that was used for many parties from 1998 to 2002. Some old locations appeared again brand new, such as the Concourse that saw thousands of ravers in 92, now saw the same amount in late 99. The Galleria that once held a 'concert' in 92 with artists such as Moby, Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, and Space Time Continuum was now used for a few one-off events that utilized all 5 floors of the building with a different music style on each floor.
The mid part of the 1990s saw a general loss of the first generation of ravers, causing the scene to take a short dive. In this time, however, and into the late '90s, a new West coast sound was formed and developed by DJs such as Jeno, Tony, Spun, Galen, Solar, Harry Who?, and Rick Preston to name but a few. Venues and parties such as Stompy, Harmony, CloudFactory, the Cyborganic lounge, Mr. Floppy's Flophouse (in Oakland), the Acme warehouse among many others started to fuse the Breakbeat sound from hardcore trax with the more melodic pace of house. West coast funky break-beat was born from this and stormed the dance scene. By the end of '94 all the people that had left a gap in the rave scene in '93 were long forgotten as twice as many people now found the new sounds completely and utterly funky.
This time period saw the rise of the many facets of EDM. Now all jungle raves, or cybertrance, or Breakbeat, or just good house could be enjoyed by anyone willing to go out to any of these parties. Gone were the days of a basement, and red light and a feeling. Now one could pick an upscale club, or a warehouse, or illegal outdoors as many crews sprung forward and blossomed. Promoters started to take notice and put together the massive rave dances of the late 1990s with many music forms under one roof for huge 12 hour events (There was greatly increased prosperity in late 1990s due to the tech boom.). It was not unheard of for as many as 20,000 people to pack Homebase, or 85th/Baldwin for a night of eternal dancing at massive raves. The two major massive rave dance production companies in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1990s were Cool World Productions, which produced the Cyberfest and Planet New Year massive rave dances (sometimes with DJ Keoki as a guest DJ), and Clockwork Eventz productions, which produced the Metropolis and Atlantis massive rave dances (featuring DJs such as Ron Reeser [aka DJ Rktech], Jeno, Garth, and many others). SF was now a fabled and much talked about destination around the United States, if not the world. DJs from all corners of the globe played in San Francisco.
The year 2000 saw the beginning of the decline of massive raves as curfews were placed on permits handed out to promoters throwing parties. Instead of all night and into the next day, parties now had to end at 2 a.m. Another problem was that the Oakland fire marshal began doing meticulous fire inspections of the two massive rave dance warehouses near the Oakland Airport. These two largest venues closed down soon after, and there wasn't enough momentum to sustain parties that catered to tens of thousands of people. As if a nail was driven into the coffin of the SF rave scene, the Homebase warehouse that held massive parties from 1996 to 2000 burned down to the ground in a spectacular 6-alarm fire in 2004. Another factor is that in 2003, musical styles changed and many younger people started to listen and dance to electro and electropop music played in small clubs that served alcohol instead of going to large rave dances that played house music with no alcohol. Rave dances also changed back to the new smaller, intimate venues, which continued just like they had from the start and underground raves became the norm in the years after the tech boom of the 1990s.
While San Francisco's crowd attendance and variety of DJs might have peaked, it still maintains a much smaller but dedicated cadre of various crews, DJs such as DJ Joey Tek from Redwood City, promoters and producers. Every weekend, many events are still dedicated to the various forms of electronic music across the greater Bay Area.
In September 2004, the first LoveFest (Love Parade) was held in San Francisco, and it has been held every autumn(except 2010) since then, winding up with a celebration at the San Francisco Civic Center.
