We hear it all the time: old school vs. new school. People are always unsatisfied with new people entering their communities or taking over their stomping grounds and they always have something to say about it. With the EDM industry growing exponentially, it’s easy to see where people are frustrated with the underground culture becoming mainstream. A lot of the arguments center around how the community was once a safe haven for “freaks and geeks” or people who didn’t quite fit the mold of the “cool” kid and now those cool kids or “bros and hoes” have taken over as EDM has become mainstream.
People argue about everything from what “real” rave fashion is to what version of PLUR is correct and after everything is said and done, it’s still just unnecessary noise. “Jaded” old school ravers reminisce on the days when raves were held in abandoned warehouses, veterans complain that the vibes just aren’t the same, and new school ravers are bashing on traditions. Many think PLUR is dying with all the new additions to the rave family. I’ve even seen someone who claimed to be an old school raver argue that it was definitely PLURR, not PLUR and that we clearly were not “true” ravers because we didn’t include that holy second R which stands for responsibility.
How you like to dress at a festival and what version of PLUR you live by is all irrelevant. In a community that is supposed to be accepting and united, it’s sad to see so many negative comments and jabs at others who are simply different. The reason why it may seem like PLUR is dying is because we’re sitting here arguing about what PLUR is and whether it’s cool or not instead of actually living the mantra we preach and teaching newcomers about it.
Shouldn’t it be a good thing that people have grown to love dance music? If ravers think their community should be exclusive to people who don’t fit the mold of the popular kid, you’re a hypocrite and you’re sadly mistaken. This community should be a place where all kinds of people are accepted with no exceptions whether you’re popular, nerdy, weird, or all of the above. People can’t simply claim a community as theirs especially because ravers found this a safe haven where they were accepted by everyone. Those same ravers can’t then exclude people because those people are different than their usual crew.
Just because the underground was where the community has built itself, it doesn’t mean that it can’t thrive above ground as well. Old school ravers, change isn’t always a bad thing and if you don’t particularly appreciate something being unPLUR about it doesn’t make you look good. Rather you should be showing the new kids what you were taught when you were a newbie yourself. And new school ravers, this community comes with a lot of history and traditions. You should always respect that and at the very least try to learn about it and appreciate instead of casting it aside. I’m not saying you have to fully embrace things like kandi culture and make intricate cuffs if it’s not your style, but don’t bash on it either. That’s just rude.
At the end of the day, no matter what group of people you identify with, this community should be the accepting community it claims to be. If a newcomer doesn’t understand PLUR culture, show them what it is all about. To be honest, I think it’s sad that a concept like PLUR even has to be taught. It should be how we all conduct ourselves naturally whether you’re rocking phat pants, booty shorts, or normal everyday wear. We should really take the time to get to know one another before passing judgement on each other. No more Mean Girls-like segregation of people, this is a new era where we should all enjoy the music we love together with no attitude problems or qualms about how long we’ve been raving or what we’re wearing.
Associate Brand Manager of iHeartRaves.com & Editor in Chief of Studio 240. If you're interested in writing for Studio 240 shoot me an email at Angela@iheartraves.com!