The Happiest People in the World
From: (John Draper)
Subject: Happiest people in the world
The Happiest People in the World
Well, this is to be my first Mainstream Rave in Sydney, and thanx to Steve Bancroft, I got on the guest list.
On Thursday, I learn the rave was to take place about 45 km south/west of Sydney, way out in the suburbs. I was supposed to meet the bus that was to leave the Central terminal at 9 pm.
On the bus, I meet one of the ravers that heard my radio program on Skid Row radio. This kid was blown away that he actually met me in person.
There is no doubt, I am the OLDEST raver in Australia… according to most people I met.
The bus pulls into an industrial complex, with scattered homes nearby, and I thought that it was going to get busted for sure, because of the close proximity of homes in the area.
As I leave the bus, I could barely hear the music inside as the first DJ was spinning Happy Hardcore. Remember, here in Australia, Happy Hardcore is MAINSTREAM!! but that not ALL you get. There were 3 other parties going on in Sydney this Sat evening. One that’s not more then 100 meters from my doorstep in “the Cross”, held at “Le Girls” nightclub, but got word is was mostly house.
The Fridays Green acres was cancelled, due to the outside area being flooded due to recent rains.
Anyway, back to the “Happiest People”. I saved my E’s and A’s for this party, and wanted to be especially happy to insure the party lives up to its name.
This was a Kiddie rave, as named by the AusRavers, and I can certainly see why. Age ranges from 18 – 24, and few people with the exception of me, were much older.
I could hear the kiddie girls giggle when I walked by as these people aren’t used to seeing older people at these gigs.
The venue, is a warehouse, with a chill out tent in the front parking lot, and clothing and shirt sales Kiosk and hot dog booth set up. Inside, the area was all the dance area, with the speaker system in the back, although they could use some additional speakers in the front, I suspect they were concerned with noise, as it got visited by the police several times, which resulted in the noise getting turned down several times.
After midnight, they allowed ins-and-outs, and people were congregating outside in great numbers. I saw a few police cruisers drive by, but no serious problems.
Inside, I was getting off big time, groovin’ to the insane 180+ BPM pace of Happy Hardcore. Gack! One song they played in particular was played 3 times that evening. It was a cool song, but VERY POPULAR when it was played. It even gets a lot of air play on the radio.
I went to this rave alone, but was almost immediately approached by people saying “You were at Restitution, weren’t you?” I said Yup! “Better get used to seeing me here for a while!” he gave a thumbs up and said, “It’s really great to see older people here”. At first, people were somewhat suspicious of me, but once they saw me out on the dance floor, groovin’ and hoppin’ around like a mad Kangaroo, they really dug it.
Eventually, they got the lasers fired up, and WOW! What visuals. Almost all large mainstream raves have really great Laser effects that really make the visuals really insane.
All throughout the evening, the music stayed ABOVE 170 BPM range, and as the pace quickened, it got as high as 250 BPMs and at that stage its all arms and little leg work…. As a new DJ went on, it would start at about 170 BPM, and gradually would increase during the DJ’s set.
All DJ’s did a wonderful job of seamlessly mixing the Hardcore songs, but there must not be that many Happy Hardcore songs out there, as several got played several times throughout the evening.
I have to say one thing about (HHC – Happy Hard Core), it’s Happy, and while on E, it’s really blissful, trancey and you just can’t help but keep a big fat smile on your face. Oh Yea!! people here also use pacifiers :-) Tee hee!
As the evening wore on, I really stepped up my energy, as I usually do, to the amazement of my Aussie friends. They just don’t get used to seeing an older person having so much fun.
Later on, I met this other older person, perhaps in his upper 30′s, and he thought that HE was the oldest until he met me.
This rave was to end at 10 am (WOW!! 14 hours of continuous dancing) – Now we’re talking.. a REAL RAVE…. Tee hee!!
At one time, someone said, lets go up and dance on stage, but I was having a really trancey time where I was, Eventually, I grabbed him and pointed to the stage, and headed towards it.
People I passed, literally pulled me up there, but one of the staff told me to leave, as I left, others were ragging on the staff guy, saying “Bring this guy back up there!”, so headed back and danced the entire set until there was a break.
At that time the girl was behind the turntables, playing some insane hard acid trance with little or no breaks in the beat. I literally WENT OFF! and everyone hopped up on the dance floor. I’ve never seen so many smiles from so many people in one place.
I would estimate about 1500+ people attended, if you include about 100 or so hanging around outside.
At about 10 minutes before the party ended, I started walking along the side, pulling people up to the dance floor…. “C’mon you slackers, get up and dance – this is the last song!” Most people were too tired to get up and stand, let alone dancing. I even pulled up this one dude that ribbed me when I went to chill, earlier he said “Chilling already?” I said Yup! Gotta cool down… The heat and humidity rivaled Friends and Family, but climate here is awfully hot and humid to my standards anyway.
Then, towards the end, I saw him sitting down, so I grabbed him and said “Lets go… slacker! time to get up and dance yo ass off!” He shook his head in bewilderment, as I had been up there solid for more than an hour, but couldn’t possibly even think of not dancing to this insane acid trance.
He finally got up, and several more complied, and I think I got about 15 – 20 more people up and dancing towards the end. Everyone really dug it… Towards the end, this young girl came up to me and said “Aren’t you tired?” I said “I don’t know the meaning of ‘tired’”.
At one point, about an hour before the rave was to end, someone was suffering from an overdose, and mentioned that he had mixed speed with acid.
Unfortunately, speed is used here, all too often, probably because of the high cost of A and E.
When the rave finally did end, the music stopped and everyone cheered the DJ,. and the promoter came up and announced the names of the DJ’s.
Finally, one more song was played, and yup! You guessed it, it was that HHC (Happy Hard core) song that was played earlier.
As people were filing out, many were coming up to me, asking where I was from….. I told them that I was from SF, and many asked how long I’ve been raving…. I said… I’m from Old School!! WOW! I haven’t seen or experienced such great respect and appreciation for me being there grooving with these fine people.
More next time…