A Beginners’ Guide to Raving : How to survive
With electronic music infiltrating the mainstream on a daily basis and hoards of young people embracing the rave scene as the new generation, I thought it was probably a good idea to give them a few tips and pointers to make sure their first rave is a success. We don’t want them to end up covered in their own piss and sick, tripping their little heads off. It looks bad for the clubs and definitely will kill your buzz if you see someone who is completely off their chops.
Pay attention and you’ll have a sick night (in the best possible way), don’t and well, you’ll find out that maybe raving isn’t for you.
Expect to deal with large queues. If you’re going to be a big night with established DJs and MCs on the line up then undoubtedly many other people will be too. There’s no point in complaining that you have to wait around for a large period of time whilst the bad tempered doormen check IDs and fanny around with tickets and such. Make sure you buy a ticket to avoid disappointment, yes; some people will be lucky and manage to buy them on the door. Chances are you won’t be one of those people. If you have a big problem with this, then it serves you right for not being important enough to be on the guest list.
THE LINE UP
Check the line up when you get to the club. You went to the rave for a reason and that is to see a DJ play; if you are one of the stupid people who say ‘Dubstep is my favourite band/DJ/ or whatever’, you deserve a kicking in. There is nothing more annoying than missing someone’s set who you specifically went to see or having them clash with someone else who you equally wouldn’t mind seeing. Make a choice and stick to it. If you want to see half of one set and half of another, it might not be a good idea and can result in ‘I wish I had stayed for all of blah blah’s set’. Try and pay attention because if you are not inclined to raving, you might think the same DJ has been on all night.
They’re not cool, big, or clever but they are bloody fun. Look at Charlie Sheen, he’s a messy druggie and lives with a porn star and a model. Not cool. Without sounding too much like the late Bill Hicks, you can possibly have some of the best times on drugs and also some of the worst times, but the less we talk about that, the better. We’re not condoning or promoting the use of drugs, but there’s a good chance that the music you will be listening to, will have been made under the influence of some kind of illegal substance. And if you too are under the influence, boy, can you have a fantastic night. Remember to hide them well because you will get searched no matter how clean, tidy or prim you look. If you are a girl with big boobs, hide them there, if not, find a friend with big boobs and get them to hide your tings for you.
In some clubs, people will try and sell you drugs. Be cautious, they can be shit or they can be amazing. It’s up to your discretion but be advised that desperation can lead to a lottery like scenario, it’s all pot luck when it comes to disco biscuits. You have been warned.
Nothing but vital. If you are like the many people who partake in a little bit of dropping action, your jaw will try and leave your face and you will also try, unsuccessfully, to chew your eyebrows. This is not a sexy look by any means and will result in you looking like an absolute tit.
Other ravers will point, laugh and even go ‘mate you looked fucked’. Allow it, it’s all part of the fun. Remember to bring more than one packet of chewing gum, share with friends, random gurners, and also make sure to spit it out and take a new piece regularly. There is nothing worse than when chewing gum has been chewed too much and goes minging and super sticky.
Drinking plenty of water/alcohol is really important. It can get really hot in clubs and let’s face it, not all places have the amazing air conditioning unit that Fabric London does. The majority should be barely legal it gets so damn hot in there, so drink plenty of water. Some clubs can be arses and not let you keep the lids on your bottles of water. This is a pain but sometimes gentle nagging or a nice bar person will let you keep it. Sharing is caring too, if someone asks for a sip of water, don’t be mean and say no, this is general practice at a rave. Alcohol is another matter. You probably paid over the sensible price for that drink so don’t share it. Anyone who asks for some is taking the piss.
To prevent your lips going all dry and nasty and to aid the inevitable gurning and lip licking, some form of lip balm is essential. Keeping it in a trouser pocket will result in melted gooey stuff, this isn’t the best option but you will find it a life saver. Share with your friends but not randoms. You don’t know where their hands have been and you don’t want a messy looking rude boy sticking his finger in your tub of Vaseline and spreading germs.
No no no. This cannot be stressed enough. No. You will look like a tit, everyone knows you’re mash up, they are mash up too. Don’t bother trying to hide it either. Raves are dark enough anyways and combined with the slightly prohibited vision you will have from wearing the aforementioned sunglasses, you won’t be able to see much. Other morons will try and steal your sunglasses too. The only time they are permitted is when you are on the way home from the rave and it is day light outside. Through doing this, you can shield yourself from normal people who are going to work, the sunlight to which you have not adjusted your eyes yet and anyone else who stares at you weirdly whilst you start to come down and are visited by paranoia.
THE SMOKING AREA
You will meet all sorts of people in the smoking areas of raves. They can range from absolute dickheads, dealers, awesome people, promoters, wannabe DJs and if you’re lucky, the DJs on the line up. If you are on drugs, do not speak to the DJs because they’ve probably had enough of mash up people coming to tell them they just played ‘a banging set’ / ‘absolutely smashed it’ etc Even if you are a music journalist, they will not believe you when your jaw is trying to escape and your eyes are rolling.
