• Adam Anderson

Illegal Raves - Better than Clubs?


Illegal Rave
Warehouse Rave - Credit: Alexander Popov, Unsplash

Last Summer, we saw raves on the news. You know, those ones.


Parties in the woods, hundreds of pissed teenagers, a make-shift DJ booth, then the police kicked everyone’s head in.


Whilst most of us were annoyed that this happened mid-lockdown (all us goody-two-shoes that stayed indoors), it also reminded us of what we were missing.


The height of Summer, and we were locked inside like naughty kids.


It just goes to show that human beings are hard-wired to party.


Think about it.


What’s the main thing we’re all looking forward to opening again?


Rhymes with ‘Grubs’, doesn’t it...


I don’t condone what happened. Not one bit.


But it did get me thinking.


Illegal raves, the ones I went to anyway, were damn fun before all this corona business - far better than those tacky nightclubs. There’s no alpha-dickheads looking to punch your teeth out, for a start.


(By the way, I’m talking about the contemporary, more down to earth raves. Not the romanticised 80’s glow-stick fests.)


Everyone’s on the same page. Wanting an ‘alternative’ night out away from the rest of the public.


There was one place I went a few times, only a couple of streets away from my uni-house. Some old, run down warehouse-come-office building. Here’s how it went…


Turn up.


Smile at the bouncers.


Hope they don’t smack you.


Pay a fiver.


Sign in.


Boom. Rave time.


(For reference, if you’re asked to sign in through a guest book at raves, it’s because they can then claim it’s a private party, with a ‘contribution’ fee, as opposed to an illegal business…)


Another great thing about raves is that, more often than not, it’s BYOB. There’s still a bar, of course, but you don’t need to use it.


At this place in particular, there was even an upstairs area – complete with rickety staircase and broken windows – where you could sit round on cushions with your own supplies, and chill to the music downstairs.


Like a speakeasy, if you will.


A grungy, run-down, disgusting speakeasy.


All grimness aside, it’s easy to understand why these things are so popular. I certainly get it.


Chilled out people, a laissez faire atmosphere, all wrapped up in a grunge aesthetic – what’s not to love?


And, if it takes your fancy, you can go fucking mental on the dancefloor next to hippies huffing nitrous balloons.


Once again, I’m not condoning…


When lockdown’s over, I’d recommend going to a rave. Just once. Maybe twice.


Even if it’s not your thing, at least you can say you did it. One to tick off the bucket list, and all that.


Just don’t be that dickhead who does it in lockdown…

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