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The Orion

A reputation ravers can’t shake

Illustration by Miles Huffman

Ravers do not have the greatest reputation.

The Los Angeles Times ran an article in February 2013 titled “A fatal toll on concert goers as raves boost cities’ income.”

Rolling Stone ran an article in September 2013 titled, “Drugs, Death and Dance Music.

And in August of 2014 the Baltimore Sun ran an article titled, “Deaths draw attention to drugs in EDM scene.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the relationship between the EDM culture and drugs because a potentially hazardous relationship does exist and has for decades.

But are drugs available at other concerts?


Drugs are not unique to EDM. Fans push their limits at all sorts of concerts.

Deaths are also not unique to EDM concerts. As of late, the media has highlighted the deaths and drugs associated with EDM concerts and this is misleading. It inaccurately portrays EDM as a culture founded on false passion – a drug induced passion.

Electronic music was first explored in the ‘50s by Jon Cage and his contemporaries until artists such as Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, Aphex Twin and Moby progressed the genre to appeal to the masses.

Only in the past couple decades has electronic music branched off into the many sub-genres we collectively call EDM.

It is in this past decade that EDM has been recognized by the world, not just the underground. Throughout EDM’s rise and recognition, the media has honed in on fatalities and drug use, but those reports are absent of the positivity that floods concert grounds.

PLUR is an acronym and a motto associated with raving that stands for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. This motto is the heart of rave culture – promoting acceptance and nonviolence.

Freedom of expression is encouraged. Ravers are free to dress and dance as they please making for a diverse, yet unified, audience in which no person is concerned with judgement.

“This community is exceptional in its ability to bond all types together,” wrote famed electronic music producer, Kaskade in his blog titled “No One Knows Who We Are.”

Instead of focusing on the bad, the media should be spreading pictures like that of 2013’s Electric Daisy Carnival attendee, Jose, being raised by the dancing crowd in his wheel chair, as seen in the documentary “Under the Electric Sky”.

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter.


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