The Ravers Handbook (The Guide to Raving)
Many years ago (like 15 years ago!) a ravers handbook was given out at events in southern California. We've dug up a copy, transcribed it here for you, and made a few additions and changes. Although the original has stood the test of time, we thought it necessary to make some slight changes along the way. If any of the original authors find their way to this page, please contact us we'd love to send a little credit your way!
A Handbook for Responsible Raving
This ravers handbook or guide is not intended to be definitive in its' approach. It is a starting point for communication about very important issues that directly affect each of us. Our hope is that it will encourage you to step away from the music with some friends for a moment so that you can discuss the importance of individual efforts in responsible raving.So What's The Problem?
As time has gone on it has become increasing difficult to have/attend/host events based around electronic music. Apart from DJ's, sound and lights, in order to throw a successful event you need to have a secure location, permits, and insurance. With any of these ingredients missing there is a strong change that the event will not go as planned, and often having all of the pieces in place can still not prevent an event from getting shut down.
The police are not shutting us down because of a giant conspiracy against ravers, raving and living life to its' fullest. They are shutting us down because society sees us as a danger to ourselves and others. The public has formed a preconceived notion about us ravers, and ITS OUR FAULT. Bad press is constantly put out about ravers because of our own:
If we rid ourselves of these anchors, our public image will greatly improve and our fragile movement will surely flourish.
What can you do?
YOU can make or break our movement. It is incredibly easy to combat selfishness, carelessness and ignorance and still have the time of your life, maybe even have a better time than you've ever experienced. Imagine having the best time you've ever had at a rave, now couple that with the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that you would get from helping build up and progress our scene... knowing that you did your part.
Each rave or event you attend doesnt belong to you. It is a communal experience made for everyone. To completely kill the group experience only takes a few individuals who don't understand the basic concepts that our community was built on. Below you will find a list of common issues that can be easily combated by you and your friends.Respecting The "Publics" Opinion of Ravers
Most people go to raves for the music and the community. If you feel that you need to have your mood elevated, please be discrete. Don't give them a reason to accuse us (as a whole) for your actions. We all make our own choices, but we are all generalized together. Give them something positive to say about us.Common Courtesy To Others
Being Rude - Rude and obnoxious behavior does nothing but upset people, sometimes to the point of having them call the police. Please be polite to any "outsider" that you encounter while on the way to or away from a rave. Be polite to everyone for that matter! Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Noise - Noise is a very big problem in most residential areas and is often the reason for shut-downs. Please be as quiet as possible going to site. Playing car radios loud, horn honking, screeching tires and yelling can be louder than the sound system enclosed in the venue. Loitering around in the parking area only draws unwanted attention to the party. As you're walking to the door remember that you are only moments away from being able to make as much noise as you want.
Guns and Violence - Neither of these belong at a rave. It is our non-violent nature that sets us apart from the rock and rap scenes. When you allow the negatives of other lifestyles to penetrate our scene you are allowing outsiders to stereotype us.Respect for Other Ravers
Part of the attraction of a rave is that it can be a place to escape the craziness of the rest of the world. Going to a rave cannot possibly solve your personal problems so do your best to leave them at the door. Everyone attending is there to have a great night, with YOU. Enjoy the music, the companionship, and the moment that you are in.
The rave scene prides itself on its peaceful nature so there is absolutely no tolerance for violence or aggression. This includes any frustration that you may have with security, entry lines, etc.
A peaceful but enthusiastic attitude can quickly spread to others creating a pocket of "vibe" that everyone will want to be a part of. Acceptance of others, even those different from you, catches on quickly and creates a bond among all of us. When outsiders look in at our scene and see this bond, they cannot discredit it; they can only see something positive. This is a very easy way to improve the publics opinion of ravers.Blatant Selfishness
There is always a group of attendees who have no concept of what a rave is supposed to be about, and they dont care if they get your event shut down. You can often find these people blaring their music, drinking alcohol or sucking on balloons in the parking lot. You need to approach this behavior. If you are with a group of friends politely approach them and ask them to put it away before it ruins the event. If you dont get a good response, or are unsatisfied by the results, please seek out a security guard or a promoter immediately.Respecting Your Venues
Park only where it is permitted and, once again, don't hang out in the parking lot or on the streets. Also, please don't throw trash and flyers on the ground. Leaving a mess will most likely prevent the venue from being used in the future.
Tagging will instantly lose us a venue. Would you like me to come to your house and scratch up your mirrors or use a sharpie all over your bathroom wall? Tagging simply tells the landlord that we don't have any respect for him or his property even though it is the landlord that has been so kind to share his property with us. Tagging makes insurance rates climb. If you see someone tagging, explain to them that they are keeping you from being able to rave. Make sure everyone in the area hears you so that they also become involved in making the tagger stop. Most ravers will band together with you to correct this negative action. Remember to treat the tagger with respect, be firm and polite.