Los Angeles had Raves early as 1988. The early rave scene thrived in Los Angeles due to the fact that the city had such a large, multi-cultural population, a dry/temperate climate, and vast amounts of space which made locations plentiful. Warehouses were often broken into or hired (often through deceptive means to unsuspecting owners), a sound system and lighting was set up on the day of the event, and people would phone the info lines on the backs of flyers on the evening of the party to find out the location. This would often involve first going to a map point, which would be a predetermined location where people would get tickets and directions to the actual event, or directions to another map point. The map points would often be used to create excitement and anticipation for the rave, but also to elude police and large numbers of people loitering outside of the venue. Raves would often range from smaller, more intimate low-budget events, to large, full scale productions with multiple international DJ's and acts, expensive lasers and visual effects, and props often in theme with the event. Some of the better known early events were Alice's House, Under The Paw Paw Patch, Love. Sex. Dance, Grape Ape, Gilligan's, Truth, and Double Hit Mickey.
By the early 1990s, the Los Angeles rave scene had grown to near epic proportions, which major events occurring nearly every weekend. Parties were being thrown in every type of location promoters could get their hands on, from empty warehouses and lofts, to swap meets and strip malls, as well as open air locations such as ranches, the mountains, and the Mojave Desert. Events were getting bigger, becoming far more expensive to produce, and taking place well known locations like Wild Rivers (Water Park), Knott's Berry Farm, the Spruce Goose dome in Long Beach, and the Shrine Auditorium. As larger raves gained in popularity, so did the scrutiny of law enforcement and news media, with news reports often featuring segments about the dangers of raves, warning parents "Do you know where your children are?" and depicting raves as drug-fueled parties where Ecstasy use was almost mandatory. By the mid 1990s, the scene had become too big to stop, and this was either the pinnacle, or the end depending on whom you spoke to. A tradition to keep the scene underground grew, with a back to basics concept of the illegal warehouse rave again gained in popularity, although location "busts" where police shut the party down, and sometimes confiscated equipment or made arrests were becoming more and more commonplace. Despite all of this, Los Angeles remained a predominant fixture of the scene, with events regularly running all night long in well known locations such as La Casa, the Hollywood Masonic Temple, Plaza Del Sol in Boyle Heights, the Alexandria Hotel, The Gotham Hall, 333 S Boylston, the Hollywood Soundstage on Santa Monica Blvd., the Masterdome, the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, the Grand Olympic Auditorium, the Arts Colonly in Pomona, and various warehouses on the outskirts of Downtown Los Angeles, particularly around Santa Fe Ave., and Alameda St. A new generation of ravers were also experiencing the rise in popularity of the "desert rave," with large parties heading outside of the city, where there was less of a chance of getting busted. Some notable desert parties of the time included the "Dune," "New Moon," and "Moontribe" parties, the later of which still throws more intimate, outdoor events to this day. One of the largest outdoor events in Southern California was met with tragedy when in 1999, 5 teenagers died when their car went off a cliff while leaving the Juju Beats rave at the Snowcrest ski resort. This along with several other highly publicized fatalities occurring at outdoor raves during years prior, led many location owners to stop allowing parties to take place on their land, and the ones that still did occur were often met with stricter requirements, such as 2a.m. closing times, and requiring law enforcement to be present.
Although San Francisco was considered to be the epicenter of the West Coast rave scene for numerous years, this has begun to change during the past decade. Today, Los Angeles has convincingly overtaken San Francisco and arguably boasts the most thriving rave scene in the country, with numerous massives and music festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Together As One, Monster Massive, and Nocturnal Wonderland all being annually held within the city and its surrounding areas. Events such as these consistently attract the world's top DJs and tens of thousands of ravers and electronic dance music enthusiasts.
In 2010 Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival boasted a two day attendance of 185,000 at Los Angeles' memorial Coliseum, making it the largest Rave in North America and well beating other concerts such as Coachella. Reports state that about 100 people were hospitalized during the event, and near over 200 required medical attention. While the event was advertised for ages 16+, lax security allowed some minors to attend. One minor who was able to attend was Sasha Rodriguez, 15, was believed to have died from an ecstasy overdose but it was soon announced she died of hyponatremia, an electrolyte disturbance in the body, by consuming too much water too fast. Her death, along with the death of 2 others at a rave a month earlier in northern California, caused city officials to place a temporary ban on Raves at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum due to increasing media attention. Thereafter, Los Angeles police began cracking down on future rave events that do not have an 18+ age requirement, such as shutting down early Uprise and forcing the cancellation of Abtraskt Desert 2.
