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Locating Electronic Music, Raves, Festivals, & Fun

By Alex Bazaar

Hello humans!  I hope everyone is getting an appropriate amount of vitamin D because the sun wants to hang more often.  But the Sun can wait!  This month, I want to talk to you about a topic that may not be common: Locating Raves.

Some may scratch their head because they live in California or Europe, where electronic music festivals and raves are more common. There is always the statistic of people who may have moved or come from a small town, fell in love with the music and want to start going to events, but do not know where or how to start.  Yes, I used to be a part of that group.  I have traveled many places and understand that electronic music events may be a rare commodity.  This happened when I was in Dubai, when I asked club bouncers for “raves or electronic music” and they interpreted it as “disco”. Long story short, I did not find electronic music. Disco can help point you in the right direction although results may vary.  It may be a disco for RnB, indie, or something completely random.

When I lived in Virginia, it was very difficult to find raves.  Actually, there practically was no rave scene.  Me having a couple strobe lights and my earbuds dancing in the backyard was my rave scene.  Many times, I got curious eyes for being that guy shuffling in his backyard. Moving on, I was lucky to have found a place called the Wave Rave (club name is the Wave) in Norfolk and met other shufflers.  There was a DJ named Dwayne, who plays all sorts of electronic music.  He was a wild guy and even he told me that most of the events were in Washington D.C. or New York.  When he said that, he was being optimistic, as even those may come around a couple times a year.

Festivals were not common on the East Coast, unless you ventured to New York or Miami for EDC.  I know TomorrowWorld in Georgia was a thing, but I am not sure when that festival will be back.  So many times, a festival may be out of your reach and sometimes, budget.  So, local events are the next choice, unless you’re motivated explorer and is willing to travel a couple hours to a hotspot location (Ahem, hello, Los Angeles, or Holland).  There are hidden communities of electronic music fans out there, and you are not forgotten.  You deserve to come to these magical places.  Raves, festivals, and electronic music events are some of the best social events you can ask for.  Most people are outgoing, extremely approachable, and generous.  There is not much ice-breaking needed, other than to fist-pump or head bang signal when you guys lock eyes.

“Raves, festivals, and electronic music events are some of the best social events you can ask for.  Most people are outgoing, extremely approachable, and generous.”

You could find so-called “raves” at a club but, the essence may not be the same.  Raves are usually hidden, and you usually find them through word-of-mouth.  The quality of experience is much better, in my opinion, because you do not have to worry about politics such as dress code and entrance procedures.  You also get to experience many aspects of rave culture, such as kandi-trading or people in cartoon-themed costumes (I found Darth Vader once.  He is a still a bit salty from his encounter with Luke).  Many end up evolving into the late AMs, preferably 3AM-6AM, although some may go shorter or longer depending on how poppin’ it is!  I am not disregarding clubs, as you can find the scene types of vibes at a rave-centered club or bar.  I am pointing out that the quality may vary. Drinks are reasonably-priced, as clubs tend to jack up the price.

If you live in an area or moving to an area that may have a questionable amount of electronic music, festivals, and/or raving, have no fear!  Information is here:

  • Google is your friend.  Use keywords such as “electronic music, rave events, music festivals, rave forum events, local electronic djs, ect.” Forums can be invaluable for your search.
  • Facebook search may yield events as well.  Treat it like Google.    
  • Go into town to your local bar or club.  Ask the bouncer or workers there if any electronic music plays here or nearby occasionally. Never underestimate the power of local advice. They may have information that can guide you in the right direction.  
  • Anime conventions may have parties at the end of the night, which are similar to rave culture.  They may not necessarily labeled as raves, but they may be identical in many aspects.  However, anime conventions are usually located in cities, if you are in a small town.
  • There is always the possibility you may have to travel outside your city or town.  Every location varies, so you may have to put some footwork into finding delicious house beats or “wub-wub” paradise!
  • See who is in your network that may know where to look.

I hope this all helped.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at alexbazaar@berkeley.edu.

See you guys!  Keep on marchin’.

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