Before I discovered the EDM culture, I’d considered myself quite a different person. I wasn’t necessarily antisocial, but I was definitely more afraid of judgment by others. Due to this, I’d hold back thoughts or omit certain details about things. Sometimes it takes doing something new to learn that you’ve been holding your own mind as a prisoner for years. Prior to entering the scene, my friend would nag me every other week to come out to an event. My best friend, who was the one to bring me on my first rodeo, is a perfect example of someone who fully embraces the EDM scene as an ex-introvert. A few months into the scene, he had become surprisingly social and I was quite taken aback from it. Before going to Electric Zoo NY in 2013, he was much quieter and timid around new people. There were many signs pointing toward the idea that going to one of these events was just what I needed. However, it would take a lot more than a few attempts to get me on board.
I became even more hesitant when I heard of the heavy presence of drug use. This scared me a bit, as I was not familiar with party drugs and wasn’t sure how I’d feel around people on them. It also happened to be a rather dark time of my life and felt vulnerable to bad decisions. To my surprise, I’d learn that I’d much rather be around someone tripping on multiple psychedelics than an incoherent drunk. (Shocker). After many failed attempts by my friend, I finally gave in to his demands. I had no idea what to expect and was excited on one hand, but still hesitant on another. Who would’ve ever guessed that I would soon discover what quickly felt like a second home! One of the biggest surprises upon my first event, was the unexpected amount of respect among such a packed room of people. Of course, there will always be a few assholes no matter where you go, I found that they usually end up getting taken out of the place or dealt with accordingly. For the most part, everyone was respectful of each other and excused themselves when bumping into one another. This was uncommon for me to see in the general public, let alone a room literally dripping with condensation from the number of people (RIP Pacha NYC).
Another thing that intrigues me, is how diverse the crowd of attendees are at these events. So many different kinds of personalities and cultures under one roof (or sky), all having the same thing in common. We are all there simply to enjoy the music and have a good time. Some might say that most concerts or public events are probably like this, but I have to disagree. I’ve been to quite a few rap and rock concerts. While I did have a good time at these concerts, there generally seemed to be a lot more conflict and a lack of respect. There’s a unique sense of unity and respect at EDM events that most other shows can’t seem to replicate. After all, if you’ve been to at least a few of these events, you’ve more than likely heard of the term “P.L.U.R.”. While most agree that the term is a bit cheesy, including me, it stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect (If you already hadn’t got the memo). Despite the term dying down in recent years, the acknowledgment of the term seems to still be honored by most ravers.
Like my friend, I’ve met a lot of people who are normally quiet in everyday life but spread an exorbitant amount of energy on the dance floor. I do believe that the unique EDM vibe encourages this behavior by making people feel more comfortable, which almost eludes people’s fear of judgment. I’ve experienced this myself and I still see myself being gradually more comfortable with each time I go out. The thought of trying to dance in front of strangers used to bring the thought of pure embarrassment. Now I don’t think twice to start dancing in whatever way I desire to a savage beat (I mostly thank Techno for this). I have become better as a person from this beautiful scene and continue to grow with it. I’m a firm believer that attending these events can help introverted people to open up and better express themselves to the world. Also, if you’re going through a rough time or are longing for something different in your life… going to the next local rave just might be the answer. Join me!