Through the mid-1990s and into the 2000s the city of Seattle also shared in the tradition of West Coast rave culture. Though a smaller scene compared to San Francisco, Seattle also had many different rave crews, promoters, Djs, and fans. Kandi Raver style, friendship and culture became particularly popular in the West Coast rave scene, both in Seattle and San Francisco. At the peak of West Coast rave, Kandi Raver, and massive rave popularity (1996–1999,) it was common to meet groups of ravers, promoters, and Djs who frequently traveled between Seattle and San Francisco, which spread the overall sense of West Coast rave culture and the phenomenon of West Coast "massives".
The San Diego rave community, while still growing, has shown itself to be a major historical force in the larger California area. The all-ages rave scene is currently dominated by the Scream, and Heroes crews; with the underground scene being led by the Goodghost and Anti-Radio crews and in the face of opposition from the omnipresent San Diego Vice department.
Grave Rave, on 11 October 1992 marked the first major party crack down in the mid-west, when 973 people were arrested for attending a party at a warehouse in Milwaukee's Third Ward. Following the crackdown, most raves were promoted via fliers and distributed a phone number with an informational voice message. On the day of the party, the message changed to give the location of the map point. Upon showing up at the map point, ravers were able to purchase a map and ticket to the party. Midwest parties were commonly held at barns, camp grounds, and warehouses. Detroit actually held Raves in abandoned businesses. Through the 1980s & 1990s, another common Detroit underground party was The Red Door. In 1995 the Detroit Police Department began sending the gang squad in to raid parties.
No longer considering itself as a "rave" scene, unless using the term "rave" in a sarcastic yet nostalgic way, Detroit has a very committed fan base for all-night Techno events, better known as "parties." Detroit is known for Techno music, as demonstrated in the opening of the club The Motor Lounge (later -The Motor) of Hamtramck (Detroit) in 1996. This allowed DJs to play at a legitimate place rather than underground Raves. The history of Techno music's origins and connotations still linger in Detroit and continue to inspire die-hard devotees who produce and progress the ideals of Techno and House gatherings in underground circumstances and production teams which are unique to Detroit. The Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) is an opportunity for visiting Techno tourists to experience the vibe of Detroit "parties," but the Detroit "party" scene continues year round for the locals who have, in many cases, been raised in the spirit and tradition of the Detroit Techno scene, usually for ten years or more.
Rave culture in Canada reached its peak in the 1990s and early 2000s. Scenes were established within the major Canadian cities, but most notably Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver and Edmonton. While the Toronto rave scene subsided about 2003, Montreal has thrived. Toronto during the late 1990s was home to the largest raves in Canada with attendance of 20,000. The shrinking of the Toronto rave scene was due to the actions of various Ontario based politicians and media. The Ontario Rave Act and City TV was especially influential on the scene. By creating a scare to the venue owners, it was difficult if not impossible for promoters to establish locations to house the events, and insurance companies would create a trade barrier by preventing the execution of a certificate thus preventing the event from occurring. Requirements were also created for an arbitrary amount of paid duty police constables to be on-site at events, thus greatly raising the expenses to the promoter. Montreal regularly holds large scale events with the biggest international headliners. Bal en Blanc being one of the best known single night parties in Canada. Toronto is now more known for its shift to the Club/Drum 'n' Bass scene. The Hullabaloo production company held its final party on July 9, 2005. Outdoor raves are still a mainstay of the Vancouver scene. Edmonton continues to hold a following and is currently experiencing a small resurgence.
