It is no secret that since the beginning of their existence raves have always been surrounded by negative connotations and stereotypes. The general public constantly receives news about how many people have died or the drug problem that raves cause. However there is more to raves than what people initially believe, raves are about more than just the prejudice that surrounds them.
It can’t be ignored that sometimes bad things do happen at raves, but the focus is turned to this instead of what raves are truly meant to be.
“People are united by a common love for music and awesomeness, in which all other differences and issues are left behind,” said Richard Ositashvili, a regular rave attender.
Raves are a very inclusive place and anyone can feel free to just be themselves. People wear crazy outfits and dance however they want to at raves because they know that no one cares. It is a judgement free environment, something that is rarely provided to people today.
Raves bring people together in a way that feels closer than other events,
“It’s in that moment, in that pure moment of euphoria and energy and good vibes is when you see these strangers around you as family, as brothers and sisters,” said Arshia Moini, the founder the rave company, OTT Ravers.
A regular rave attender, Kristen Pulles shares what she loves about raves.
Of course the problems can’t be ignored, “There is irresponsible drug consumption that gets out of control,” said Ositashvili. But it is important to remember that raves are not about drugs, they are about bringing people together to enjoy the music they love.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has been increasing in popularity over the years and now is not just listened to at raves, but also in mainstream music. A lot of people think that EDM music is just beats, and don’t appreciate the art that goes into creating it. A local Ottawa DJ, Logan Gibbs said he loves to share his music with his audiences, “I use it as a way to stay free, uplifted, carefree, and away from society.”
Even rave attenders who don’t create music understand that there is something special about EDM. Moini explained how he can feel the beats from the music connecting with his heartbeat. He enjoys the music because there are less words, “Even if you don’t know the language you still hear the music in the person’s voice.” Moini explained how he feels connected to this genre of music as opposed to others,
“I feel like my soul is coming alive. I feel one with that music in that moment, it is me and that music and that’s all that exists because it connects so deeply.”
Because EDM Music is the genre that is played at raves the negative stereotypes are applied to it as well. People don’t often appreciate the genre, or already have pre conceived notions about it before even listening to it.
But with its rising popularity, it is important to look past the stereotypes and appreciate “How it brings people together” said Gibbs.
With rave culture on the rise, Ottawa is now home to a local rave company, OTT Ravers. OTT Ravers not only promotes rave culture across the city, they are also trying to teach people the positive side that raves can have.
OTT Ravers was started in July 2015 by two Carleton students, Arshia Moini and Mc Abbas El-Radi. The two met at Ilesoniq Music Festival early that July when OTT Ravers was only an Instagram Page. El-Radi had started going to raves and would hold up signs and talk to people about his idea for OTT Ravers, “He was such a happy character, whenever he talked to people they would feel welcome and feel comfortable around him, and I guess he saw the same thing in me,” said Moini.
So together they started up the company and it quickly grew from there. They created a Facebook page and a Snapchat account, and many people became aware of the community they were trying to build. Soon after, they hired more people and then connected with promoting companies in Ottawa.
OTT Ravers were selling tickets to events happening in the city, and soon after even hosted events of their own. They exclusively sold tickets to events happening at the after-hours club, BMP, in Gatinaeu, Que. They also hosted their own rave, Rapture, which was a very big step for the company.
“Everybody wanted to be alive in the community, everybody wanted to be a part of it,” said Moini. They spread good vibes across the city and people appreciated this and wanted to join in. OTT Ravers helped show Ottawa the other side of raves.
Unfortunately in September 2016 El-Radi passed away in a car accident, so Moini is now the sole operator of the company. However his motto of “Good Vibes Only,” will be remembered and spread to others through the company he created.
Raves aren’t just a place for people to do drugs, they are a place for people to discover themselves and be free. OTT Ravers is still trying to promote this message today, and as rave culture becomes more popular it will only be more important for people to break the stereotypes they have about them.