Is it a Festival or a Rave?
A lot of people ask us what the difference is between a music festival and a rave. After a little bit of research and a whole lot of opinion we have formed our stance: "There really is almost no difference between a mainstream rave and a music festival."
Woah now, calm yourself down. Let us explain...
Obviously there are some small differences but as music and events have progressed many of the genre lines have been skewed and blurred. Here are just a few of the many reasons why we believe that raves and festivals are practically the same thing.
By definition a music festival is "a gathering of a community featuring a number of musical performers or bands of a certain genre or centered on a theme." A rave has almost the exact same definition but is generally associated with EDM (electronic dance music). So it stands as "all raves are festivals," but not "all festivals are raves."
As music has progressed almost all artists incorporate some sort of synthesized sound into their music and as time continues this trend will continue and grow. The music genres metaphorical "lines in the sand" have faded away and have been crossed by just about everyone. Classifying a song or musician is no longer as easy as it once was.
The classification of music is not the only thing getting a little blurry. In the last few years hundreds of festivals/raves have popped up around the world. Events like Electric Daisy Carnival, Escape from Wonderland, Ultra, and WMC seem to be deeply rooted in EDM; while others such as Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala, and Electric Forest feature electronic music as a main-stage genre, but that stage is shared with everything from folk music to jazz.
One point of contention has been "a music festival has more going on than a rave. It has a lot of art, theater, etc." If that is your arguing point I would suggest your attend one of the previously mentioned EDM based events. The production value of some of these events has gone well beyond any of the events in the past and include huge haunted houses, hundreds of themed characters and art displays of gigantic proportions. Raves have risen from the warehouses of the 90's and now take over major stadiums, arenas, race tracks, amusement parks, and even cruise ships. Even underground raves are making strong efforts to be more than just speakers in a warehouse, with incredible local art, lighting design, clothing trades, and more.
With everything blending together it's getting pretty hard to classify a lot of events, so why bother? You don't need to categorize everything in life, If you enjoy the music and the experience - who cares what it's called.