I was in the rave scene for two years. It is a time in my life that I look back on very fondly, and I’m really glad I got to experience it. I thought I would share some of my photos and memories with you.
I attended my first rave on December 31st, 2010/January 1st, 2011. I had known about raves for some time before then and always longed to go to one. However, the nearest raves to where I live are an hour and a half away in Baltimore and Washington D.C. I always had to rely on someone else to drive because I get bad anxiety and won’t drive anywhere that I’m not familiar with.
I went to my first rave with my (then) boyfriend, his sister, and her boyfriend. It was really last minute, so I didn’t have a cool rave outfit to wear. All I had was jeans and a crop top, so that’s what I wore. This rave was Heaven and Hell themed, and I decided I wanted to go with the Hell theme. I had some red and black mardi gras beads, so I wore those. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking because everyone wears Kandi (those plastic beads that you can make necklaces and bracelets with) at raves, so I definitely felt a little out of place while I was there. I thought it was so cool how they decorated for the theme though. The main room had clouds hanging from the ceiling. I didn’t have my camera with me at this rave, so I didn’t get any photos. I found a video on YouTube though that was taken in the small room upstairs.
One thing I loved about raving back then was that it wasn’t as mainstream as it has become now. There were less than 500 people at several of the raves I went to. Now you can’t seem to go to a rave here on the east coast without it being thousands of people. It might as well be a festival. I prefer a smaller atmosphere. I know there are still smaller underground raves thrown from time to time though.
The following month, I went to my second rave. It was called Mushroom Kingdom 2, and it was a Mario Bros. rave. I again went with my (then) boyfriend, a friend, and met up with Brandy there. Standing in line to get in was horrible because it was so cold outside, and I was wearing nothing but a bra, tutu, and fishnets. (This time I came in actual rave style attire). My (then) boyfriend decided to smack my ass in front of a whole bunch of people. I have no idea why. We ended up arguing at the rave because he was mad I wouldn’t dance up on him. I was fine dancing next to him, but he kept getting right up against me and wrapping his arms around me. I hated that because I could barely move, but it’s also incredibly hot inside of raves, so his body heat was literally killing me. I got so upset and went into the girls bathroom, and there were some girls in there who had saw him slap my ass in line. They were so incredibly sweet and were telling me how awful he was being to me and that I should break up with him. They were right, but I didn’t listen. We did break up nine months later though. Anyways, other than that situation, I ended up enjoying the rest of the night. There was a gross situation where Brandy and I got puked on by some random guy though. It got on my arm and on Brandy’s pants, so we had to go to the bathroom to wash up and disinfect. We still laugh about that to this day though.
My third rave was Psychedelic Circus. It sounds like a cool theme, but I thought they could have done much better with the decorations in the main room. It was a bigger venue with a couple thousand people there, so I just wasn’t feeling the atmosphere as much. I also started having really bad back pain while I was here, so that really put a damper on my evening. I did get some body paint done though, and I loved my outfit here. It was probably my favorite out of all the ones I wore.
2011 was coming to an end. I attended Rave After Tomorrow (a play on the movie The Day After Tomorrow) on December 31st, 2011/January 1st, 2012. This was one an end of the world themed rave (because remember the world was supposed to end in 2012). There were three different end of the world themes, Ice Age, Zombie Apocalypse, and Alien Invasion. I wanted to go with my zombie theme for my look, but unfortunately the FX makeup kit and fake blood I got was a bust. It wouldn’t stay glued to my skin, and the fake blood looked orange. I ended up having to toss that out and scrub it off. Even though I didn’t really get to do the zombie theme, everything else worked out. This still remains one of my all-time favorite raves and memories in general. I will never forget how amazed I was as soon as I walked into the venue and saw all the different decorations. They really did a wonderful job with this one.
The main room was the Alien Invasion, and there was a huge blow up alien on the ceiling, and other cool stuff. Ice Age was a huge white tent outside that had heaters in it. It was pretty cool being outside in the middle of Winter and not freezing to death. The Zombie Apocalypse room was a smaller side room that was dark and had caution tape and stuff. My (then) friend and I decided to get a drink. I normally didn’t drink at raves because I want to dance and have fun, not spend half the night in line for the bathroom. We decided to order Long Island Iced Tea’s because we knew they would be strong enough to feel the effects without having to drink a bunch of drinks. Well, they apparently didn’t have all the items necessary to make them, but they said they would get as close as they could. We took one sip and almost gagged. It tasted like straight up alcohol. We had to get extra cups and buy Coke’s to mix it with. It ended up working out okay though because we got buzzed super fast and didn’t have to buy a bunch of drinks. We spent the entire night dancing. Below is a video montage I put together.
Later that month, we attended a rave called Third Eye. This one was an underground rave, meaning it was illegal and more secretive. It was in an abandoned warehouse, and they went in and hung psychedelic tapestries and used a generator for the equipment. They were playing psychedelic trance the whole time, and the vibe was super chill. Everyone was passing around bowls of marijuana, and I remember turning around and seeing one girl snorting coke. Since this wasn’t in a club venue, there was no security to worry about, so everyone was just doing things out in the open. My friend and I took some LSD, and it was our first time ever doing that. The tapestries started to become 3D, colors were more vibrant, and all the lights just seemed to swirl around. I remember at one point feeling like I was in a time warp and was back in the 60’s. Just after 3 am, the rave got shut down by the cops, which was a bummer. We had already started coming down though. This whole rave and experience remains one of my all-time favorite memories. I truly believe my life was changed this night, and I wouldn’t be who I am without it. I will probably never again get to experience anything as magical as this night was, but I’m glad I have this memory to hold onto.
I also went on to attend Get Laid (a Valentine’s rave), but I hated the venue. I ended up having an anxiety attack because the roof was low, and with all the people in there it made me feel claustrophobic. After that came Psychedelic Dreamscape 2 and then Uprising. I got to meet up with Brandy again at Uprising, and it was a blast. Unfortunately, a girl ended up dying from a drug overdose. It was crazy and really sad. I felt guilty for having fun while someone was losing their life at the same time.
My last and final rave was on January 1st, 2013. It was called Laser Disco, so I did a 70’s theme for my outfit. Cherry Bomb is a song by The Runaways that was really popular in the 70’s, and of course metallic hot pants were popular too. I even found a girl with a pair similar to mine. This rave was a lot of fun too.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and nothing lasts forever. My life just seemed to go in a different direction after that rave. I would consider going to another rave in the future, but at the same time I sort of feel like I’m over that phase of my life. These days, I just enjoy staying home and doing nothing. I will forever be grateful for this two year time period though because I did end up making memories that will last a lifetime.