By: Cassi Catsaros
Well, well, well, I see that some of you are back for more, if that is the case – then brace yourselves. For those of you who only just tuned in now, shall give you a quick rundown on what exactly I am doing to your brains on this fine day.
As an avid hardstyle listener, lover and un-stereotypical raver, I set out on a range of social experiments to bust the common misconceptions about “ravers” and the hardstyle scene as I am becoming quite tired of fellow civilians picking up the genre and squashing it into the pavement. My ultimate aim is to abolish these dim social “rules” claiming that certain genres of music classify you as more or less superior in social standing and also inform readers about this amazing scene that I am involved in. So for those of you who just tuned in, I recommend you go and read part 1 of this series – 4 Biggest “Raver” Myths Busted: Part 1: All Ravers Are “Feral”
I’m back, and I have definitely bought in some big guns. After the first edition of “Busting the most common misconceptions about ravers, part 1,” and the great response I received, I decided to chuck my lenses on and get down and analytical.
After engaging in some merely boring conversations with random people in nightclubs and doing my online research, I comprised this next myth that seemed to just find its way into conversation and onto the internet in various articles and online community discussions.
MYTH # 2: ALL RAVERS ARE DRUG ADDICTS.
This is more of a traditional statement, something that your mother’s and father’s will warn you about when you use their credit card to purchase Defqon 1 tickets. “But everybody dies at these raves because of drug overdoses.” Is that my mother said to me when I used her credit card to purchase tickets to my very first Defqon 1 in 2012. As much as I could convince and convince you all that no matter what musical genre you are interested in, drugs will inevitably be everywhere and there will always be somebody who ingests an impractical quantity and thus, dies. However, nothing better than some hard boiled evidence to crack your skulls.
For those of you who read my previous installment where I proved society wrong that “all ravers are feral,” you would have observed that I am quite the budding sociologist. There is nothing that I love more than taking it to the streets with a notepad and pen and engaging in a bit of social research. I mean, the literature provides only a certain amount of validity for these “special cases”, so I took matters into my own hands and encompassed a little experiment of my own.
I attended 4 clubs in the Sydney CBD area on a Saturday night in April 2014 in order to collate some useful data. I will not name the particular clubs that I conducted my observations in but just for your information, I do study statistics and research methodology at university, so if there’s any study done by me, I make sure that it is ethical and unobtrusive. Now that my research ethics have been laid down I will continue. I visited 4 nightclubs on a Saturday night that play music that ISN’T hardstyle and made sure that I was sober so that my drunk state did not skew any data. I walked around the clubs for 60 minutes each and observed bystanders who showed the following symptoms of being under the influence of illicit drugs:
– Uncontrollable jaw movements such as chewing and “gurning”
– Dilated pupils
– White substance underneath nostrils
– People sweating profusely and looking aggressive for no apparent reason
– Licking immobile objects (such as the pavement)
– Eyes retreating into the back of the eye socket
Amount of “suspected” individuals under the influence of illicit substances:
CLUB 1: 71 (1 person was lying on the floor eating pizza, I just thought that I should add this observation in)
CLUB 2: 59
CLUB 3: 48
CLUB 4: 112
Concerning this nightclub data, it is evident that drugs are an inevitable part of society and even in the Sydney nightclubs that do not inhabit hardstyle as a preferred genre of music, individual’s desire to experience altered states of consciousness will always be palpable and should not be categorised to a certain type of music, regardless of the BPM.
If you would like to further test this theory, go buy a ticket to a non-hardstyle music festival and do some observations for yourself. I tell you, playing spot the “gurner” is quite hilarious at big, commercial EDM festivals, smaller and more relaxed festivals and even at heavy metal gigs.
Wherever you go, whatever music is playing, there will always be people who take drugs and want to encounter the experience, there is no rulebook for parents on which events are “safe” and “drug-free” for their children and there is no magical bible of musical genres that says that everybody at raves is on drugs.
I could be wrong, but it is my theory that the media is more likely to advertise a drug overdose at a hardstyle rave rather than a commercial EDM festival, advertising raves as dangerous and an invitation to do drugs basically due to the high BPM and the so called “aggression”
associated with music that is so fast and energetic. Not wanting to go into too much depth of my own experiences, but the amount of times that I have attended a hardstyle event sober and simply for the music is ridiculously high and also I have many friends who can pledge to being sober at hardstyle events too. Being sober at a rave is no problem either, just like I can listen to hardstyle and dance around my room for hours on end I can also rock up to an event and do exactly that. With any genre of music that an individual is so passionate about, no drugs can account to the feeling when the DJ drops your absolute favourite song – this counts for hardstyle too.
The intense energy and pure euphoric vibes that hardstyle naturally delivers is one of that so superior to any artificial substances so it is no wander why we all dance like idiots – THE MUSIC IS TOO GOOD TO STAND STILL!
So now that I have deconstructed and knocked back these 2 lurking myths I feel that it is my duty to go on and keep doin’ my thang (AKA, being analytical and all…)
I suggest y’all stay tuned, as the best is yet to come…