History of the Rave

If you’re a nerd-by-day and raver-by-night, like me and several of my friends, you’ll enjoy learning the history of the rave, PLUR, and other things involved. I read a few things a few weeks back, but I decided to look more into it to share with you.
Most everything about the rave scene, especially in America, is unclear because of the illegal nature of raves and the rapid growth of them, so take this all with a grain of salt. Anyway, it’s not about how the scene began, it’s where it’s going.

If you want something more effective, you might want to checkout the timeline, beginning in 1987, of the history of the Old Skool, Rave, and Acid House scene: http://www.fantazia.org.uk/Scene/timeline.htm

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed researching it. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please let me know!


The History of PLUR
The term PLUR was coined by DJ Frankie Bones in a response to a fight that broke out while he was mixing at a show. He stopped to say “If you don’t start showing some peace, love, and unity, I’ll break your fucking faces.” It is unclear to the truth of this story, however, it is clear that “respect” was the last to be added to the acronym.

Although this is the favored origin of PLUR, there are many other ideas such as the following:
Posted by Laura on http://www.glowsticking.com/
“Lots of people in the New York area, Frankie Bones included, were saying “peace / love / unity” all the time in 1992-1993. In about May of 1993, Brian Behlendorf came out to visit the East Coast from San Francisco. He brought along a bunch of literature, including Geoff White’s booklet, “Cybertribe Rising.” In it was an essay — by Geoff I believe — about the “4 Pillars of the House Community.” One of those pillars was “respect,” which I had never heard uttered in combination with “peace / love / unity” on the East Coast. Sure, I’d seen “respect” on it’s own, especially on flyers where people would give “shout outs” to people who helped put on a party, but it was not really prominent. So in very early June, 1993, Brian and I were at a renegade party held at RFK stadium’s parking lot in Washington DC, and we started talking about the spirits and feelings behind raving. I said something about “peace / love / unity” and Brian immediately added “and don’t forget respect.” From there it hit me that a lot of people would say “peace / love / unity” and not mention respect. So, I went and wrote the essay you have at
http://www.hyperreal.com/raves/spirit/plur/PLUR.html. When I wrote it, though, I didn’t have the acronym “PLUR” attached to it. I wrote the essay and posted it to ne-raves, in early June of 1993. Very shortly thereafter, one ne-raver, Rishad Quazi (who now lives in SF), signed an e-mail to the list with “PLUR.” It caught on like wildfire, and Rishad’s encapsulation is now in extremely common use.”

How did the scene hit Brooklyn?
Brooklyn is probably the area of New York with the most, and the best, raves, both illegal underground and legal venues.
From: http://www.glowsticking.com/
“Frankie Bones, a New York native, was one of the US DJs that was spinning in England. When he saw that the scene was moving into America, he wanted to bring it to his hometown of Brooklyn. He started a series of parties called Stormrave in early 1992. The parties started out small, 50-100 kids, and Frankie resorted to projecting videos of the massive raves in England to show kids what it was all about. It was during this period of Stormraves that many DJs made their debuts. Now household names among ravers, Sven Vath, Doc Martin, Keoki, Josh Wink and many others began their careers at Frankie’s Stormraves. It was in December of 1992 that the rave scene started growing. Frankie held a party at an abandoned loading dock in Queens that drew over 5,000 kids from New York and neighboring states. According to rave myth, this was when Frankie made his speech about peace, love, unity, and respect, which were to become PLUR, the foundation of the American rave scene.”
The Anti-Rave Act
Partially ending the beauty of the rave… many people say it’s when the scene died.
Edited from: http://www.drugpolicy.org/communities/raveact/legislative/

“The RAVE Act was first introduced in the Senate in June 2002. (A House version was subsequently introduced in October). Senate supporters put the bill on a fast track. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee a little over a week after it was introduced, without a public hearing or recorded vote, and was expected to quickly pass the full Senate. The potential impact of the legislation on free speech, public health, and innocent business owners sparked tremendous concern among a broad-range of groups, including the Drug Policy Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union, American Hotel & Lodging Association, American Beverage Licensees, and Rock the Vote.  It also spurred thousands of electronic music fans across the country to organize and engage in political action. 

The RAVE Act quickly became a topic of concern on e-mail lists, bulletin boards, and web sites across the country.  National organizations aggressively lobbied Congress to oppose the RAVE Act or improve some of its most objectionable parts. Tens of thousands of voters called or faxed their Members of Congress urging them to oppose the legislation.  Buzzlife Productions, a major promotion company for electronic music events, submitted petitions to Congress with over 20,000 signatures in opposition to the bill.

Ultimately, two of the original co-sponsors of the legislation took the rare step of withdrawing themselves as co-sponsors (including the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee), citing concerns that the bill lacked adequate protection for free speech and innocent property owners and might make event-goers less safe. With co-sponsors dropping off the bill, Senate leadership never brought it up for a full Senate vote. The House Subcommittee on Crime held a hearing on the bill but decided not to vote on it. Both the House and Senate version of the RAVE Act died when the 107th Congress adjourned at the end of 2002.

In early 2003 Senate supporters re-introduced the RAVE Act under a new name (the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act). The new bill did not contain a controversial “findings” section included in the 2002 bill that essentially declared glowsticks and bottled water drug paraphernalia and made it clear the legislation was targeting raves and other electronic music events. The substantive (and statutory) part of the bill remained the same as the previous year’s version. A bill identical to the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act was introduced in the House under the old name RAVE Act.

As opposition to the legislation grew inside and outside of Congress, supporters chose to bypass the traditional democratic process and attach it at the last minute to an unrelated bill without debate or a vote of Congress.  Different versions of that bill, a child abduction bill officially known as the PROTECT Act (but generally referred to as the “Amber Alert” bill), had previously passed both the House and Senate. Congress appointed a conference committee of seven Representatives and seven Senators to iron out the differences in the two versions. During this conference supporters of the RAVE Act slipped it into the “Amber Alert” bill.  The final “Amber” bill was then sent to every Member of Congress for a final straight-up or straight-down vote.  Even those that opposed the RAVE Act had to vote for the final “Amber” bill because they wanted to enact the provisions preventing child abductions.

At most only fourteen Members of Congress voted to enact the RAVE Act. 521 Members of Congress – representing almost 260 million Americans – were excluded from voting for or against the RAVE Act as a stand-alone bill. Both the enactment of the law and the manner in which it passed has sparked intense opposition. Since its enactment protests against the new law have been held in cities around the country, including Washington, DC where a free concert and protest was held in front of the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 6th . The event, featuring such internationally known artists as Junior Vasquez  (a producer for Madonna), attracted two thousand voters and electronic music fans.

Not even a month after the RAVE Act had become law, a federal agent in Montana used it to shut down a benefit to raise money for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The DEA agent told managers of the Eagle Lodge in Billings, Montana that the Lodge could be fined $250,000 if anyone smoked marijuana during a planned benefit to raise money for a campaign to pass a medical marijuana law in Montana. The Eagle Lodge canceled the event.

After negative press and public criticism over the incident (including criticism from some Members of Congress), the DEA issued internal guidelines that the agency argues will protect civil liberties. The guidelines, which have not been made public, do not have the force of law and provide no real legal protection. Opponents of the law are working to repeal the RAVE Act or amend it to better protect free speech, public safety, and innocent property owners.”



About Emilie

A new NYC raver just getting into the scene.
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One Response to History of the Rave

  1. Liz tsraver says:

    Very interesting! I experienced that early 90’s rave era in nyc! Miss it!

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