Harlow D, Galloway G, Jesse R.
“Raves and Drug Use: An Exploratory Study”.
Botec Analysis. 1994.
This paper reports the findings of an exploratory ethnographic study of raves conducted from November 1993 through April 1994 in San Francisco and New York.
A "rave" is an all-night dance marathon attended primarily by young people. Raves, said to have originated in the "acid house" parties on the Spanish island of Ibiza, became popular in En,gland in the late 1980s anq have since spread throughout the world. Raves are now held throughout the United States and Europe as well as more exotic locales such as Thailand, India, and Indonesia.l No estimates of worldwide attendance exist, but Great Britain alone reportedly has more than one million weekly ravegoers.
The central activity at raves is dancing to "house" music; that is, continuous, extremely rapid-tempo electronic music, often accompanied by strobe and laser lights. Widespread use of drugs, particularly MDMA ("Ecstasy") and LSD, has also been reported.
Small raves may involve fewer than 200 people; the largest, tens of thousands. Originally, rave parties were ,"underground" and held at unofficial sites such as warehouses and open fields. Since then, raves have become increasingly open and integrated into the cultural mainstream. As reported in one San Francisco press account, "[Raves are] the largest outpouring of youth culture ... seen since the '60s. At the core of the rave is this experience: People take Ecstasy (or perhaps LSD or mushrooms or [page missing -- erowid]
What are the varieties and mechanics of raves? What are the variables that characterize raves at a gross level--number and timing of events, numbers of people attending, styles of music, and types of venues--and how do raves range over these variables?
2) What are the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of ravegoers? What are their behaviors and subjective experiences? What motivates their attendance at rates?
3) What drugs, if any, are used at raves, in what quantities and frequency, and with what apparent effects?
4) What role, if any, do raves play in initiating or promoting drug use, particularly among adolescents?
5) What harms, if any, are associated with rave activity? What measures aimed at preventing or minimizing harm are in evidence at raves?