"It's all about the Music!"


"It's not all about drugs!"

If you're into the rave scene, or know people who are, you've probably heard someone say one of these two things (or something equivalent) as a defense mechanism for their treasured rave scene.
My response to either of these arguments is that raves wouldn't be raves without ecstasy (MDMA) or acid (LSD) (or whatever drugs are popular in the rave circle at that time). Raves wouldn't have the widespread popularity that they do right now without drugs.
On the other hand, there are plenty of musical genres, or party scenes that can stand tall without leaning on the fans being altered in some way.
I'm against anything that can't be enjoyed without a drug.
True, raves can be enjoyable without drugs, that is if you pick out the right rave.
Many raves have simply become places for young people to go and trip or roll. While there are people who do go to raves "just for the music", they are a sad minority in the scene and can do little to change the gist of an entire genre. Also, many people who go primarily for the music also go to raves and do drugs, which in my opinion contradicts their love for the music.

Many musical genres have their own drugs (hip hop has pot and alcohol, grunge had heroin), however, rave music (whether it be techno, house, jungle, drum and bass, whatever) would have a hard time being successful without it's listeners drug use. Ecstasy plays an enormous roll (no pun intended) in many peoples taste for techno and electronica.

Don't get me wrong, I like going to a rave now and then.
Don't get me wrong, I like drugs (sometimes, not every weekend).

What really scares me is how commercialized the rave scene has gotten. Two years ago (hell, one year ago) the word "rave" wasn't a household term, but now everyone knows (or think that they know) everything about raves because they read about it in Time, or saw something about raves on 20/20 or Mtv.

There are even entire companies out there that just promote, finance and put together raves now. It is quickly becoming an over-comercialized scene, going from the pure die hard fans to something that all the kids talk about on Monday when they go back to school.

My prediction is that the rave scene will eventually (probably sooner rather than later, as I already see it happening) go the route of the punkers.
When punk began, it was loud, obnoxious and dirty. The people who made it were loud and dirty (and often obnoxious but funny). Now, punkers have the look, because they went to the punk style clothing store in the nearest mall and bought some torn jeans, a "Rancid" t-shirt, hair dye, gell, and some chains. The rave scene is quickly going this route, and it saddens me to see a fairly good thing go so bad.