A distant projector slowly spins light swirls on the ground as the smell of urine wafts by occasionally. My heart is sinking as I write this. I am doing something that is both rare and slightly dangerous. I am at a rave. Solo. Again.
Alone. It's a strange feeling. More of a dissappointment really. Just about every rave I have been to, massive or not, I have almost always gone with friends. Despite the logistical nightmares, and constantly trying to meet up with people, raving for me has always been a social event.
But tonight, I am alone. My friend Geisha has lost her cell phone as I would find out later. I'm so dissapointed. I drove an hour to be here, to meet friends. And now they're nowhere. My friends are somewhere here, off having fun. But here is sit.
Get up you say. Get up...I know. It's more about attitude. But right now I'm sad that my friends are not here. Sad that I have to be part of this alone.
Flux pavillion is taking over...perhaps I can get my spirits higher. I meander forward to the outer left corner of the stage. The tent/stage is getting so hot that while cool air enters the front, the back of the tent literally looks like a sauna. Body steam pours out of the back like a fan was blowing it. Can't say it's not a little bit gross. I start moving inwards, making my way through the crowd. Eventually I'm in a decent spot – and Flux's “Bass Cannon” hits. You'd have thought the crowd just won a million bucks. Arms are waving like New Yorkers trying to get a taxi.
You know what, screw it. I LOVE Flux Pavillion – and I don't care about my friends, or lack thereof right now. I don't know what it is, but dubstep somehow taps into a primal place in my mind. I've pinched nerves, I've accidentally been elbowed, I've strained my calves. But dubstep will always have a special place in my heart. The power of the drop almost seems to be stronger than a trance buildup. It's been literally only ten minutes. Sweat flies off my shoulders and arms. I swear I'm perspiring faster than being inside of a sauna. Dubstep is simple. It plays. You respond. There's no two ways about it.
I stumble my way outside however. Far too hot in there. I walk around to cool down before heading back in. Then I realize I need money for gatorade.
I meander my way, still topless and dripping, to the ATM.
* * *
Three Great Suggestions for Raves
1 – Cell Phone Charger Stations with the charge pads. You know, the one like duracell makes. That would be amazing. Or even with universal chargers. That way people don't get lost or their cell phone doens't die!
2 – A live Twitter feed broacasted onto a screen to the DJ's. Like many live posts already done! This would be awesome – DJ's can message their fans, and the fans can communicate directly with them!
3 – Water sprays or small drop cannons on the edges of the stage. Never have to leave because it was too hot again!
* * *
I'm standing in line for the atm. Sometimes in life, you just have to wait.
* * *
Actually life has suddenly gotten better...my offhand comment about getting money has led a group of people to befriend me. Ah, ravers. We're such social animals. What's more, I think that the shared experience of powerful music, and the emotional rush really tends to bond people together. Turns out there's five of us...Phoenix, Sparkletts, Thumpa, and Genie, and myself. We meander over towards Crystal Castles's set. Somehow, though, Alice Glass' wailing voice does not sit will with us.
We make our way through the myriad mushroom-like groups of people sitting around the miniature lake, and find a spot for ourselves. Genie, like the crazy kid she is, decides to make friends with everyone that walks by, as well as the adjacent groups. Someone's had too much Red Bull!
* * *
Times like these make me happy to be a massage therapist in my other, non-raving life. I have Sparkletts in my lap, and slowly working on her head. Yes, it's sweaty, but I don't mind – her face and smile is worth it all.
Phoenix and Thumpa look over at me and give me the Bro Code nod of approval. Apparently they're thinking with their hormones. Not that I'm not – Sparkletts is very cute. I remember, an old friend telling me once, “Mystic, raves are not necessarily to hook up. Necessarily. They're about the experience.” I'm ambivalent to the experience actually. I'd rather have these people as friends at the moment. Of course, that could change.
In my own way, I'm finding out how to do a massage in this high-energy environment – but that's for another article.
* * *
We get up and dance again. Wolfgang Gartner! He throws down his Beethoven piece, but somehow it doesn't sound as good as it did at EDC. This rave however, seems to be more about making friends that it is about dancing to a particular DJ. Which is okay, just different. The rave experience...ah the joys.
A girl with a large camera walks by. She becomes my friend.
And across from us, paper-mache fish float by, supported by night-hidden bodies.
Beethoven booms away in the background. Bah, bah, bah, boooooooommm. I'm still dripping.
* * *
People shuffle onwards, tragically. It's 2:15 am. Time to go home. Unfortunately. Sparkletts has been awesome in offering to drive us to our respective cars. Raving is never long enough. Except at EDC. Interestingly enough, the major promotion companies are now doing 2 and 3 night events. This will, undoubtedly, change the scene here in LA.
Sparkletts drops me off across from my car. Traffic is so slow, but the eye candy still is good. Even at 2 in the morning, seeing fishnets and gogo fluffies makes me smile. God, I love raves.
* * *
It's now 330 am. I am crashing at my friends house. But before I sleep, I want to say how much the EDM world can be relied on for both generosity and friendliness. Turns out my friend, Geisha, lost her phone. It is times like these that restore my faith in humanity. The positivity in a so cal rave is unmatched. Twice now, I have gone solo and made really good friends. It's no longer something to be feared...but it is dangerous, going all by yourself. Until you meet people, you often feel very much alone. Raving is a team sport, not a solo competition.
- Jonny #33