This weekend kicks off EDC in Las Vegas. Under the Electric Sky, we come together to celebrate life, love, art, and music. From the stages and the sound to the pyrotechnics and the performers, so many unique elements go into bringing this world to life. We invite you to wander, explore, interact, and connect. Imagination and positive energy are the currency of this place.
In the early 90s, Brooklyn was the epicenter of the rave scene in New York City. It was a wild and exciting time, filled with neon lights, thumping beats, and energetic crowds and we were one of the Original crews throwing those raves. Every weekend, thousands of young people would descend upon abandoned warehouses and underground clubs to dance the night away.
Before we get into how that all happened let’s take a step back to the cafeteria at Brooklyn College where it all began.
I was in a frat called Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) but unlike most frat boys chasing sorority girls and playing spades we were about to launch something that would impact the country as a whole.
One of our frat brothers who we called “Alex P Keaton” (google it) because he carried a briefcase to school had recently returned from London and set us down an amazing Rabbit hole called Raves.
I’ll never forget the day he walked in and asked “Can you get a secret spot that and bring some of your neighborhood friends for a Friday night, I’ll pay you 10G’s.” My first question is anyone going to have to be hurt and why? It’s not like the movies …. but it was something that was overheard at the time.
He smiled with a slight look of terror and said no I want to throw a party called a rave. Now this is the early 90’s in Brooklyn and we had no idea what he was talking about but 10 grand is 10 grand we were going to make it happen. Later down the road this once Republican-looking frat boy would be kicking off an initiative to legalize weed and use these underground parties to fund the cause, but that’s a different story for another time.
We located a deserted warehouse in Brooklyn. It was a massive space with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and what you would expect an abandoned warehouse to look like in Dumbo and what we launched from there would impact Gen X forever.
Inside, the air was thick with smoke and the sweet scent of marijuana. A sea of bodies moved to the rhythm of the music, their arms waving in the air and their feet pounding the ground. The DJ booth was perched high above the crowd, blasting out techno and house music that could be heard for miles.
The crowd was a diverse mix of people, from hipsters and artists to punks and ravers. They came from all over the city, drawn to the energy and excitement of the rave scene. Many of them had nowhere else to go, no other place to express themselves and let loose.
The atmosphere was electric, with a sense of community and camaraderie that was hard to find anywhere else. People would dance and sweat together for hours, lost in the moment and the music. There were no VIP sections or bottle service, just a raw and unfiltered celebration of life.
As the night wore on, the energy only intensified. Some people “allegedly “would take drugs like ecstasy or acid, which only heightened their sensory experience. Others would simply dance and drink, enjoying the freedom and abandonment of the moment.
But as with any subculture, the rave scene had its dangers. There were occasional fights and drug overdoses, and the police would often raid the clubs, breaking up the parties and arresting people. But even in the face of these challenges, the rave scene continued to thrive, a testament to the power of music and community.
Looking back, those early days of the Brooklyn rave scene were a special and magical time. They represented a rebellion against the norms of society, a rejection of the status quo, and a celebration of individuality and self-expression. And while the scene may have faded away over time, its spirit and legacy continue to live on.
This is just a snapshot of the past as we head to EDC in Las Vegas to see how far the scene has really come.