Raves are becoming popular events for younger generations to attend, but the activities and deaths that have occurred at these festivals are leaving people wondering why others go in the first place.
Over the past 5 years the “rave scene” has become a common and deadly one. College students, high school seniors, anyone who is over the age of 18 has access to this world that not many adults quite understand.
One of the most common raves attended by people in the Northwest is Paradiso. Entertainers come from all over the world to perform at The Gorge Amphitheater. Decorative sets and an electric environment create an energized, bass filled setting for attendees to enjoy.
Kyle Bender, 19, has attended Paradiso as well as many other festivals across the Northwest such as Snow Globe, Resolution and Lucky.
For some, this experience ended in tragedy with the death of a loved one. The use of drugs at these festivals is excessive. Molly, magic mushrooms, and LSD are a few of the drugs used at festivals. If you do not hydrate and prepare physically and mentally correct for the consumption of certain drugs, it could be fatal.
According to an article in Emerald City EDM, “A 22 year old Portland man and a 22 year old Canadian man passed away after attending Paradiso 2015. The cause of death has not yet been released in either case, but multiple news outlets are reporting that a combination of heat and drug use may have played a factor”.
“I don’t understand why raves get such bad raps, its certain individuals who do not understand what they are doing that usually put the bad name on these festivals” said Bender. “I have been to a lot of these things and have never once had a problem myself”.
Rave environments are supposed to take you away from reality and take you into a dream-like world where everything is good. The consumption of these drugs is the factor that gets you into that dream world.
Performers put on laser-light shows to create appealing visuals, while other rave-goers are using light up gloves for up close performances to show off their tricks. The bass in the music creates energy inside of you that you can only get out by dancing.
Bender also gave his opinion on the environment at these festivals saying, “The people and the energy is what I go for”. “You will never experience anything like it, people live out the PLUR lifestyle and it truly feels like nothing bad will ever happen there”.
The “PLUR” lifestyle means peace, love, unity, respect and is the way of life that most rave attendees live by. It is to help insure that the environment feels safe while people may be under the influence of these drugs.
“People need to be aware of what they are putting into their bodies and what it is going to do to them, that is the problem that people are having, they aren’t aware”, said Bender.
The rave scene may still be controversial to most still, however we should not be looking down on people who attend these events just because of the small amount of tragedies we have heard of.
*Photo taken by Winter Spencer right outside Schweitzer Mountain Resort