Rave Etiquette – The Official Guide to the Do’s & Don’ts of Raving

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Rave Etiquette – The Official Guide to the Do’s & Don’ts of Raving

rave etiquette
By Sadie Cusson

By Sadie Cusson

@ciaoimsadie on Instagram

Going to your first rave and wondering what rave etiquette is like?

Going to your first EDM show or festival is an exciting experience. You’ve likely been told how the people are so nice, the energy is magnetic and that it will probably change your life. But have you also been told about PLUR, saying excuse me, or not to clack your fan?

These days more and more people come into the scene just for the party – with no background information about how to act or WHY the EDM community is so great. Taking the time to learn about rave etiquette is important so that we can continue to keep these events a safe and fun place to be authentically yourself for many years to come. Which is why we’ve put together a list of do’s and don’ts so you can make sure you don’t end up being “that guy”.

Rave Etiquette 101

rave etiquette fan

Photo of @glittrgrlgill taken by @bezzfeed on Instagram

The Do’s of Rave Etiquette:

 

1.) Do make sure you say excuse me when trying to get through the crowds.

You’d think it’s common courtesy but you’d be surprised at how many people just shove through and it really kills the vibe! Whether you are trying to get up to the rail or trying to make sure you stick with your rave fam, it’s likely you’ll need to make your way through the sea of people at some point during the event. The best way to do this is simply saying “excuse me” or “sorry” while trying to squeeze past people. (We’ve even seen people write “excuse me” in big letters on their phone!) We want to make sure we are keeping things PLUR – which brings us to our next point.

 

2.) Do learn about what PLUR is and live by it! 

PLUR stands for Peace, Love, Unity & Respect. It’s the foundation on which the community was built on and some veteran ravers feel like it’s dying. It’s up to us to teach the rave babies, so here we are doing our part! When you go to a rave you will be around all different types of people, expressing themselves in all different kinds of ways. This community is a safe space for ALL. We don’t judge or criticize, and as the saying goes – “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. Some easy ways to spread PLUR vibes while you are at a show or festival:

  • Compliment someones outfit or totem
  • If someone looks like they are lost or struggling – ask them if they need help
  • Apologize if you bump into someone 
  • Make kandi to trade with people you have good interactions with (more on this later)

At the end of the day, we are all at these events sharing a love of the music. But what makes this community so special is all the extra little interactions that happen randomly and organically. Let’s keep spreading the PLUR vibes shall we? 

 

A common ritual that goes along with the PLUR acronym is trading kandi. Kandi are bracelets commonly made with pony beads that have silly or uplifting sayings on them such as “happy ur here” “rave 2 the grave” “positive vibes” etc. Usually you spend time with your friends/rave fam making a couple before you go out, and then when you’re at the rave or festival, if you have an interaction that sticks out to you, you can ask to trade kandi! It makes the moment all the more special and then you have a relic to take home with you so that you can remember them forever! These days less and less people show up with kandi to trade, but I always make sure if that happens I still insist on giving them one of mine and showing them how exactly to trade. Yes that’s right, there is a “right” way to exchange the kandi bracelets! Lets learn:

First you bring the kandi you want to trade to the lowest part of your wrist. Then, you and the other person make a “peace” sign with your hands and touch your pointer and middle fingers together. This represents the “Peace” in PLUR. Then, you make half of a heart motion with that same hand and touch with the other person to make a full heart. This represents “Love”. Following that you will touch those same hands together in a high five motion, which represents “Unity”. Finally, you will interlock your fingers, representing “Respect” and then move the kandi bracelet from your hand to the other person. If they have a kandi to trade back, they will then move theirs onto your hand (without going through the motions again). And there you have it, that is how to trade kandi!   

 

3.) Do make sure you look after the people in your group and NEVER leave anyone behind. 

Every now and then you’ll experience that one friend who went a little too hard too fast and is now out of control, or passed out, or throwing up. What do you do? Well, most festivals have a medical tent you can take them to. You can also offer them water, to hold their hair, or try to get them to sit down. We understand that missing a set could be upsetting, but you should always stick with your friends and make sure they are okay! This also applies if you see someone in the crowd who may be struggling. Ask them if they are okay, if they need help, if they need water or to sit down. We are all one big family and it’s so important to act like it! 

rave etiquette tips

Photo by @sunshinesoultimes on Instagram

The Don’ts of Rave Etiquette:

 

1.) Don’t clack your fan!

Hand fans are an essential rave item to keep you cool in the crowds. They have fans with all different kinds of sayings and designs to fit your unique vibe, and when you open them they make a VERY satisfying clacking sound. However, let me be clear, that sound is NOT satisfying when people are trying to enjoy the music and all you can hear is clack, clack, clack (most times not even on beat). Save the clacking for at home and only use the fan for fanning while you are at the event. Trust me, the crowd will thank you!

 

2.) Don’t walk right in front of someone doing flow arts

Have you ever seen those people with led hula hoops, or swinging led balls (called poi) or whips around? Those people are demonstrating a type of flow art. You can usually find them in the back of the crowd where there is more space and it’s a really amazing experience to sit and watch the light shows. However, too many times we’ve seen people not paying attention and walking way too close to them. Not only does it throw off their groove, you also run the risk of getting smacked in the face with their flow toy – which would not be fun for either party. Pay attention to your surroundings and admire their artistry from a distance. 

 

3.) Don’t forget to teach all the first time ravers what you’ve learned!

Once you get hooked on the rave life, it’s only natural that you’ll want to share it with all of your friends. The more the merrier, we really love how much the community has grown in the last few years! Let’s make sure we are keeping it a safe, special and inclusive community for many years to come by ensuring everyone who comes in is schooled on the values we all hold dear. Peace, Love, Unity and Respect to all.

first time rave etiquette tips

Photo by @ty.gunner on Instagram

So there you have it! You are officially ready to head to your first rave, and we just know you are going to love it! Still feeling a little nervous? Check out our list of 13 Insanely Helpful Music Festival Tips For First Timers! And if you’re already prepping your Ibuprofen for the hangover that’s likely to ensue, don’t forget to snag some Raveraide and also check out our post on The Best After Rave Recovery Tricks You Need To Try!

This post was all about proper rave etiquette at music festivals.

Jake Kocherhans
Jake Kocherhans

As one of the co-founders of Raveraide, Jake has spent the past 6 years of his life as both a health coach and marketing consultant for small businesses. He began attending music festivals in 2018, and is incredibly passionate about sharing both his love for health & fitness, as well as his love for the EDM community. His favorite EDM artists are Subtronics, Seven Lions, LSDREAM, and Blanke. Follow him on Instagram @jakekocherhans

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