A crowd dances at a rave Saturday at the Bomb Factory in Dallas. Performers included Brillz, Kayzo, Slumberjack and Knife Party. 

Eat, sleep, rave, repeat.

Raves are concerts where people dance to electronic music played by a DJ, Wes Trimble said.

Trimble is the CEO and owner of the Dallas based marketing company Next Level Events.

“A rave is a place where people come together for different genres and dance the problems in their lives away,” said Ryan Slapion, Next Level Events promotions manager.

Trimble urged those who haven’t been to a rave before to stay open-minded.

“Raves are a lot of fun if you are with your friends — tons of energy, and people are usually super nice and friendly at them,” Trimble said.

Slapion and Trimble provided some safety tips and recommendations for new ravers to help them prepare for raves and get the most out of their experience.

Plan everything ahead, including who drives home, Trimble said. Back-up plans are always good just in case the driver decides they want to party, and Uber is an awesome resource to use, he said.

“Plan your night, have a designated driver, hydrate and eat before you go out,” Trimble said. “Raves usually get hot and sweaty, so prepare for that. Staying hydrated is number one.”

Bring cash, an ID, earplugs, sunscreen if the event is outside and a CamelBak (a backpack you can drink out of) when attending a rave, Slapion said.

Trimble recommended wearing a fanny pack to carry necessities.

There are some things girls specifically should be aware of at raves, and the buddy system helps them stay safe, Trimble said

“Stay with your friends,” he said. “Usually raves are pretty safe for girls, but there are always those people that get too drunk or out of control and get grabby.”

Slapion said the things girls need to look out for most are drugs, guys and drinks.

“Your friend can disappear in two seconds,” Slapion said. “Girls need to pay attention to their other girl friends.”

When planning events for Next Level Events, Slapion said safety is a factor, but all they can do is consider how much security they need and provide free water if it’s outside. Sometimes the bigger events, like Something Wonderful, have emergency technicians standing by.

Every event has different rules on what they do and do not allow in their venue.

“Make sure you look at the rules before you go,” Slapion said.

Not taking or buying unknown drinks and substances from random people is a good way to avoid being drugged, Slapion said. Common drugs that can be found at raves include molly, ecstasy, acid, mushrooms, Xanax and marijuana, he said.

“I know people do that a lot,” he said. “Someone will walk up to them and they’ll be like, ‘OK, I’ll take it,’”

Slapion said he believes drug use is a problem, especially because people often don’t know exactly what is in what they’re buying.

Drugs aren’t an issue specific to raves, but there is a prejudice against the rave community based on assumptions, Trimble said.

“I think the media likes to make it a major issue. Drugs and drinking are everywhere at every show with any genre of music,” he said. “No rave can prevent someone from taking something beforehand.”

Mechanical engineering sophomore Javier Garcia has been going to raves for four years.

“It’s a very vivid experience with very good vibes,” he said. “There’s a new generation thing where people feel real connected through this music.”

Slapion couldn’t define the rave scene because he said it differentiates too much based on the kind of music playing and the type of event.

“Everyone is dancing, they don’t even question it,” he said, describing a typical rave crowd.

Every artist and genre is different, Trimble said. People just find what kind of music makes them happy and stick with it.

“There is never a dull moment and the music takes you through a journey from going crazy to songs that are a little emotional,” he said.

The rave community is all about “PLUR,” which stands for “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect,” a raver’s motto.

Trading handmade, beaded bracelets called “kandi” is a tradition new ravers can look forward to, which is accompanied by a handshake representing “PLUR,” Trimble said.

“Trading kandi is awesome and a cool way to meet new people,” he said.

The first show someone attends is important because it leaves a first impression, and can determine how one feels about raves and whether or not they want to attend another one, Garcia said. He advocated attending a music festival as a first rave if given the opportunity.

“Club events at Lizard Lounge are a good start, or events at QuikTrip Park like Life in Color or Foam Wonderland,” Trimble said.

Those events bring another aspect to them rather than just a show, and there’s a theme everyone participates in.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Garcia said.


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