Youngsters and Veterans: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

rave girls As someone who has always fit in better with people a few years older than me, I usually go to shows with a group of old-timers who have been in the scene for over 10 years. Thanks to my group of 30ish-year-old friends, exactly how much discrimination and unfair judgment my age group gets from these seasoned rave veterans is more obvious to me than it is to most 18+ whippersnappers.

The velvet rope

Kaskade phrased it nicely in a recent post on his blog, “It’s the oldest pattern in the book. You’ve put your time in, and when the young ones want to be part of it, they’re not let in easily. There’s a velvet rope they have to negotiate. They’re told they’re doing it wrong, they don’t have the respect, they are ruining it. They’re always told they don’t get it. They couldn’t possibly because they haven’t been there from the start.” KaskadeI have experienced this firsthand on so many occasions. To a degree that at certain times, I was wary of even going to a show because I was worried about whether what I was wearing or how I was dancing would elicit more brutal jokes about my youth and my lack of experience in “their” scene.

The shows that I go to in Minneapolis attract every possible type of EDM fan, and the tension between young and old is obvious if you look for it. You have your suburban high school senior in the neon sunglasses and “RAGE” hat right next to your jaded 90s raver. Most of the time these two species coexist nicely, but when they don’t it can be ugly. Once I saw an older guy refuse to trade kandi with a young looking girl and she cried. He made her cry! I had never seen anything less PLUR in my life.

Kids these days

The persecution of the new crop of fans that have discovered electronic music, fans who consistently show more enthusiasm for the music and acceptance of the scene than a great deal of older fans, embodies the absolute opposite of what our community has stood for since the start. Excluding new fans simply because we weren’t around to rave in warehouses in the 90s (because we were all in diapers) doesn’t make us posers or any less worthy of going to shows, having a good time and being a part of this community.



Meanwhile, I was probably being born

I get it though. You guys built this scene and it’s changing fast. Electronic music is quickly becoming engrained in pop culture and that means that it’s bound to attract kids who aren’t going to shows for the right reasons. But the kids who are “ruining” EDM, who are going to shows for all the wrong reasons, are not going to be around long.

Those “Sex, Drugs, Dubstep” t-shirt kids can only take so much sex, drugs, and dubstep before they burn out and slink away to latch on to the next fad.

Those “Sex, Drugs, Dubstep” t-shirt kids can only take so much sex, drugs, and dubstep before they burn out and slink away to latch on to the next fad.

What the critics of electronic music’s new fans need to remember is why the majority of them are getting so into it in the first place. Dance music’s message has always been one of love and acceptance. Despite any clichés that may arise within this discussion, the EDM community is truly one that accepts everyone, and young people are often at a stage in their life where they need that level of tolerance and open-mindedness that the scene can provide. Arrogance and elitism on the basis of seniority has no place in the EDM community.

Anyone who thinks we youngsters are ruining electronic music should consider the alternative. To me, any growth is good growth and new fans, young and old, are allowing this genre to expand enormously which benefits us all. More growth equals more music, more shows, more festivals, more opportunities to enjoy the music we love with likeminded people.

And isn’t that the point of all of this?


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