Canadian ravers listen and dance to a variety of electronic music such as Trance, Drum 'n' Bass, Techno, Hardcore, Happy hardcore, Psytrance, Goa, Deep House and (especially in the western provinces) Dubstep. A number of Canadian DJs and producers have emerged from the Canadian rave scene to reach international acclaim, including ill.Gates Richie Hawtin, Excision, Datsik, Downlink, Max Graham, Jay Tripwire, Mathew Jonson, Deadmau5, Fred Everything,and Tiga, among others. There is a well established and ever changing rave scene on Vancouver Island spawning many DJ's, Producers and Performers. Commercial Raves in Canada are concentrated in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Saskatoon, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg, with the exception of house raves which can be found in smaller cities.
Brunswick Street Free Rave 1994
Raves flourished in Australia in the 1980s where they were generally called Dance Parties due to the parties being promoted by the gay and straight/gay scenes, until the 1990s when they began being referred to as "raves" with more UK style promoters taking it on.
In Sydney from 1983 Rat Parties saw the opening up of Sydney's underground gay dance party scene to a broader community where it found an enormous appetite. By 1990 the standard setting Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras party, its winter off-shoot Sleazeball and the regular Rat Parties which ran until 1992, were attracting huge crowds of gays and straights alike, while young entrepreneurs behind events like FUN, Sweatbox and Bacchanalia were booking inner city warehouses and tired old venues and transforming them into vibrant, packed party palaces. The DJ Peewee Ferris played at the first Sweatbox parties (Let them eat cake and Sign of the times) and RAT Parties from 1987. The biggest RAT Party was in 1999 with Grace Jones with 20,000 people at the Hordern Pavilion.
After the Hordern Pav lost its 24 hour license in 1990 (or thereabouts) the scene went quiet for a bit with attempts at doing similar parties in the newly constructed Darling Harbour Convention centre. These were fairly uncomparable in terms of vibe. UK magazine ID came thru on its 'ID world tour' and put on a OK party there but it took a few months before real underground parties emerged in Sydney. Flim Flam, Love and other promotion entities took over inner city venues and some less than legit impromptu spaces that had incredible vibe and aesthetics. The term Rave started to be used in Sydney due to this distinct connection to the scene in the UK.
In Melbourne, the underground dance style called the "Melbourne Shuffle" originated at these parties. Some early parties such as Every Picture Tells A Story were broadcast live on free-to-air television from the party's own TV station. The Melbourne raves tended to have a greater amount of artwork, video art, decor and performance as the underground arts community of Melbourne was heavily involved in producing the parties. Fashion was also a very important component, as many party goers were in the fashion industry which is very large in Melbourne, and they designed and made their own 'party' clothes and accessories. The parties became a fashion show for the designers and created strong retail sales for their works. Often outstanding dancers were sponsored to wear designers' ranges at parties.
The Melbourne underground rave community was very large with its own street press, radio stations, TV shows, clothing shops, bars, cafes, theatres, performance venues, record labels, clothing labels, and free street raves such as the Brunswick Street festival (pictured) which regularly drew crowds of 100,000 people.
The first novel dedicated to the Australian rave and dance scene was set in Melbourne. Written by Tom Griffin and titled, Playgrounds: a portrait of rave culture, it was launched at a rave at Kryal Castle in 2005.
Driven by a need to be away from residential areas due to noise pollution complaints of residents, as well as in many cases a desire to evade the attention of the authorities, the Australian rave scene held their events in industrial areas. In Perth, Western Australia, parties were either held in warehouses in the outer eastern and southern suburbs, or on fields in semi-rural areas easily reachable from the city, such as Wanneroo and Serpentine. Large events included the Deja Vu rave in 1992, RUSH and Emotion in 1993, and Space Garden in 1994, as well as the infamous Sunrise held on newyears eve every year since its conception but has now ended with the last Sunrise rave in 2010. Though the Perth rave seen has seen a bit of turmoil recently due to several unsuccessful raves, but a string of recent underground events from unknown promoters seems to have appeased the scene.
