A rave is a type of all night dance party, popular in many parts of the world. The term is taken from the Jamaican word for party, but true raves really didn’t begin until the 1980s. They may be legal or not, depending upon where the event is held, and while partying all night is usually not illegal, the activities associated with the parties may be.
For a time, some all-night parties were held in abandoned warehouses or places not zoned for a large number of people or party activities. These were often semi-spontaneous events, with announcement circulated by word of mouth. It should be noted that many raves are legally held, though the activities at them often cross into illegality when underage kids are served alcohol or when drug use is rampant.
Common to the early rave movement in many countries was the use of ecstasy, and while not everyone who attended used the drug, many did. Today’s parties, legal or not, are often marked by not only the use of ecstasy put also of other drugs like methamphetamines, cocaine, and hallucinogens. Concern also exists about the use of date rape drugs since, given the dark and loud atmosphere of most parties, it is fairly easy to spike a drink. There are therefore rules for attending raves to protect people's safety.
The rave party is rarely marked by violence, and as an outgrowth of the hippy movement and the acid subculture, it is more likely to emphasize acceptance of other people’s behavior, a shared love of electronic music, and a desire for fun. Ironically, the popularity of these parties and their acceptance in the general culture has led to more violent events than those previously existing in illegal ones.
Parents were certainly right to be concerned about their teens’ safety at raves since drug dealers often prowled them. Sometimes, parents organize safer dance parties for children, and parties that last through the night are common for high school prom or graduation events. Only graduating seniors are allowed to attend, and they are not allowed to leave during an event.
In both the US and Canada, these parties are more and more accepted, especially when they are conducted legally and supervised. It’s recommended that people only attend legal events and that they always go in a group.
For safety purposes, it’s a good idea for party-goers to mind any drinks they consume, and to have a buddy when they use the bathroom. Anyone who leaves a drink unattended should throw it out, and no one should accept a drink from anyone he or she does not know well. Individuals should never leave with someone they don’t know, and if friends plan to drink, they should designate a sober driver. They should also be sure to keep a cellphone handy and have an emergency contact if the designated driver doesn’t follow the rules.