For many, raves are about much more than the music, or the cute rave outfits ( though those sexy rave outfits are certainly important). However, you can’t have a rave without people. And you can’t have a good rave without people who are positively vibing with each other. This piece will go over the origin of raver values, the meaning of PLUR, as well as an expansion of what those values can mean.
Dedication to rave values influences everything that Freedom Rave Wear does, from our dedication to providing plus-size rave clothing, to our commitment to sustainability. So if you want to know the kinds of ideas that make us tick, this article is for you!
Birth of Raver Values
Unlike many movements, the birth of raves is hard to pin down. It's easier to imagine the start of raves as a global conversation across the Atlantic. Acid house music from Chicago would become popular in the United Kingdom. Soon the ravers in London were hungry for any new dance music from America.
One of those American artists that made it big over the pond was Frankie Bones. At the end of the 1980s, Bones was shocked to learn that his music was attracting massive crowds in the UK. After traveling there to play, he was inspired to try and get similar huge rave parties started in his native New York.
This was a proposition easier said than done. Early 90’s New York was a tense place, to say the least. The city was divided by racial tensions, crime, drug use, and the AIDs epidemic. The music people loved was coming out of New York. Ironically, it seemed like those people couldn't enjoy it the same way as those in London or Ibiza.
Now, maybe it wouldn’t matter today what the “vibe” of a city is. But remember that back in those days, raves were often held with dubious legality, in places like abandoned warehouses. This meant very little in the way of security. No way was anyone going to put a phone call into the police.
At about the same time as Frankie Bones was planning this first wave of raves, his brother, Adam X, was getting into another New York staple - namely, graffiti. One of his most impressive pieces involved tagging an entire train car with the words “Peace, Love, Unity.”
Something in those words stuck with Frankie Bones. At one of these raves, a fight broke out. An indignant Frankie Bones leaped on top of the DJ booth and issued an ultimatum. “If you don’t start showing some peace, love, and unity, I’ll break your f*cking faces.”
That night, something bigger than anyone realized had begun.
Originally, some people referred to this new idea as “PLUM” - the “Peace, Love and Understanding Movement”. The internet was starting to emerge as a thing people used in the early 90s. This would lead to a discussion about what raves meant, particularly by Laura La Gassa on the Hyperreal chatroom. From this emerged the form we all know, PLUR. Understanding PLUR is key to being able to easily acclimatize to your first raves.
Violence has no place at raves, full stop. If you come looking for trouble, you shouldn’t come at all. If you have troubles, you should be ready to hash it out in a non confrontational manner. If there is a serious issue, bring it up with the people running the event. If you see violence break out, that’s when you alert the event coordinators as well.
Raving with people, even strangers, brings you closer together. At raves, people tend to get into states of much more intense emotion. This means that you need to bring your empathy A-game, and apply it to everyone. If someone is lost, guide them. If someone needs help, lend a hand. If someone just doesn’t look like they’re having a good time, cheer them up.
Everyone is different. Sometimes we forget that this is perfectly okay. Everyone is coming to a rave from a different place, but literally and figuratively. You’re not any better or worse than them. You’re all in the same boat of having a blast together. Stick together, and pitch in when needed - whether that’s looking for lost phones or sharing water.
Respect is what makes all the other parts of PLUR work. This goes beyond just respecting the space, style, and stuff of the people around you. You need to respect your hosts and respect the place where you are raving. That means no littering, no breaking things, and following whatever rules the coordinators set up. Raves might have a history of running underground and illegally. But they also have a history of respecting people who took the time to host for you.
Beyond The Dance Floor: From Plus Size Rave Clothing to Sustainability
At Freedom Rave Wear, PLUR is the foundation for what we do, and how we enjoy every rave. However, we look to go beyond just what PLUR means at a rave.
We’ve done our best to expand the tenets of unity and respect into promoting inclusivity. We believe that everyone deserves a chance to look their best at raves. This is why we’re committed to providing a full range of plus-size rave outfits. No matter your style, there's a plus-size rave wear collection for you in our shop.
We take our ideas of respect beyond just plus-size rave clothing. The ultimate venue is planet earth, and it’s not one that any of us can replace. This is why we’re dedicated to sustainability. Our clothes are all made in part of recycled materials. We’re doing our best to ditch fast fashion and focus on sustainable production.