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Sub Culture Part 1 – Raver

Sub Culture

Defn/ A network of behaviour, beliefs and attitudes existing within and different from a larger culture.


Pt 1 – Raver

The accepted norms of society continue along as they have since time began. This is when people reject the hypocrisy of society, and as a bumper sticker I read recently said, ‘Don’t be normal – Be yourself’ It is very true and shows exactly what masks people put on to fit in with society. You have got many different sub-cultures nowadays, cults, sects, gangs, but one that seems to be so secretive, unless you’re on the inside, is the ravers.


Recently I have come to accept the ravers ideology of (and many hardcore ravers will certainly disagree with a novice such as I) ‘fun for all’ and a dance style all of their own, actually there is no dance style, that what is makes it unique, every individual moves their body however they like.


In order for a raver to be termed as such they firstly need to attend a rave. So what is a rave? It is usually a very large place, intentionally deceptive to the eye, where shapes all blend. Lighting is a key factor – lasers, intelligent lights, spirals, colours – all the ingredients – the more the better. The next step is music – LOUD, a hardcore dance beat, non stop, very few lyrics and this is also deceptive, but this time to the ear. The tempo changes often and has some sounds that defy description. They all seem to blend into one long song. The next feature of the rave is the length. It may begin anywhere from 8 PM till midnight and run for up to 24 hours non stop.


These places trick even the most sober eye, but along with this culture comes the D word; Drugs and lots of them with anything from grass to cocaine with the favourite being E (x) and trips (Acid). These in combination can make it an unbelievable reality for 12 – 24 hours where the universe seems to be at one. With 2 – 5 thousand people sometimes in a warehouse, big tent or even outside – dancing to the music staring at the lights, mesmerised, hardly a word spoken by anyone inside the rave. Outside or in a different part is usually a chill-out room where people go to rest and sit down with friends, often with weird movies shot directly onto a wall or just shapes with a music all of its own, but in the same tradition of the hardcore techno. The location for raves never repeat themselves, either being in the city (Sydney) in any place bigger enough such as a basement carpark, disused warehouse or the Sydney showgrounds (now illegal) or the other type is the trip. These are the extremely secretive ones held on farm properties 1-2 hours drive from Darlinghurst the heart of rave culture, with maps being rare and directions only obtainable on a 0055 number – If you know the number.


These raves are not cheap, anywhere from $15-$40 with around $25- $30 being common. The types of people you see at raves is not typical, but some common characteristics come through. Straight baggy pants that go straight from the waist (no bend in the bum) straight to cover the blue or black sneakers. The tops are long sleeve T Shirts any colours or all colours, usually with a simple picture or letter or word that doesn’t really mean anything to most, like a big ‘e’ (ecstasy) or a word like ‘cyber’ or just about anything, but there is no strict rave uniform. People just being themselves wearing whatever the fuck they want. The true hardcore ravers can go up to 4 raves a week, but the big night is Saturday through to Sunday night.


But how does one get the knowledge of the raves? That too is half the fun. Trying to get the right phone number, then getting tickets with no address on them then then find a map in one of the shops/clubs/pubs around Darlinghurst, or ring the 0055 for instructions on how to find the place to get the map. Often the raves are advertised in inner city newspapers, but do not print and address or phone numbers, so only the people in the know may go and word of mouth is the only way to get to one. Ravers may only pass on the secrets to people they thing worthy, so no cops may attend and stop our little gathering.


Are raves illegal? Who knows? Only the organisers I’m sure, but they must be because 1,2,3 or more may take place on the same night, and if the cops know about it, they must not worry, and rightly so, we are not hurting anyone, just enjoying life. Until the next time..



written 1992

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