Ah yes…an internet rave…the seventh circle of pandemic “hell.”
Upon first glance, a Zoom call and a rave may sound like they are on opposite ends of the human interaction scale. However, after attending my first Zoom rave, I can assure you they are far more similar than not.
Last Friday and Saturday, I attended two back to back Zoom raves organized by Bien Agiter, a nightclub based in Vancouver, Canada. Embarrassingly, these events came to my attention because of my TikTok For You Page which has gotten scarily accurate in the past few months. What initially drew me in was that rave-goers could win prizes for being the most “on-theme” with their attire (I really like winning prizes).
The first night, the theme was “Pink and Silky” but the second night, which I was most excited for, was “Hackers” themed. Friday night I was pretty nervous before I logged on, as I had absolutely no clue what to expect. I ended up signing on 30 minutes after 11pm, the expected start time. Unexpectedly, I was one of the first people on the call because, in typical rave fashion, there were “technical difficulties.”
Looking at all of the individuals present at the rave, I immediately felt at home. The organizers, DJs and ravers were all so welcoming and it was obvious that this was a safe space for all kinds of people. My screen looked like a kaleidoscope of beautiful people, neon lights, and moving backgrounds. To put it simply, it was beautiful.
In terms of the music, DJs from all around the world tuned into the event to perform 30-minute sets. The sets were primarily electronic and no different from what you would see at a pre-pandemic rave. Since the event was online it allowed a lot more freedom in terms of who was able to perform and attend. It also gave rave goers the opportunity to go all out with their attire, as there was far less external social pressure to present a certain way.
While Bien Agiter did an absolutely fabulous job putting this event together, there is something to be said for in-person raves. Yes, the music was great and the energy was high. However, there is a sense of camaraderie that comes with being around a group of people that simply can not be replicated via a computer screen.
All in all, internet raves truly are a blast. They are a great way to enjoy live DJs sets from the comfort of your own home and see DJs from around the world perform. Even with the current state of technology, I don’t see them overtaking in person raves anytime soon. However, I am not saying never.