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Rave Etiquette – A Guide to the Dos and Don’ts of Raving

Whistling in the DJ’s ears at every drop is a frowned upon action.

Rave Etiquette - a Guide to the Dos and Don'ts of Raving

There are ways to behave in the dance. At some point in all of our rave histories, we have come across weird happenings, calamity comedy, bizarre moments, sheer stupidity and blind lunacy. 

Just what is acceptable and appropriate practice on a night out? Today, I look at some critical dos and don’ts of how to act when at a rave. (Please note: the following points are all to be taken with a pinch of salt, and, as always, are open to debate!) 

Often, the DJ sets the tone of an event and, usually, typical behaviour will follow. Take Steve Aoki as an example. Aoki throws cake at his fans. I am not sure what sort of behaviour this envokes, but it certainly creates a point of difference, and no man or woman leaves the dance hungry (or clean). It creates a vibe. 

On the flip side, you could be one of those idiots, recording most of the DJs set – which is just asking for some form of retribution. Here, we need to look no further than Richie Hawtin. Hawtin caught one reveller mid-recording, lost his mind and slammed a monitor speaker straight into the perpetrator. 

This example throws up my first DON’T

DON’T [email protected]*s off Richie Hawtin. 

As much as I would like to offer personal examples for every DO and DON’T, I want to share other people’s input and experiences. I created a Facebook thread to research the piece and have taken some of the best ones. 

Let’s start with the DOs. 


● Purchase an over-priced beverage and head straight to the dancefloor to support the early DJ. 

Just good etiquette. The warm-up DJ needs support. These DJs have the toughest job of the night, and it is often the most underappreciated. Make sure you enter the venue, buy a single JD and Coke for £27 and head front-right of the booth to cut some shapes (whilst contemplating re-mortgaging the house for another round of drinks) 

● Refill a beverage if you knock it out of a fellow ravers hand when bumping around those clumsy clown arms. Spacial awareness is of paramount importance.

Offer to replace a drink that you slapped out of a fellow raver’s hand when getting a little too boisterous after a sneaky bump. It is just good manners. As we are now in 2021, equal rights are a thing, so this should be the case for all sexes. Know who is around you, and do not invade others personal space bubbles. 

● Cut about with a smile on your face. 

Nobody needs your attitude or moody vibes. There is simply no time in a rave for negative behaviour. 

● Look after your squad and NEVER leave a friend behind. 

Every friend group is likely to produce a ‘man down’ whilst in the dance. Stay with that friend, help them through their sometimes stupid decisions and always keep a full rave team together. Support one another and be kind. 

● Shower the DJ with gifts. 

If the DJ is creating those memories for you and is doing a good job, show them some love! Offer cigarettes as I guarantee they will be a much-needed gift and gratefully accepted. Pass them a fresh bottle of water. This is a mark of RESPECT. 


The dos are a lot trickier to talk about than the don’ts. It is human nature to remember the things that negatively impact a particular event or our memories of them, rather than the things that enhance the night. However, let’s now look at those definite rave etiquette no go areas. 


● Chant “OI OI” “Whoomp There It Is” or any other annoying snippet. 

The chant always splits opinions. Chanting is like marmite. I, for one, cannot stand it. Some will argue that it is a sign of respect. That it appreciates the energy in the room and that the DJ is performing well. I curse the originator of the ‘chant at a rave’ movement. Many want to feed off the music, get in their zone and space whilst entering a bubble of pleasure. The last thing needed is shouting in the ears, especially things, that are not relevant to the action. Chanting belongs in a meme. Whilst you may be enjoying it, nobody else is. 

● Chew the DJs ear off. 

We all have a story to tell, and they are probably very interesting. However, there is a time and a place to tell them. The smoking area maybe? The DJ is there to do a job and focus. A DJ does not want to listen to a ‘booth [email protected]’ bang on about how they played vinyl in the

’80s. There is no interest in knowing how you would have hit the big time, before injuring a thumb and had to retire. 

● Wear high heels at CIRCOLOCO. 

I am not sure if this falls under a different bracket to rave etiquette but, I feel it is critical to mention. Correct attire is extremely important when attending a rave. High heels are not acceptable. Not only will they affect your leg mobility, shape cutting, and comfort, you run the risk of injuring many an unsuspecting compatriot. The action of wearing high heels to a rave is frowned upon. 

● Go all-in, too quickly on the packet. 

Whatever you do, do not be that one person that is found sitting in the corner of the main room, face gurning, and with zero ability to function. Enjoy the music, create positive memories and take things at a steady pace. By all means, have fun, but be safe and use things in moderation. 

● Ask the DJ for a MIC to spit some sh** bars. 

An all too familiar occurrence. The DJ will 100% not give you a microphone to spit your bars. Those same bars performed at every rave you have been to since day one to anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of your lurking eyes, stalking their prey. 

● Get out your phone to record drops. 

One of the most annoying things at any rave is the number of phones on show. Not only because it ruins the live experience, but for many around you, it wrecks theirs too. There is a very special, and bad place in the world for people that have their flash on a video and, nonchalantly turn the camera round to capture the room, shining it in a fellow raver’s face. IT BLINDS! STOP THIS. 

I am sure that there are endless possibilities for additions to the lists above, but will leave the rest to your own experiences and thoughts. I am here to get the ball rolling and open up the room for discussion – acting as the ice-breaker for debate.




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