Peace, love, unity and respect: Raving

By Nicole Maldonado |Staff Writer|

Raves erupt throughout the planet. San Bernardino is home to these mind-opening experiences that transport you from reality to another world after dusk.

Pounding bass, eye catching costumes, euphoric smiles, energetic carefree dancing and colorful lasers slicing through the night sky are a few of my favorite things. I don’t mean for Christmas-time, but for my favorite experience in life, raves.

Rave stands for Radical Audio Visual Experience. To non-ravers it may mean a room full of sweaty kids on drugs. To me, it is an unrestricted, creative environment for people of all origins to express themselves and who live out P.L.U.R.R. I think that all students should experience a party to open their mind to the rave culture of music, P.L.U.R.R., imagination and pure fun.

Five-year raver Mikey Overman from Moreno Valley, also known by his DJ  name ‘Mikey Millionaire’, explained that raves are “an overall life changing experience because it’s an escape from reality.”

Most ravers live and party by what Overman refers to as “the rules of raving” called  P.L.U.R.R. which stands for Peace, Love, Unity, Respect and Responsibility. I can describe feeling P.L.U.R.R. when you escape into the rave world as becoming a part of a united crowd indulging in euphoria and harmony as opposed to the harsh, cold world outside of the rave.

Electronic music is everywhere; in stores, in commercials, on the radio and in clubs. We are living in the first ever electronic era of music – and to me, ravers are the new age hippies.

Of course drugs are present at raves, but accepting them or rejecting them is solely up to the individual. I am a three-year long raver but am definitely not what most students refer to as an “e-tard” or someone who only goes to raves to do drugs. Stereotypes are to be left home when at a rave.

When I look around at a rave I do not see any exchange of drugs, or evidence that people are on drugs. All I see are dancing bodies and smiling faces.

In my experiences conversing with other ravers, I would guesstimate that on average 60 percent of the entire crowd are on drugs at massive raves which accommodates 25,000-100,000 people.

These massive events occur about five times a year, usually for special occasions like New Year’s Eve and Halloween. However there are smaller events in various locations every weekend in Southern California.

As illustrated, the first and last thing that usually comes to mind to someone who has never raved before are drugs. That is most definitely not what the scene nor what the attendees are about. It’s about coming together for music, friends and venturing into a nocturnal wonderland for a night.

CSUSB student Erick Ledezma whom has never raved before said “raves are a positive and negative thing. I think it’s a negative outlet for underage teenagers that are in a growing period because they could be influenced by the wrong things like drug aspects but that’s anywhere; that’s why raves get negative press.”

However Ledezma pointed out that raves are like “a community thing, a venue for people to express themselves and anything that brings people together in a positive light is good.”

I think Erick is right on both points of view. Of course there are drugs that circulate, however inside this realm of togetherness; the most important elements are that there is no hate, no discrimination, no judgments made, no fighting and no negative feelings. Raves to me are a safe-haven full of peace, energy, love and friendship which is an amazing experience you can’t get anywhere else!

This past weekend I attended a two-day event held at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino called Nocturnal Wonderland where I got the opportunity to converse with a handful of interesting ravers from all over the world. Thankfully, these events are now 18 and over, ID required.

Scott Reilly said “raves are epic fun-ness”. He’s been raving for three years and lives in Newport Beach.

A bit of both worlds is inferred when Sweden native Alexander Andersson exclaimed “raves are awesome. I’m a student and I rave as often as I can.”

At the end of the night, I think of how much fun I had and how much I look forward to attending the next event. For me the best part is being a part of the culture of raves.

This microcosm of society is like nothing we have seen before; it is full of life and most importantly to me, peace. If only the world could experience the love, happiness, and smiles that surge through the crowd at raves I think it would be a better place. All you have to do is think P.L.U.R.R. and smile!


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