80s Rave

In the late 1980s, rave music revolutionized British youth culture. Inspired by Ibiza-style sounds and marked by an uptick in ecstasy pills available to purchase, this music quickly spread throughout Britain’s youth population.

Rave parties spread from warehouses, loft spaces and abandoned aircraft hangars across the UK. Their ecstasy-fueled gatherings attracted police attention who began cracking down on illegal gatherings.

The Origins

Raving, a subculture born out of the UK in the late 1980s, became increasingly popular during this period. It brought together various dance genres to form an eclectic blend of music and culture; it also served as a time for experimentation and adventure.

At that time, DJs were still trying to find their place in the music industry. While they weren’t quite ready to transition fully into digital technology yet, they were experimenting with electronic music and making it sound as raw and analogue as possible.

Rave music began as an experiment to create a different kind of music. It focused on fast beats and repetitive melodies rather than lyrics, signalling its departure from traditional pop music with heavy lyrics that became huge hits across Europe and the UK.

However, the music and scene had its drawbacks as well. In many areas, parties were illegal and police would frequently shut them down due to drug use at these gatherings.

There was concern that raves could lead to drug addiction and other problems, which is one of the reasons they remained underground.

Police often had difficulty snagging those using drugs at these events due to the secrecy surrounding their locations. Furthermore, organizers usually had backup sites in case police caught them.

Many of the original raves were held in warehouses, clubs, beaches and fields. In some cases, parties were even hosted inside an aircraft hangar or sports arena!

The primary motivation for doing this was to extend the party past legal hours and avoid any animosity that had developed around disco and dance music in some parts of the US.

It is essential to remember that the original raves weren’t just about dancing, but also about community and inclusivity. Those who attended these parties came from diverse backgrounds and were encouraged to be different and unique – something which still defines this culture today.

The Subculture

Subcultures are social groups of people who share common interests, experiences, or identities. These could be religious communities or culturally-based ones like Native American subcultures; or they could be quite large like Mormon communities.

In the late 1980s, rave culture revolutionized British youth culture and society as a whole. Acid house music and an influx of ecstasy pills fuelled this phenomenon as people danced non-stop in large makeshift venues such as abandoned warehouses or aircraft hangars.

Raves have often been blamed for social decay, but they also play an important role in aiding young people to challenge adult norms of behavior. Many ravers were Caucasian youth from middle class backgrounds who saw raves as mini vacations where they could leave work and school to dance to techno music.

Though initially a private and secret event, raves became more public in the 1990s. They were usually held at gay clubs with limited entry for invited guests and their friends; usually announced one day prior to taking place to avoid police surveillance.

The rave’s popularity skyrocketed, and by the early 2000s it had become the nation’s most beloved after-hours dance club. These events often drew tens of thousands of people wearing vibrant clothing and trendy accessories while indulging in drugs such as MDMA, ketamine, GHB, and Rohypnol.

These drugs work to alter the brain’s chemistry, making it more responsive to music and light shows. They often come together with other substances like LSD or other hallucinogens for maximum effect.

Rave fashions came into its own, from tight-fitting nylon shirts to neoprene jackets and skirts in vibrant colors. Piercings, tattoos, and dreadlocks became increasingly common as well.

The rave subculture has a long and complex history, with different groups having differing theories about its roots. Neo-Marxist theory suggested that lower working class youths were trying to subvert society’s expectations by engaging in delinquent activities such as partying.

The Music

Rave music is an energetic style of electronic dance music that evolved in the 1980s. It usually has a fast tempo and uses synthesizers and electronic effects to produce its distinctive sound. Some forms of rave music can be classified as trance, house or techno in style.

Drum ‘n bass is one of the most popular styles of rave music. This genre incorporates fast tempos with repetitive drum patterns and basslines. Additionally, it utilizes electronic effects like reverb or delay for added impact.

Another hallmark of electronic music is the use of psychedelic lighting and decorations, which can create an uplifting atmosphere at rave events. These decorations may range from lasers and strobe lights to inflatable decorations or massive sculptures.

The original rave scene began in Manchester, England but quickly spread around the world and had a major impact on popular music. Many bands like Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses achieved international success through this genre of music.

80s rave music is characterized by its fast tempo and intricate basslines. Additionally, it makes use of synthesizers as well as electronic effects like reverb and distortion for added dimension.

Some people wear light-oriented clothing and dance to the beat of music at rave parties, which may also be referred to as glowsticking, glowstringing, gloving or lightshows. Some ravers take part in these dances while others prefer watching from afar.

In some instances, professional dancers perform these types of dances. However, most ravers who perform them are amateurs or novices.

Thus, dancers often need to practice their moves before performing onstage. This can be an integral part of learning the dance as it helps them gain control over their movements before hitting the floor.

This track is an iconic classic from the darkside era of rave. Its aggressive rap samples pay homage to Public Enemy, but it draws inspiration from various other influences as well.

The Locations

In the UK, raves began as unlicensed events held in warehouses, factories and carpet showrooms. Many were hugely popular and featured good music accompanied by large props and themes. Furthermore, there was also a ‘fairy and pixie’ craze which saw some attendees getting fairy tattoos or wearing wings at parties.

Rave culture wasn’t just limited to the UK; it spread worldwide. Valencia in Spain boasted an innovative club scene that combined proto-techno, electronic dance music, EBM and synth pop. The city’s most iconic – and only – club was The Spook Factory; during its heyday as a hub for DJs and clubs alike.

In the 1980s, San Francisco experienced a boom in underground raves, especially around SOMA district. With its growing affluence came an opportunity for party goers to experiment with non-alcoholic ecstasy, leading to the development of ‘new beat’ techno that would eventually spread throughout Germany, Belgium and beyond.

As the rave scene evolved, some clubs started charging admission to the main floor. A clever promoter could use this cost of entry as leverage to draw in a crowd – one famous example being San Francisco’s “Surprise”, which closed at 2:00 am and only opened for raves.

Though raves have declined in popularity, you can still find plenty of parties across the country. While the secrecy surrounding a rave has been lost to modern technology like social media and mobile phone access, you can still find an occasional shindig for thrillseekers on the inside. The best raves often combine both styles – traditional music and dancing included – for an unforgettable experience.