Rave craze taking the college world by storm
Like a mighty volcano, rave culture has laid dormant for just over a couple of decades. Its nature is to remain as underground as possible but has recently propelled to uncontrollable popularity. Most "ravers" describe these events by saying "it was simply… insane" or "out of this world!", and surely the energy is matched only by celebrations of the new millennium. Non-stop electronic music, eccentric light shows, artistic movie sequences, and unrelated props such as piñatas or beach balls, all play crucial roles in propelling the night to be whatever the crowd sees fit. Anything that will bring them to the next level is welcomed and shared.
After speaking with Jack, a freshman at Loyola Marymount University and self proclaimed "raver", it's evident that it is more than the music that brings people out to these events "It really gets you going! When you want to forget about your classes or work and just let loose for the night, there's nothing that compares…"
There is a large following of teenagers and college students who periodically attend these music events, as well as others who live for the night.
Our City of Angels was humbled this past Saturday by Diplo's performance at the Proud Bird near LAX. A former elementary school teacher, Diplo is now a top caliber DJ and founder of the record company Mad Decent.
His opening acts generated a continuous rush of energy particularly from the younger members of the audience. As the night rolled on, the crowd grew larger and anticipation for the main act was met with drooling smiles and uncontrollable excitment.
During a track by USC DJ Tony Fresch, the base became so heavy that a light bulb rumbled out of its socket, and fell on a forehead directly beneath it.
At midnight, Diplo emerged from behind the stage. Champagne bottle in hand, he proceeded to carry the night to its climax through mainly hip/hop inspired tracks. Just before the end of his set, a technical difficulty compelled him to improvise and "kick" a quick freestyle, demonstrating for his fans that although he is a master craftsman in composing beats, his vocal skills are a little on the short side. The crowd laughed, the speakers got fixed, and the show went on.
This event is a tribute to the recent insurgence of raves in mainstream culture. Although several rave-oriented musicians have developed worldwide fame, nothing compares to the success of present day performers such as David Guetta, Deadmau5, and Daft Punk.
Successful entrepreneur Andrew Citores, the CEO of JusCollege, created an online concierge that helps college students navigate through their hectic schedules. He remarked that the events he helps plan, such as Diplo's show this past weekend, are now almost exclusively centered on electronic music and the rave scene.
Rave culture began in the mid 80s when disco was nearing its end and western culture began to tire of bribing bouncers' bundles of money for a swift night at Studio 54. People needed a new outlet.
In a country where union movements were losing speed and unemployment rate was soaring, the U.K. started seeing large gatherings of people in remote areas such as fields or barn houses. The press dubbed these free events as "raves".
These so called "raves" hit a vein for the working class British, and rapidly spread in popularity throughout Europe. Many countries began developing their own themes and style of music, but most notable were the Germans. When the Berlin wall tumbled down in 1989, a tide of free thought and unity swept through a country previously divided by endless feuds. Paul van Dyk, a German DJ and more recently an international superstar, noted that the "techno based rave scene" of the time helped fuel the revolution taking place and was crucial in bringing people together.
With rave culture tucked deeply underneath their sleeves, European DJs flew over to the United States. They began showcasing the new movement with never before heard electronic music. Raves provided a refreshing new atmosphere where people could come together and get lost in a web of electronic music.
Due to a vast multi cultural population and endless open space, Los Angeles has been a haven for ravers. We now host some of the largest electronic music events in the world. One of which is the Electric Daisy Carnival, which in 2010 had a two day attendance of 185,000 people.
It is evident that the rave craze is only beginning, and will grow with popularity as young people continue to search for new and improved ways to let loose and have fun.