I personally love seeing a new to the scene rave baby’s eyes light up as they walk into their first massive festival. It’s almost like experiencing it yourself a for the first time again. The massive crowds, the positive energy flowing around and the craziness and beauty that many stages are known for; it can be an amazing experience exposing someone new to this culture, but what about the people who simply don’t want to welcome the newbies?
We’ve all heard it before, “mainstream people are ruining the scene” or “newbies don’t get it cause they haven’t been here since the beginning”. Well I hate to break it to some people, but unless you’ve been raving since the 1980’s you haven’t been around since the beginning either. At one point or another we were all new to the scene. Think about how that felt. To be accepted no matter who you are, how you dress, or what you do in day to day life. It didn’t matter. So why wouldn’t you show baby ravers the same respect?
Irregardless of how they got to the festival whether they went willingly or were dragged by their friends, they’re there! So why not share some PLUR and good vibes. There’s nothing sadder to me than when I hear someone say “This is my first rave!” And the person they were talking to pointedly turns away. Instead of distancing yourself because you think they “don’t understand” show them! Trade them their first piece of Kandi, give them a light show, share the culture that you love so much. Some of my favorite memories at festivals involve coming across a newbie and showing them the ropes.
Pushing people away from the culture because they’re new is not what rave culture is about. Unity is one of the founding elements and I feel like that’s falling to the wayside nowadays. Don’t roll your eyes when someone doesn’t know how to trade kandi, teach them! If someone’s being a festival meanie and ruining the good vibes that’s one thing, but someone who’s genuinely there for a good time will be open to all these new ideas.
So next time you come across a rave baby, don’t be so quick to judge. Give them a hug, a shoulder ride, or their first piece of kandi and welcome them into the crazy world you keep coming back to. They’re just as free to enjoy it as you are.