"PLUR" and the rave scene. What about it?
"Why is it so fascinating?" people always ask. Why do I choose to attend “these” events? “Is it because it’s becoming so big and the NEW thing to do?” People tie raves and drugs together. And if any of these people ever went to these events, they would know why people always want to return.
To be honest, I haven’t even been into the scene that long compared to these other “old school” ravers. My first rave wasn’t until 2009. I wasn’t into house music or into that scene. My cousin, who considers herself an old school raver told me, “don’t knock it until you try it”. Ever since that event, house music hasn’t been the same. I have to give thanks to my brother from another mother, @bhangg for bringing me back into the EDM world. EDM probably took over my life in the last two years since he would trap me in his car with house music on full blast. But something at that first rave opened my eyes to a new world, a world that was “underground” and completely new. A world of positive, happy, half naked people who all were in one place for the same reason; Music.
The vibes are these events are amazing. Most of these events I’ve attended have been open-minded, friendly, and positive environments. I’ve been to rap, hip-hop, and even pop concerts and shows; nothing really compares to EDM events. Raves and EDM events are more chill then most people would like to admit. You meet people from all over the country and some even from other countries. All these people travel just to see their favorite DJs, be with their friends, and to be apart of a group that shares the same passion. You meet people that you would have never thought that would be into EDM and into that scene. From straight people to LGBTQQIA, every ethnicity, shape & sizes, all different backgrounds, and people with every job you could think of… Everyone is together as a family. EDM scenes are probably the most inviting and safest environments I’ve ever witness.
Kaskade put it best in his article…
"But know this: as far as a music culture goes, EDM is the one who will accept the kids on the outliers, the ones who get bullied, the ones who feel like they may not quite fit in. This community is exceptional in its ability to bond all types together, and I am not exaggerating when I say it saves lives. Our audience is intelligent and kind, discriminating only in regards to which sound they like best. Our audience is unprecedented in their drive to proactively support each other."
People ask about PLUR and what it means. Tommie Sunshine’s article explains it…
"There is a simple way to explain the culture to someone who is not familiar with our kind: PLUR. Peace. Love, Unity, Respect. Let me explain…
PEACE: We are talking peaceful gatherings upwards of 100,000 people. This is not the Saturday night violence that comes with alcohol-fueled ego clashes in drinking holes across America; the only “raging” here is to the music and the only war we are interested in ﬁghting for is to ensure our right to do so.
LOVE: We choose love before all things, nourishing our souls with the positive side of things rather than letting ourselves fade into darkness. We understand that all you need is love and love is all you need.
UNITY: Those involved in our scene feel a spiritual bond towards each other and towards other people in general. We all know full well we are involved in something much bigger than us & this is the essence of what we celebrate.
RESPECT: Imagine being in a crowd of 10,000 people and being able to turn to any stranger and strike up an in-depth conversation about anything on the spot. Imagine being so free and happy that you would give any stranger a bottle of water, a hug, or simply just a smile, expecting nothing in return. A decision has been made to treat each other a certain way which carries over into everyday life (as do all 4 of these points).”
I can’t find the right words to describe my experiences at these events, I just know that every time I leave one… I want to return to one ASAP. I believe I am just a hippie at heart and believe in love, respect, and peace. And I believe people can get together and work on things they want to change. It’s not just a phase, it’s more of a movement. My cousin told me a few days ago that she was glad to see me open my ears & let myself experience a different world… and I am glad she brought me and exposed me to a different world. "Letting your mind explore is allowing yourself to be exposed to different things you don’t know about".
Maybe these events are so successful because it is where everyone gathers to escape our realities for a few hours together. We leave behind our worries, our stress, and everyday drama at the door. We create memories with our current friends, make new friendships with people we meet, and we take in strangers to our PLUR family. PLUR means differently to each person and everyone will have their own explanation and description of the vibe; that’s because we all feel differently.
We come together, rave together, and love together.
As an attendee of these events, I was outraged to read about how one can sit there and blame these rave event holders responsible for these “fatal tolls” tied into these events that are causing these “drug overdoses”. To be clear, no drugs are ever required to have fun or have an experience at these events. To do drugs, unless a gun is held to your head, is a PERSONAL choice.
Yes, let’s be honest. There are people who attend these events or concerts and use drugs. It is an obvious choice of the individual to use drugs or be under any other influence. Before you even go to these events, there are post warning messages online, give verbal warnings as your arrive, and as you are in line to enter they search you before you enter (even if you are barely wearing any clothes). At these events, I’ve seen people arrest and I’ve seen under cover narcs at these events. I believe these events try to promote a CLEAR message that drug usage is not allowed or acceptable. So someone, tell me how Insomniac Events is responsible for these overdoses?
So who is really to blame about these overdoses? Simply, the individual. What about when you go to clubs and you pound drinks back to back? And then get into a car and get into a car accident? You don’t go blame the club. You blame the individual who drove drunk. It’s not too often that a club or bar gets blamed for a death or accident. Why do you ask? That’s because it is one’s responsibility to control their intake and behavior. That is THEIR decision to drink and drive just as it is for them to smoke or do other drugs.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver" yet the LA Times doesn’t make note of that on their front page. That is more than 10,000 people yearly, but that doesn’t make it as their headlines. Why aren’t they pointing their fingers at particular alcohol makers or places that serve alcohol?
And according to the CDC, “one person dies every 19 minutes from prescription drug abuse in the United States.” And who do we blame? Not the doctors if the individual CHOSE to overdose on prescription drugs. How come LA Times doesn’t want to go and point out each individual doctors with patients that have overdosed?
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ignore that drug usages at raves exist, but we can’t sit here and blame others for individual choices. What if instead of pointing fingers at the event holders and events, we should educate and do preventative measures to decrease these overdoses that are occurring. Preventing all drug usage at clubs, raves, and concerts are impossible.
These events should be making sure each of these events provide fun, safe environments, and available medical teams for emergencies. And I believe Insomniac Events does an excellent job providing all of that. I have to admit, I felt safer attending Insomniac Events in LA or EDC in Las Vegas than I do attending bars and clubs in my regular home city. That has to say a lot about Insomniac and their events.
How are raves any different from concerts or any flashy clubs? I’ve been to clubs very similar to the rave scene, yet I don’t see anyone pointing fingers at them.
Shame on LA Times trying to bash on something that is so wonderful and do nothing but provide amazing experiences for these party-goers. If one chooses to enhance these experiences, that is a personal decision and is the only one to blame.
"Be so good, they can’t ignore you." - Steven Martin
And that’s exactly what Insomniac Events is doing and LA Times cannot ignore it.