Over the years a variety of youth subcultures associated with music, dance, and unconventional forms of spirituality have emerged. The 1980s introduced us to a combination of fast-paced, repetitive electronic music with choreographed laser shows. This was the birth of the “rave culture.” Many argue the notion that “rave” is a subculture, as it has not established an identifiable dress code or set itself apart from the wider culture. Some of those that acknowledge ‘rave’ as a subculture say it is nothing more then music plus drugs. The rave subculture is much more then that, it is a matrix of lifestyle that blends music, art and social ideals with ritualized behaviors. Meaningful spiritual transformations occur at raves, as illustrated in this essay. In addition what sets the rave subculture apart from other youth subcultures associated with music, is that technology plays an integral part in the formation and maintenance of the rave group.
In 1988, Britain experienced what has come to be dubbed “the second summer of love,” a time and label now synonymous with the mass-mediated emergence of the all-night dance/drug culture known as Rave or Acid House. (Herman and Ott 284). The rave subculture emerged after Paul Oakenfold (a now famous DJ) rented a villa in Ibiza and brought down a bunch of DJ friends to celebrate his twenty-sixth birthday. There they were introduced to a new way of clubbing and a new drug called ecstasy. After returning home to the UK from a hedonistic summer in Ibiza, Oakfenfold decided to recreate the concept at a South London Club. (Reynolds 58). Reynolds states that Oakenfold persuaded the owner of a venue called Project Club, to let him start an illegal after-hours event. Oakenfold flew in Ibiza’s famous DJ Alfredo Fiorillo in from Ibiza and invited all the “main heads, the key people in London, from fashion to film to music to clubland” to attend the recreation of his hedonistic summer in the Mediterranean (58). “What these prime...
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