Trash can be overwhelming. Many times the property owner is shocked by the trash left in the facility, especially in the bathrooms. It only takes a few seconds to find a trash can and is a very worthwhile investment of your time. Its hard to convince a landlord that you care about his property when you dump your trash all over it cigarette butts, rave flyers, fast food wrappers, alcohol bottles are all signs that YOU DON'T CARE.
Carelessness, which sometimes is accidental, can easily be overcome through a system of accountability. It only takes two friends to commit to be accountable to each other in reminding the other if they are being careless. The more people you have in your accountability group (also called "true friends"), the less likely you are to do something careless. Create an accountability group with the friends you rave with the most.
We should all help each other out. If you see anyone doing something careless, whether they are in you group of friends or not simply say "I don't think it's such a good idea for you to do that." Here are some places where carelessness becomes a problem for each of us in the rave movement:Driving Safely
There is nothing wrong with being too messed up or too tired to drive home, it happens to the best of us. There is nothing wrong, unless of course you try to drive anyway. Ask a sober friend from your accountability group to drive, wait until someone is able to drive, sleep in your car, or call a cab. Take your time so you and your friends can rave again another day!Dealing With The Wrong People
At every public event there are attendees who you shouldn't be associating with. This is a problem that plagues society just as much as it does raves. If you go to any club, fair, or concert you will find someone in the corner who is there to push something you dont need on to you.Loitering Outside of The Venue
This only draws unwanted attention to the event and makes police want to "investigate." Loitering also makes it more difficult to patrol a parking area to look for people breaking into cars or doing other activities that hurt individual ravers and hurt the scene overall. When you're walking through a parking lot and you see people standing around ask them to please go inside and explain to them why it is important for them to help in this regard.Acting safely / Acting Responsibly This is a broad area that has too many specific "infractions." Every once in a while just ask yourself these questions...
Ignorance is the easiest problem to overcome but it also depends on individual efforts. All we need to do is educate ourselves and then spread that knowledge. Two things must happen before we can educate each other.
First, we must be willing to be educated. We must recognize that we do not know everything and open ourselves up to listening to others and learning. And secondly, we must communicate with each other.Know What You're Talking About
Rumors and misinformation are common in any scene, especially one that the media likes to portray as it does ours. The mainstream media does not always report the truth about our scene. Know the facts before teaching others what you have learned, don't let yourself become a tool for others personal gain.Know What You're Taking and Your Limits
If you are going to partake in any extra-curricular activities please be safe. Drunk driving, lethal drug combinations, and related accidents happen because of carelessness. Always let someone know exactly how much of what your taking BEFORE you take it, count your drinks or substances appropriately.Know The Law
Know the consequences if you're arrested and ask yourself if it is worth the risk. Was it worth carrying your friends stuff? Was it worth getting behind the wheel drunk? Probably not.Know How to Handle Yourself With The Police
Be cooperative but also know your rights regarding search and seizure laws (especially in searching a vehicle). Avoid dragging down the rave scene with you. Don't even mention raves if you have a run in with officers. Be afraid of the seriousness of the consequences but don't let yourself be intimidated if youve done nothing wrong. Most of the time, the police are there to help you.Know What To Do In Case Of An Emergency
Dont let fear overcome common sense. If someone is just a little to intoxicated it might be best to just move them to a better situation away from the noise and the lights. If someone is foaming at the mouth, get an ambulance or certified professional. Here are some immediate steps that may be useful to you:
It's time that ravers determine how much an event is worth. If you think you're getting ripped off by a promoter and their promises of the event haven't been realized you and your group should :
Remember that many promoters throw raves for a living and that they must make money. We're not asking promoters to lose money! We're thankful that they go through all the hassle to even have an event to go to. However, we are asking promoters to re-invest into the scene, after all, if the scene doesn't survive, the promoters don't survive either.
Support promoters that are helping our movement flourish, that are innovate with creative ideas, that deliver what they promise, re-invest in the scene, and respect everyone.
The best way to combat ignorance is to get and stay informed. All that is required of this is communication. Visit unbiased websites that report on raves and rave culture.Good Vibes Starts From Within
Are you complaining about someone else? STOP. There will always be something or someone to complain about, the DJ's, the other attendees, the sound, the venue, it's endless. Look at yourself and treat others how you want to be treated. That is the only route towards creating the positivity that will unite us.
Don't be afraid! Fear is the source of all our conflicts and aggressions. The next time someone gives you a hard look, understand that they are still captive to their fears. Don't respond with a negative response because that will only create more negativity. Smile! Let the goodwill within you flow! Be the change that you want to see in the world. You cant expect others to follow your lead, if you wont lead.