Ten Rules of the Rave: A Guide to Underground Dance Party Etiquette

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10. Learn what a rave is before you call yourself a "raver."

Emily Benjamin
If Steve Aoki is playing, you are not at a rave.

Your bros at the dorm call you a raver, as does the neon nightmare you picked up at some bar last weekend and are now dating. Sorry to crush your dreams, but clearing the dollar store of glow sticks and eating a bunch of shitty molly doesn't make you a raver. Raving is pretty sweet, though. The term originated in 1950s London to describe bohemian parties that the Soho beatniks threw. It has been used by mods, Buddy Holly and even David Bowie. Finally, electronic music hijacked "rave" as a name for huge underground acid house events that drew thousands of people and spawned an entire subculture. "Raving" is entirely centralized around underground dance music. Not Skrillex. Not Steve Aoki. Not anything you would hear on top 40 radio.

9. This party is no place for a drug-addled conga line.

I had just come in from enjoying a cigarette somewhere around 3 a.m. this past Sunday morning, carefully dancing in the direction of the DJ booth, when I was confronted by an obstacle: a strange wall of bodies draped over one another in a straight line, dividing the entire dance floor in half. These people weren't moving. In fact, I couldn't even tell if they were still breathing. Um. What? Can you please play statue somewhere else? Also, I am begging you -- save your conga for a wedding party or bar mitzvah.

8. If you are not 21, you are not coming in here.

Just accept it. The security is checking your ID for a reason. If your parents call the cops looking for you, then those cops will show up. If those cops bust this party and you are nineteen years old and wasted, then everyone responsible for the party happening is fucked. You'll probably just get a minor in possession ticket or something, and your parents will be mad at you for a week, but is it really worth jeopardizing the party itself? There are plenty of eighteeen-and-up parties out there. Go to those instead.

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