Talking through your clenched teeth is not a good look. Sometimes you may find yourself in the smoking area far more than in the rave itself. Do not allow this to happen, you will be kicking yourself for weeks afterwards that you missed Andy C ‘smashing it’ because you were chatting to some moderately attractive person in the smoking area who probably won’t get off with you no matter how hard you try.
Watch out for the bits of sick in the smoking area as people often use that as their choice of vomit spot after one too many jills.
LOSING YOUR FRIENDS
This is certain to happen. At smaller venues, it is much easier to find your friends again, at larger venues, not so. The music is often so loud you won’t be able to hear your phone and that is even if you get signal. Try your best not to panic though, just go with the flow, have a little rave up and then chances are your mates will have the same idea and meet you in the smoking area. However, good things can happen when you are separated from your crew of raving soldiers, I met DJ Hype once in the toilets in Fabric (they are some weird European style unisex toilet) and we had a little chat. Hurrah for losing all my friends!
CAMERAS/ RAVE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Pictures can never turn out well at raves and this is for the simple reason that even if you’re not fucked, you will look like a sweaty mess. Make up will run down your face akin to manner of Tim Burton film, your hair will be all crazy and sweaty and you will be extremely unattractive. Why would you want to capture that moment forever? You and your raving friends should all be in the right mind and not bring cameras with you.
Rave photographers on the other hand can be absolute fuckers. They even edit the photos and splash them all over the internet of you looking minging and a large amount of nagging and persuasion is needed to make them take the incriminating photos off of the internet. This is nothing personal, I am friends with many rave photographers, but fuck me if they think they’re getting any messy shot of my twisted mug.
Nothing makes me laugh like a group of silly girls in really high heels. Yes, you may be able to walk in them and dance too but it hurts when you stand on our feet. How can you last all night in heels too, we’re talking like a good 7 or so hours throwing some serious shapes? Wear flats you fools or you’ll end up with some chav saying you stepped on their ‘crepes’. Trainers will always be the best choice of footwear. FACT.
As much as make –up fixes your face up beautifully, it will end up all down your face and you will go home looking like some sort of sex attack victim. Best to leave it natural ladies.
Comfortable doesn’t necessary mean not trendy. Wear something you can move in, I’ll be damned if I’m going to put up with bitching and moaning saying what you are wearing is uncomfortable.
These are horrible and are inevitable. However, there are several ways in order to make them a little less horrible, the majority of which involves more drugs, which once again we are not condoning but we speak from experience.
There is nothing worse than coming home from a rave buzzing off your tits to find you lack many things in your house/choice of comedown location and are forced to go back outside in order to find the necessary supplies. It’s often best to plan what you need as you might be too messy to do anything other than roll a spliff when you come back.
Fags and tobacco – very important, you may find the need to chain smoke, many people do. This is why it is extremely important to have either or both. You will also share your fags and baccy with everyone. One rave, in the not too distant past, I bought 80 fags and probably only smoked about half of them. Generosity is key.
Rizla – big and small, never run out as there is nothing worse than wanting a spliff and not having papers. An assortment is not necessary but as they say, variety is the spice of life.
Spliff – helps you sleep, eleviates the pain of post rave aggro and generally is just awesome.
Alcohol – will help you through if you choose to stay awake until the next day. K cider is not recommended, but will do the trick at 99p a can and 8.4%.
Other Drugs – you might find that more drugs are a good idea, they really are not unless they’re going to help your comedown. Just because you have pills or something left doesn’t mean you have to bosh them when you get back. It can be super fun though. Valium, Ketamine and Skunk are all fabulous things on a come down and will make you feel lovely.
Fruit Juice – This is pretty nice you know, get the nice stuff though.
Blankets – for mega post rave cotching, blankets and soft things are the best. Cuddling up to people is good also but don’t think having sex on a comedown is a good idea. Just having someone hold you when you have the dreaded Rave AIDs is nice. Sometimes though, you don’t want anyone to even sit next to you as the thought makes you feel physically sick.
Also remember to keep yourself entertained, lack of music is dire to the situation and will make you become even more paranoid than you usually are. Mellow tunes are the best, as is finding stupid videos on Youtube. Don’t try and exert yourself too much, it will only result in disaster.
Do not, under any circumstances, wake your mate up if they have fallen asleep after a rave. If they have done drugs, it would have been really hard for them to get to sleep in the first place, and it’s like an unwritten golden rule. Unless you are a twat or your mate is one, then think of crazy comedown ideas to torment them.
Have a wicked time, enjoy the music, make friends and even if you think you’ll never do it again, and have heard choruses of ‘That’s the last time I’m going raving mate, seriously need to grow up a bit and fix up’. It’s comedown talk, they’ll be back next week.