A New Cultural Take-Over — Electronic Dance Music

A New Outlook At A Popular Trend in Music

written by Genesis A Garcia


With a lot of craziness arising in the midst of festival season, the media begins to circle around the fact that festivals are dangerous due to drugs. In 2013, Electric Zoo, a music event in New York's Randalls Island that drew about 130,000 fans, cancelled their third day due to some incidents involving two young fans. A student from the University of New Hampshire, Olivia Rotondo, 20, and recent Syracuse University graduate Jeffrey Russ, 23, died after apparently taking MDMA, which is commonly referred to as ecstasy or Molly. Since the early 1990s, raves and dance music have been strongly associated with ecstasy and MDMA.

The documentary “Under the Electric Sky” exposes the rave culture in many different ways, especially the road to Insomniac’s famous Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Pasquale Rotella, the event entrepreneur, mentions the reason he started this experience was because the underground scene had been destroyed by drugs. Something that was once used to enhance emotions and visuals was abused. Drugs enhanced the feeling of the environment, the music, light shows, and dancing and also gave people a boost of energy to continue throughout the night. There are people who do not know how to handle themselves and don't know their limits, and unfortunately, there are people who pass around dangerous drugs. It's a potentially lethal combination.

House music originated in Chicago in the 1980s and spread across the pond to the UK and Europe, giving rise to underground raves that seemed to be a new modern culture in contingency to the hippie movement of the 1960s.

When I discovered my love for raves, it was at a Wolfgang Gartner set at Lupos Heartbreak Hotel. The description given to me prior to my first rave was confusing. How could you go to a concert where the artist isn’t singing or dancing, but just DJing? I didn't know what to expect going in. When I entered the venue, I felt a blast of hot air come to my face and when I entered the crowd. I had no personal space. (P.S I don’t recommend a rave to anyone who is claustrophobic.) But when I looked around and saw how many happy people were there and how much creativity existed there, I was hooked. I trusted my friends and knew they wouldn’t bring me to a place that was unsafe, although at some points I did feel a bit nervous due to the sheer number of guys trying to hit on me and the amount of drugs being openly consumed.

As the show began, people danced freely as if they had not a care in the world. There were lights everywhere and so many colors; I thought it was dope. I'm a shy person and care about the way I present myself and how I look, but here, I felt like nobody cared — all anyone wanted was to be free. I was introduced to “P.L.U.R” (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) in which two people interact with hand gestures and exchange Kandi, handmade bracelets made out of different beads with each person’s different designs.

Ultimately, this culture is set on creating good vibes, happiness, and having fun. To see it destroyed by careless abuse of drugs and profiteering from peddling unsafe drugs is heartbreaking to any true fan and believer in P.L.U.R.