Before this year, I had never been to anything that even resembled a “rave” (unless, of course, you count the EDM stage at Lollapalooza, in which case you don’t actually know what a rave is). However, being a music writer for 20something has led me to more than a few raves, and now I’m a full-fledged scenester (although, I guess I’ll have some points deducted for saying that out loud just now. Hey, I’m still learning.).
I recently attended BangOn!NYC’s Warehouse of Horrors, and it was literally the coolest party I’ve ever attended. BangOn! parties have a multitude of unique things to do, in addition to amazing music. However, all of the raves I’ve gone to in the past few months have made it clear that finding underground events is hard. Even harder? Finding the “cool” underground events.
Because honestly, a rave isn’t that cool if everyone knows about it. So, if you’re looking to step up (or even start working on) your rave game, here are a few ways you can!
Facebook’s peak may have come and gone, but if you dig deep enough through your extended relatives’ political posts and outdated memes, it can actually be a great place to find out about all types of events, including raves.
Obviously, if something is on Facebook, it’s not really underground, but you can definitely find some less known raves and concerts. Look for groups for different cities (like this one, for NYC), where people will promote events or sell tickets. You can also find Facebook pages devoted to informing people about all different types of parties and events, and the companies that produce these events also usually have Facebook pages!
(Bonus tip: most cities or states also have “rave community” twitter accounts where you can connect with other ravers and find out about events.)
Again, if something is published out in the open, it probably isn’t actually underground. But, there are plenty of blogs/magazines/websites that write about where to find smaller events and parties.
Time Out is a be a big fan of EDM and related music, and you can usually find some lower brow parties on their website. Another huge one is Resident Advisor. You can find underground events and underground artists’ music on the website, and you can usually buy tickets too!
For every rave you go to, there’s a behind the scenes that makes it happen. Whether it’s an event planning company, record label, or venue, someone put time and effort into the inception of the event. And, because of the burdens of capitalism, those people probably want you to buy tickets/show up, which means they usually advertise their events!
If you go to an event you love, follow the label/event company/artist on social media to keep updated on their parties in the future. (If you’re looking for a good one in NYC, BangOn!NYC does some of the coolest events I’ve ever been to!)
Word of mouth
Ah yes, human contact. If you don’t already know someone who’s into this scene, it can be super tough to do this one. In whatever city you live in, it’s pretty probable that the underground community is relatively small and pretty informed about what’s happening. Talk to people that like this scene and this music, and I’m sure they’ll either know where the party is, or who to talk to to find it.
Finding people who know about stuff is almost just as good as knowing stuff yourself! And if you don’t have any connections to the scene, start going to less underground shows and make connections! This is probably the most underground way to find the underground, so if you’re looking for true edgy uniqueness, this is your move.