The ultimate guide to raves

Key takeaways

  • A rave is a preplanned, organized dance party.
  • They specifically feature electronic music and a variety of lighting effects.
  • They are popular events due to their alternative nature, sense of community and interesting locations. 
  • A large part of rave culture is the fashion that goes with the events. 
  • The best tips for your outfit choice are to accessorize, wear clothes appropriate for the venue and bring earplugs to keep your ears safe. 
  • Remember to hydrate and keep yourself fresh with hygiene products. 
  • Raves are places filled with positive energy and no judgments. So make sure you go there with a positive mindset and an accepting attitude. 
  • The most important thing is to have fun!

There’s just something about raves, isn’t there?

The music, the venues, the atmosphere, the carefree attitude.

Everything just…works. 

They’re places where you can relax, unwind, be yourself and just dance the night (and sometimes the morning!) away. 

But for someone who’s never been to a rave before, the whole idea of getting into a crowded room with hundreds of other people can be pretty daunting. 

So, for all of your first-time ravers, or even just those of you who want to learn a bit more about raves, we’re going to give you a deep dive into everything you’ll need to know about this unique form of nightlife – so that you can have the best time possible. 

So let’s get started.

What is a rave?

While we’re sure most of you have a decent idea of what a rave is, they sometimes get mixed up with other forms of nightlife like club nights, parties, discos, or other events where there’s music and dancing. 

So let’s clear up any confusion and dive into exactly what a rave is. 

A rave is a dance party that is a preplanned and organized event. It specifically features electronic music and a variety of lighting effects, normally in the form of a light show. 

The music at raves will typically be repetitive, upbeat and easy to dance to, and will often include what’s known as a “drop” – which is the point in a music track where there’s a sudden change of rhythm after a buildup.

What are the origins of raves?

The origins of raves can be traced back to the late 1980s techno and house scene in London, England. 

But by the 1990s they had spread all throughout mainland Europe and had even made their way to the US. 

Originally, raves were a secretive, underground scene that was organized by promoters who would advertise them via flyers or just through word of mouth. Raves were commonly held as an illegal activity in large, abandoned warehouses or underground clubs. 

Throughout the 2000s, it was common for large illegal raves to be raided by law enforcement as public scrutiny of these large-scale parties increased. This ended up having the opposite desired effect as the taboo nature of the underground scene only led more and more people to join in and attend. 

Raves were often synonymous with the use of illegal drugs, which led to even more public scrutiny and further trouble with the police. 

In modern times, raves have become far more mainstream, with major events being held in cities all around the world; some are even held in large commercial stadiums. 

However, although raves are a lot more common now, they still tend to have an air of mystery. Many events require a secret password to enter, and a lot are still held in underground clubs or warehouses (but legally this time!).

Why are raves popular?

At this point, you might be thinking “So what are raves like? And why are they so popular?” 

Well, there are a number of different reasons why raves are still so popular, especially with the younger generations. 

One of the main reasons is that they are thought of as safe, welcoming and friendly spaces where people can go to let their hair down and have fun without fear of being judged. There is a strong community vibe among ravers. With a large focus on acceptance, inclusivity, and appreciation, raves can appeal to a wide range of people looking for somewhere to make friends and have a sense of belonging. 

A rave is a place where people can let out all of their built-up tension and stress, dance freely and party until the early hours of the morning. 

They’re also a great place to spot up-and-coming music acts like producers or DJs, as well as enjoy alternative music that you won’t normally find in most bars or clubs. 

You can also attribute their popularity to the fact that they are often held in interesting and exciting locations – whether that’s a beach, an abandoned warehouse, an underground club or even a forest. 

These wild and wonderful locations really add to the overall experience and definitely make raves nights to remember.

Are raves dangerous?

Raves had built up a reputation of being a bit of a dangerous place to be. 

Although this was during the time where raves were synonymous with recreational drug use and large amounts of alcohol. 

As raves have become more and more mainstream, the danger has dwindled. 

Of course, like any large gatherings of people, there are the everyday dangers that can come along with that – such as overheating, petty theft or fights – but with a bit of a savvy attitude, you should be able to avoid most of these and simply enjoy your night.

What should you wear for a rave?

There is a huge rave fashion history that has seen every fashion trend there is. From the wild and whacky to the ultra-cool, modern trendsetters, raves have seen it all.

Of course, what you wear for a rave will depend on the type of event you’re attending and whether or not it has a theme. But here are some general guidelines that you can stick to if you’re left to your own devices:

Less is more

Raves are WARM. 

Hundreds of people all jammed into a space dancing? That’s going to hike up the temperature – which is why it’s a good idea to wear loose, baggy clothes that won’t make you overheat. 

Good examples are tank tops, crop tops, sports bras, tube tops, loose shirts, shorts, skirts, – basically anything that lets your body breathe. 


Ravers are well known for their ability to accessorize to the absolute max. 

So try out some fishnets, LED lights, face jewels, bracelets, sequins and glitter, rave harnesses, or even some glow-in-the-dark body paint. 

Just make sure that you think outside the box and find something that complements your outfit and makes you feel full of confidence. 

Keep your stuff safe

With your outfit full of all of your glitz and glamor, you’ll probably be wearing most of your valuables. But you’ll still want to keep things like your phone, wallet or purse, and keys safe – and that’s why it’s a great idea to take along a fanny pack to your rave. 

Any small bag that you can keep close to your person allows you to dance the night away without worrying about where your stuff is or whether or not somebody may try and pickpocket you. 

And the best part? Fanny packs come in a ton of different styles, so they’re an easy accessory to your rave outfit.


One of the best things about going to a rave is being fully enveloped by the beat of the music. 

But on the other hand, one of the worst things about going to a rave is the fact that your ears are going to be ringing for hours afterwards. 