For the Sydney rave scene the industrial areas of the Western suburbs were quite common in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Following the 2000 Sydney Olympics the Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush proved a popular venue as it had ample large warehouse space available and the advantage of no close by residential areas. The "Superdome" at Olympic Park has hosted a number of events due to the large capacity. Events at these venues often have ample room for amusement rides, open air "chill out" areas and food stalls. Several amusement parks have hosted dance party events (Wonderland Sydney and Luna Park Sydney). Public attention was brought upon rave culture in Australia following the death of Sydney teenager Anna Wood who died after consuming an ecstasy tablet at a rave on October 25, 1995. Similar to the death of Leah Betts, Woods had died from water intoxication secondary to the use of the drug, not the drug itself, because the drug had altered the way she consumed water, rendering her body unable to release it. The incident saw the closure of the club in which she purchased the drug and attended after consuming it and prompted moral panic and further drug awareness in Australia.
In Victoria, the dockland areas of Melbourne hosted numerous raves in the 90s. Bushland areas out side of Melbourne provided Doof venues, notably Mt Disappointment for Earthcore and Kryal Castle just outside of Ballarat.
The Newcastle Rave scene made use of unused warehouses in the Newcastle CBD and at licensed entertainment venues throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. Events such as "Vital beats" and under-age dance parties were held in these venues.
The first mega-rave in South Africa was held in a warehouse on Cape Town's foreshore. Dubbed the World Peace Party, it featured a cross-over crowd of Cape Flats rappers, fashionistas and Clubbers dancing to rave music and progressive house. The first electronic South African Bands who performed live at the Raves were the Kraftreaktor and The Kiwi Experience. The first large Johannesburg rave was held at an old cinema in Yeoville in early 1992. Amongst the first Johannesburg rave organisers in the early 1990s were Fourth World Productions (responsible for the legendary 1993 nightclub 4th World) World's End Productions and Damn New Thing Productions. Other production companies achieved notariety during the 1990s and included ICE (Incubated Cyber Energy) and Mother Productions, with tours by Boy George, Northern Exposure and Carl Cox adding to the growing internationla recognition of South Africa as a premier RAVE destination. The most famous club at the time (and still going) is ESP in Doornfontein, renowned for its Sunday parties where the roof was thrown open and ravers danced the day away.
In the early 2000s illegal parties still existed, albeit on smaller scales, and the number of sanctioned events seemed to be on the rise. The few constants in the scene include amplified electronic dance music, a vibrant social network built on the ethos of the acronym PLUR, "Peace, Love, Unity, Respect", percussive music and free-form dancing often accompanied by the use of drugs such as ecstasy, methamphetamine, speed and ketamine. However, increased cocaine usage, preponderance of adulterated ecstasy tablets and organised criminal activity has been detrimental to UK-based rave culture, although free parties are now on the rise again.
Wonky Disco Psytrance
Party held in a disused bowling alley in London during April 2007.
According to some long-time observers, rave music and its subculture began to stagnate by the end of the 1990s. The period of grass-roots innovation and explosive growth and evolution was over; the flurry of passionate activity and the sense of international community were fading.
By the early 2000s, the terms "rave" and "raver" had fallen out of favour among many people in the electronic dance music community, particularly in Europe. Many Europeans returned to identifying themselves as "Clubbers" rather than Ravers. It became unfashionable among many electronic dance music aficionados to describe a party as a "rave," perhaps because the term had become overused and corrupted. Some communities preferred the term "festival," while others simply referred to "parties." True raves, such as "Mayday," continued to occur for a time in Central Europe, with less constrictive laws allowing raves to continue in some countries long after the death of rave in the United Kingdom. Moreover, traditional rave paraphernalia, such as face-masks, pacifiers, and glow-sticks ceased to be popular. Underground sound systems started organising large free parties and called them Teknivals.
Police in riot gear at the 2004 Czechtek
, which was raided after the Czech Prime Minister called the attendees "dangerous people" with "anarchist proclivities"
Raves and ravers continued to be targeted by government authorities. For example, following a July 2005 violent raid by police on CzechTek, an annual Teknival, the Czech Republic's Prime Minister Jirí Paroubek said the fvestival's attendees were "no dancing children but dangerous people" and that many were "obsessed people with anarchist proclivities and international links," who "provoke massive violent demonstrations, fuelled by alcohol and drugs, against the peaceful society."
