If you’ve been in the rave scene long enough, there is no doubt that you have heard a joke or two about the notorious Wook. You may have heard how a show was just filled with a bunch of wooks or how someone “wooked out” at the latest festival, but you might wonder what actually IS a wook?
The term “wook” came into the rave scene several years ago and, since its first arrival, the term has changed a bit in its definition since its origin. It's almost always used to describe someone in a derogatory way, but that title usually comes after someone has done something to offend someone in the rave scene.
A wook is essentially a mooch and has low levels of grooming and hygiene. Wooks are rarely spotted traveling alone, as they often come in pairs or even small packs. They can almost always be found wearing a pashmina or a hat covered in pins and you may even return to your campsite to find a wook or two lying in your pile of Squishmallows helping themselves to your stash of White Claws. The wookiest of wooks generally listen to experimental dubstep, but it has been reported that they have been seen at other genres of bass music, whether they intentionally mean to be there or not.
Mostly, a wook is just someone who manages to show up at a festival despite never seeming to have enough money to do anything. They can have a certain look to them in the clothing they wear or the way they style themselves, but it's usually the most bohemian, laidback you could imagine. Maybe they're also into crystals or take on some other form of cultural appropriation, or maybe they're the ones you always find chilling in a hammock at the back of the dance floor at a festival. There are lots of ways to apply this term, but everyone in the rave scene seems to have their own experience with someone they would describe as a wook.
When asked how they would describe a wook, my fellow ravers responded as follows:
“Someone who thinks they have something you want in exchange for something they want. (They) don’t give a (shoot) where they are at the end of the weekend.”
“Someone who is a very great individual.” This person said sarcastically. “Very liberal in the fashion scene. The most important thing about a wook is that they’re always trying to pull a fast one on you.”
“Someone (who has) dedicated themselves (to) the nomadic festival life and has a tendency to like psychedelic bass music.”
“Someone who doesn’t wear deodorant in the crowd and will take drugs from anyone.”
And, in my opinion, the most eloquent way to describe a wook:
“A hippie without necessarily having the politics of anti-war, anti-sexism, anti-racism, etc.”
Though some people may self-proclaim themselves to be a wook as a kind of joke, to be called a wook is not the most enduring of terms. To avoid stooping to this level of raver, please, remember to always take a shower, wear deodorant, and come to the festival well prepared for the weekend.
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