Most live music events reach noise levels of between 100 and 120 decibels. However, CDC recommends maintaining noise levels below 70 decibels over a 24-hour period, or 75 decibels over an eight-hour period, to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. 

This means that if your rave is reaching 120 decibels, you’re exposing your ears to noise around 50 decibels over the recommended safety limit – and with noise-induced hearing loss a real possibility, you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking care of your ears while still enjoying your night. 

That’s why we recommend wearing noise-reducing earplugs such as Loop Experience

Loop earplugs allow you to take your world of sound into your own hands by giving you the ability to properly experience your music while also protecting yourself. 

Our Experience earplugs allow you to reduce noise levels by up to 18 decibels, with special filter technology that allows you to still hear sounds with perfect clarity. This means that you can fully immerse yourself in the beat of the music without having to sacrifice the health of your ears. 

And for those who pack light, Loop earplugs come in a handy small carry case that can easily slip into your pocket or bag, or even attach to your keychain.

Comfortable shoes

When you’re raving the night away, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your feet. 

And can you name a single thing worse than spending hours upon hours of time in uncomfortable shoes, with your heels covered in blisters?

We shudder just thinking about it. 

So ditch the high heels, bin the brogues and grab your comfiest, softest pair of shoes that you know you’ll be happy to spend the night in.

4 tips on how to prepare for a rave

If it’s your first time going to a rave, then you’ll want to get the low-down on it all. 

It’s an exciting experience, but you may feel a little bit overwhelmed, anxious, or nervous – and that is completely understandable.

So here’s some of our best tips on how to prepare for and best experience a rave: 

1. Know your triggers

Rave anxiety is a common thing. 

And if you’re someone who experiences any sort of social anxiety, panic attacks or agoraphobia, raves can be quite a daunting experience. 

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to go out and have a good time with your friends and experience your favorite music.

When you know you’re going to be entering a large, crowded and hot environment, you’ll want to make sure that you’re fully aware of your personal triggers and can spot the signs early – whether that’s you spotting them personally, or a friend who can keep an eye on you. 

By knowing and understanding your triggers, you can take steps to catch them early and take yourself out of any situation that may cause further stress.

2. Remember to keep yourself hydrated

We don’t want to sound like your parents nagging you to drink lots of water, but dehydration is one of the most common causes of medical emergencies at music festivals and raves. 

It may sound like an obvious tip, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the music that you may forget to satisfy your basic needs. 

A popular choice among ravers is a wearable hydration pack. These packs come in all sorts of colors and styles which makes them easy to accessorize with, and one pack should hold enough water to keep you going throughout the entire night – so you won’t have to carry around water bottles or buy overly expensive ones at the venue.

3. Bring hygiene products

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a sweaty crowd. 

As we mentioned earlier, raves get warm – especially if they’re indoor raves. 

Hundreds of people dancing in the same space are bound to get sweaty, but there’s just something about a rave that makes you sweat far more than you would expect. 

That means that good hygiene should be near the top of your rave essentials list. So make sure that you bring some basic hygiene products with you to stave off the stink. 

From deodorant to some handy baby wipes and hand sanitizer, you can make sure that even if everyone else is on the smelly side of things, you’ll be clean as a whistle.

4. Agree on a meeting spot

If you’re heading to a rave with your friends, chances are you’ll lose track of each other at some point in the night – and in a sea of people, it can be tricky to find each other again.

And when you’re in an environment that doesn’t have the best cell signal, you’ll want to do things the old-fashioned way. 

So it’s always a good idea to agree on and designate a meeting spot in case you all get split up. 

The best choice is something large and distinct, and easy to spot no matter where you are. 

So if you get lost, head to your meeting spot to avoid any mishaps.

What is rave etiquette?

While your primary focus at a rave should be to have a night to remember, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re acting in a way that is inclusive of everyone’s needs.

So what is and isn’t appropriate or acceptable at a rave? 

Here’s a short list of four classic dos and don’ts of rave etiquette:

1. Support the early DJ

Raves will often have a warm-up DJ who will play a set before the main event. These DJs often have a tough job and play to a much smaller crowd – so there’s often a feeling of being underappreciated. 

So grab your friends, go front row, and have some early fun to support the warm-up act.

2. Never leave a friend behind

If you’re going to a rave with a group of friends, make sure that everyone is included at all times. 

As we mentioned earlier, some people can be a bit nervous when they’re in a large group of people or in loud environments. So make sure you keep a close eye on your people and make sure they’re being included and having a nice time.

3. Put out positive energy

Does anyone like a grumpy raver?

Raves are places where people go to let loose and have fun. That means there’s just no space for any moody or negative behavior. 

But of course we can’t help how we feel. If you’re not feeling in a good space while you’re at the rave, that’s absolutely fine. But just try to make sure that you’re not passing that energy on to anyone who is simply there to have a good time.

Earplugs for Raving

4. Leave your judgments at the door

People often go to raves to completely let loose, throw their troubles away, and be at one with themselves. 

This unloading of stress and negativity can often result in some pretty wild and wicked dancing, singing or forms of movement. 

So no matter how strange you may find another person’s actions, don’t make any visible judgments. Simply enjoy yourself and let other people enjoy themselves too.

Rave the night away

What are raves if not places to let loose and have fun?

But it’s important to make sure that you’re not sacrificing the health of your ears while you’re having fun. 

Loop Experience allows you to live in the moment while also keeping your ears safe in high-volume environments like concerts or raves. 

These earplugs provide up to 18 decibels of noise reduction while filtering sound equally across all frequencies. So you can fully experience the beat of the music while also making sure you don’t suffer any long-lasting negative effects. 

So have fun, go wild, enjoy yourself – just be smart and protect your ears. 

Browse our selection today and experience life at your own volume.

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