is one of Europe’s biggest entertainment industries. Long ago
it was considerd to be alternative music
are now mainstream
tracks regularly make their way into the European music charts. It’s safe to say that the rave scene is now part of the mass market
When any industry sector grows, economies of scale create opportunities for big corporations. As raving becomes a more popular pass-time, its warehouse origins become less acceptable. The consumer demands rave products that fit into his or her lifestyle. Rave must therefore be sold in handy bite-sized chunks.
One of the reasons for the success of the rave industry is its amazing profitability. Traditional clubs make their money through the sale of alcohol and door charges. A well-managed rave can make money through the untaxed sale of drugs. It’s not unusual for London clubbers to part with between £50 and £80 on a single night ($80 to $120).
In most large clubs the management will ‘employ’ a handful of freelance dealers who are permitted to sell inside the club. Management charges the dealers for right to trade – usually between 30% and 90% of their profits. A large London club can generate about £3000 (aprox $4500) of revenue per dealer per night.
The profitability depends on having good bouncers. Most clubs have a team of security men and informers who are there to protect the dealers and get rid of the unauthorised ones. Anybody selling without paying their dues has their stash confiscated, and is booted out of the club – usually with a painful physical warning.
The bouncers are also there to prevent customers from bringing in their own ‘untaxed’ drugs. Any drugs confiscated from customers or dealers are re-sold through the club's own official dealers.
There are many things a club owner can do to increase profitability: Clubs are deliberately kept hot. This is to keep dancers thirsty. Thirsty clubbers will buy drinks whatever the price! While many clubs make use of “Chill Out” rooms, these days many don’t bother - They tend not to be good for profits, as chatting people tend to smoke their own weed rather than buy the club’s pills and drinks.
The most startling thing about the rave scene is how its customers have failed to detect the commercialisation of their hobby! Most ravers still seem to think of the organisers and promoters as if they were organising charity events, rather than the highly profitable businesses that they are. If clubbers realised how much money club owners are making, perhaps they would start demanding better value for money?