When Ravers Grow Up, What Then?

When I think of my youth I reflect fondly upon hours spent in my car with my best friends trying to find a rave.  There was nothing like the rush I felt as we neared the venue, rolled down our windows and listened intently for the thump of the bass. “Is this it?” one of us would ask as we faintly heard the sound of the forest’s heart beat. We would continue to drive cautiously in to the timberland until there was no doubt in our mind that we had arrived. We would watch in awe as lasers shot on to the old-growth Sitka Trees, and scour the roads edges for a spot just big enough to squeeze my mom’s White Toyota Corolla in to.

But now, experiences like these do not exist. Working 7 days a week and finally referring to myself as a “Grown Up”, I find it hard to find time to relish in, what’s left of, my youth. However, in this moment, I make a commitment to you the reader, and myself, that I will attend at least one Music Festival a year.

So, what is the difference between a Rave and a Festival? I’m honestly not quite sure. Growing up Raves were underground, where people waited for info lines to be active or attempted to find pit stops where some poor soul stood in the rain waiting to give you directions to the next check point; where young people came to worship music played on Vinyl records mixed together by DJs on turntables. Where people from different towns congregated in one spiritual awakening deep in the depths of Vancouver Island’s forests. But now, the buzzword is “Music Festival” where the stigma of hard-core drug use and “Candy Kids” no longer exists. Instead the young and old gather together to listen to different types of music like Indie, Rock, and Electronic. Instead of seeing kids dressed in Phat Pants and beaded bracelets you expect to see young people dressed in Halloween costumes with braded headbands throwing peace signs at cameras. It’s almost a throw back to the ‘70s with belly tops and bright colours yet bell-bottoms have been replaced by fun fur leg warmers.

As it stands, it seems that saying I am going to a Music Festival is a more socially acceptable and age appropriate way for me to say that I plan on “Raving it up” with a bunch of old friends as well as new. This summer I plan on attending Tall Tree Music Festival as well as Bass Coast. I wonder if my knees will hold out….

Submitted by Kalisi – Canada

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