In Christchurch, New Zealand the mid 2000s saw the emergence of raves targeting the youth market. These raves are usually held at warehouse locations and are specifically aimed at people aged 15 years to 20 years old. National and International DJs perform at these events, which can attract up to 1000 young people not yet old enough to attend clubs and bars. Companies such as Nitrate productions and Audiodreams are pioneering alcohol and drug free raves with support from The White Elephant Trust, a non-profit organisation that provides First Aid stations, coat check areas and publication support. The emergence of these raves corresponded with an increased in private alcohol fueled youth parties, which put young people at risk. The 2007 city Youth Conference identified professionally run alcohol free raves as a means to provide young people a safe environment in which to party.
During the '90s, the US Rave scene self-publication became a huge part in the way parties were advertised and known of. These publications ranged from a single sheet photocopied "zines" to expensive glossy covered magazines. Each magazine had its own reasons for being and having a dedicated audience that centered around the cities of publication of each magazine. The Midwest was known for its Milwaukee based "Massive Magazine" and Chicago based "Reactor" and "A Thousand Words" photo magazine. On the East Coast you had NYC DJ Heather Heart's "Under One Sky"(actually started in 1990 or 1991) and a few years later a little magazine called "Vice" that was in the works (Feel free to add here), and later, in 1996 & 1997, NYC had DROP Magazine that was a continuation of PROJECT X Magazine, On the West Coast you had LA based "URB" , San Diego's Hypno, BPM and Sin Magazines and San Francisco based Lotus and "XLR8R". Abroad you had Germany's "Frontpage" and "De:Bug" and the United Kingdom's "Mixmag", "Atmosphere" and "Knowledge" magazines. The latter two dedicated to the UK's Breakbeat and Drum n Bass markets.
Each publication was an essential part of the local Rave scene, and was greatly appreciated by many ravers. Each issue contained interviews with artists that were not known in commercial publications. Most of these magazines started as free enterprises, usually surviving only on an advertising revenue based model. Later on, some magazines such as "Urb" and "Xlr8r" were able to legitimise and become proper publications that can now be found at local book stores. While others like "Massive Magazine" ended with a fire consuming their offices in the winter of 2004 destroying all the films and back issues making issues of "Massive Magazine" a piece of must have nostalgia fetching prices of up to 100 dollars for any early back issues on eBay.
Rave dance (sometimes referred to as hard dance) refers to the street dance styles that evolved alongside rave culture. Such dances are street dances since they evolved alongside the underground rave movements, thus without the intervention of dance studios. Sometimes club-oriented dances would be danced to rave music, too, for example, tecktonik is sometimes danced to fast-paced electro house. Depending on the rave, raver and the type of music played, specific dances that are danced by ravers to accompany the music may vary. For example the melbourne shuffle is often danced to hardstyle and hard trance and stepping often done to drum and bass Such dances are usually freestyle in nature, since they are very rarely choreographed in preparation for such events (although some ravers may create personal dance routines). Dances like Jumpstyle, Tecktonik, Liquid and digits and Shuffling may be sometimes highly dependent on pre-planned choreography for performances at raves, therefore such dance styles may be practiced professionally. Nonetheless, rave dance styles can be completely freeform due to their simple footwork and arm movements. Tutorials for such dances are available on popular video-hosting websites such as YouTube. At more popular raves, where there is not enough room for the ravers to dance, mosh-like dancing (though not usually aggressive) may occur, this is also a common side-effect in busy nightclubs. Sometimes these dances are also seen practiced outside of raves, despite the fact they evolved and/or are performed at them. In recent time, Jamming has become popular amongst rave dancers. Although ballet and modern dance may be occasionally seen at raves such as those in Australia (where the Melbourne Shuffle evolved). Dances that evolve from raves generally evolve spontaneously and are often said to be belonged to the hard dance scene itself. Note that the term 'hard dance' also refers to hard dance genres and that not all rave music and dances are hard in nature (i.e. Liquiding is usually euphoric).
