The Orion

Rave Festival 411

Mina Marjanovic and Briana Mcdaniel

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As music blasted from every angle, I could feel the earth beneath my feet begin to dance. All around me people roamed in funky costumes, smiling and absorbing the positive festival vibes.

The sun set slowly behind Wolf’s Den (the main stage), creating a beautiful pink sky.

The party was just getting started, and I was already in love.

I believe everyone should attend a rave festival in their lifetime, even if it’s not their typical scene because they may be pleasantly surprised, just as I was.

I was never the rave kind of girl. I usually stick to local concerts and house parties. However, with the rise in popularity of rave culture, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and see what the hype was about.

Last Labor Day weekend, my friend and I went to Nocturnal Wonderland, our very first big rave.

Nocturnal Wonderland is a three-day rave festival held in San Bernardino, California; just one of many music festivals held annually in the Southern California area.

The stigma that some people have about rave festivals is that it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy them, and also requires the consumption of pills or other drugs.

Some also think one has to wear little to no clothing and have a special talent like hooping or giving light shows with your fingers.

While it is likely to see a little bit of that while at a rave, the truth is everyone is free to have fun in any way they want.

You can wear anything from g-strings to onesies and still ‘fit in.’ No one is going to pressure you into doing anything you’re not comfortable with. Everyone is just looking for a good time, so you most likely won’t run into any drama like you’d find at a house party.

That’s just another thing that makes it all so great.

Rave culture is all about good vibes and positive attitudes, so it’s difficult not to make friends. Everyone’s welcoming behavior is definitely contagious.

Soon you find yourself complimenting strangers and dancing in tight crowds of people as if you’ve known each other your whole lives.

Here are five of my tips on how to conquer a rave.

  • Be sure to bring a fanny pack to store the few items you are allowed to bring onto festival grounds, like tickets and IDs.
  • Read and re-read what is and is not allowed. The last thing anyone wants is to have to throw away their favorite Chapstick at the entrance.
  • Reusable water bottles are a life saver after hours of fist pumping and head banging, so be sure to bring one of those as well. If you forget it’s no big deal, they sell water bottles and delicious food there, too.
  • Your shoes will get dirty. This is the time to throw on your oldest pair and call it a day, as long as they are comfortable enough to rage in.
  • Keep it PLUR. Meaning peace, love, unity and respect. This is the motto at rave festivals.

Other than that, all you need is a positive attitude and a buddy to enjoy the experience with you.

Never would I have imagined myself anxiously looking up the next big rave to attend, but I guess that’s exactly why it has become so popular. It’s almost addicting.

This is an addiction I’m willing to cope with.

Mina Marjanovic can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Rave Festival 411