The Post-Pandemic Future of Raving
In the midst of the pandemic, the EDM genre is becoming more popular on online platforms. We explained how major artists and promoters are entering the digital world with innovative festivals and live streams to cater to the demands of ravers. In addition, virtual reality (VR) is now playing a key role in music festivals as social distancing measures continue. Clearly, the industry is rapidly developing and changing as a whole, so it’s interesting to see what the future has in store for rave culture.
In Europe, ravers are stubbornly throwing illegal parties despite the threat of the pandemic. The New York Times reports how physical raves are growing in popularity, which are illicitly organized through social media and messaging apps. Every weekend, police forces and lawmakers struggle to shut down those involved. In Berlin, they describe how partying is a huge part of the city’s identity. While these isolated outdoor events do pose less risk compared to packed clubs, coronavirus infection numbers are now climbing again. In Paris, open-air parties are also becoming a new trend for ravers. In the near future, the City Council, in collaboration with SOCLE, will establish a legal framework for the events to help promote better health conditions. As of now, it’s clear that the desire for connection and freedom combined with strict legal measures have set up the perfect conditions for secret raves. “It’s not just a summer thing,” according to the Paris deputy mayor, “A shift is taking place.”
In recent years, EDM has also crossed over into the VR world. A notable name in the industry is Wave, who have partnered with performers like Rezz, Kill The Noise, and Jauz. They aim to bring the raving experience into the homes of fans, through Steam and Oculus compatible VR headsets. In 2019, Marshmello broke records with his Fortnite partnership, attracting 10.7 million players to his ten-minute online concert. Mind-blowing visual effects, thumping bass, and stunning visuals make the EDM experience come alive. On the other hand, it can be argued that partying at home doesn’t give you that same feeling of belonging or connection that can be found at a physical rave.
For those who are after the authentic rave experience, the Micrashell Futuresuit is allegedly pandemic-proof and features cellphone integration, vape and beverage integration, voice communication, a subwoofer sound system, a video camera, and more. To prevent the system from overheating it uses the latest in printed circuit board technology, with Altium describing how a metal core PCB ensures optimal temperature distribution across electronics. This allows them to be safely used in these suits, which will quickly get hot from dancing and wet from sweat. This is because a metal core has higher thermal conductivity compared to standard PCBs. In addition, the creators aim to create a fashion statement and make it easy to move in. There are also concerns about its affordability and comfort if its concept does make it through to production.
Right now, it’s difficult to tell exactly where the future of raving is headed. Business Insider mentions how online experiences look like they’re here to stay, along with virtual reality and video game settings for concerts. For smaller DJs, going online can help them cushion the blow of the pandemic’s effects. For bigger names like David Guetta, using virtual experiences to raise funds and awareness for the pandemic is a significant gesture. On another level, the launch of new music on blockchain platforms might also become a new reality. DJ PLS&TY is launching a limited-edition vinyl on the Ethereum-based platform, Foundation. They aim to connect artists directly to their audience while providing them with a larger cut of their revenue.
From these developments, it’s extremely exciting to see what’s in store for the future of the EDM industry.