Raving in itself is a syllabus free dance, whereby the movements are not predefined and the dance is performed randomly, harmonized with beats from music; the following dances are often integrated into raving or performed on their own at a rave.
Dances popular at raves:
Some ravers participate in one of three light-oriented dances, called glowsticking, glowstringing, and lightshows. Other types of light-related dancing include LED lights, flash-lights and blinking strobe lights. LEDs come in various colours with different settings. The "low intensity" setting causes a strobe effect, leaving trails of dots, while "high intensity" leaves a solid line. The most common LED lights at parties are Inova micro lights or lights by LRI such as the Photon Freedom or Rav'n lights. There are many techniques used to make the lights "flow" with the music in order to create a visually pleasing and mesmerising combination of patterns. There are also a nearly infinite variety of other moves with varying levels of difficulty applied in their execution. These such moves are called a "figure eight" along with "finger rolls" all of these moves can be seen on videos and youtube.
Regardless, glowsticks and LEDs can be used at raves for interesting dance effects, because most raves (except some open air raves, e.g. technoparades) are held in dark or nearly dark rooms. Because rave parties are popular with people who wish to show off their dancing, glowsticks can be an ancillary material for creative freestyle dance. LEDs and glowsticks now not only show up at most every rave event, but also are becoming more prominent at many electronic dance music (edm) clubs.
In the U.S., the mainstream media and law enforcement agencies have branded the subculture as a purely drug-centric culture (in the case of raves, usually drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, methamphetamine, cocaine and ketamine), similar to the hippie movement of the 1960s. As a result, ravers have been effectively run out of business in some areas. Although raves continue, most notably the growing Southern California scene, the Winter Music Conference in Florida, the Electric Zoo Festival in New York, and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), in some areas raves have been relegated to word-of-mouth-only underground parties and nightclub events.
Groups that have addressed drug use at raves include the Electronic Music Defense and Education Fund (EMDEF), The Toronto Raver Info Project, and DanceSafe, all of which advocate harm reduction approaches. Paradoxically, drug safety literature (such as those distributed by DanceSafe) is used as evidence of condoned drug use. Other groups, such as Drug Free America Foundation, Inc., characterize raves as being rife with gang activity, rape, robbery, and drug-related deaths.
In 2005, Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, advocated drug testing on highways as a countermeasure against drug use at raves.
In recent times, as opposed to the past decades, Rave venues have taken to hiring local law enforcement to reduce drug use.
Ecstasy Related Deaths and Crackdown on Ecstasy
Recent drug related deaths in the rave scene have caused parents to forbid their children from attending while baby boomers find it implausible to deny these young people from these drugs and entertainment  Parents of ecstasy overdose victim, 23 year-old Jamie Britten, want safeguards instead of prohibition put in place. He was a newcomer to the rave scene, and died after taking enough ecstasy to make the level in his blood 2.5 mg per liter.  On the contrary, the death of 17 year-old Jillian Kirkland has outraged medical professionals and law makers. This caused federal agents to start an investigation, and eventually a grand jury indicted three men who ran the night club she took the drugs in. Prosecutors used a 1986 law called the Crack House Statute which prohibits maintaining property for the purpose of distributing controlled substances.  In a federal probe, undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agents were able to get their hands on as much as 13g of ecstasy. In an attempt to discourage drug use in many of these raves, venue owners and law enforcement are banning some of the rave related items such as glow sticks and pacifiers In most of the cases that involve death or illness due to ecstasy consumption symptoms included range from extreme sweating to hypertension. When someone dies from this drug it is usually because of severe heatstroke or cardiac arrhythmia. Some scientists are trying to prove that MDMA is only slightly toxic despite the widespread recreational abuse.