Thank You!

My, oh my, how time has flown!  It seems like just yesterday I was brainstorming ideas for this blog, and now here I am at the end of the semester, wrapping it up.  It has been such a joy to write about and share my favorite hobby with all of my readers; it’s basically become a new hobby in itself!  Although this project was assigned to me for a class, I had so much fun creating it that it hardly ever felt like homework.  I’ll be attending some major festivals pretty soon this summer, so perhaps I’ll drop in afterwards to write a review of my experiences there.

Overall, I loved how easy WordPress was to navigate and figure out.  Prior to this class, I had no experience with writing blogs, only reading those of others.  So being able to post with ease was very helpful and saved me a lot of stress.  I really liked how everything was laid out all neat and organized right there in front of you, and how you could just exit out and come back later to continue writing a post.  On the other hand, I’m not sure how much Twitter helped me in terms of advertising my blog posts, since I only have 16 followers.  I have never been a huge social media person, but seeing how popular bloggers and other famous people have a strong follower base, I can imagine how much it would have helped if I was more active with it.

I’m always looking for ways to make myself better, and in terms of my blog, I think I would like to improve my writing skills and creativity.  I am somewhat confident with both of these things already, but I envy those whose words flow together so smoothly and include neat titles and media.  It has definitely been something I’ve tried to work on with each new post I write.  In addition, it has taught me more about how to write in a professional manor.  This blog is something I would be proud to show a future employer. The skills and knowledge I have gained from writing it are things that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life and benefit me in basically any job I might have.  It has allowed me to express my intelligence and imagination at the same time — a recipe for success.

In terms of actual stats, my most popular week was that of March 28th, with a whopping 24 views and 3 visitors.  I created 3 new posts within this week, so I’m guessing my higher-than-normal activity level was what drew them in.  Of all my posts so far, my most popular was the one I wrote about my trip to the Electric Daisy Carnival.  It received 13 views, which is almost double than that of my second most viewed post.  EDC sure was a fun time and I had a picture slideshow to prove it, so I am not surprised why this was my most popular post.  Plus, it is a very well-known festival in the EDM world so many people know about it and can relate to it.  While exploring the stats page of my site, I found that I had viewers from 3 different countries other than the US: Canada, the United Kingdom, and Myanmar.  This was very surprising to me because I hardly thought I would get any viewers in my home country alone, let alone international attention!  So that was pretty cool to see.

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Overall, writing this blog has been a fantastic experience for me in many different ways. Not only do I now have the proper tools and knowledge of online media, but it also gave me a chance to explore and learn more about my passion!  I’m going to try to be more active with my social media posting, so follow me on Twitter @oliviahansennn to stay up to date on all my new adventures 🙂

So long for now!

Find Your Euphoria!

Hello friends!

About a month ago, my festival fam and I took a little camping trip to a festival just down the road in Austin.  It was called Euphoria, which is ironic because that’s exactly how I would describe our time there.  Euphoria has only been around a few years, but is rapidly gaining popularity among EDM listeners in the Austin area.  They definitely stepped up their game in 2016 by bringing a fantastic lineup and positive vibes all around.  I was lucky enough to be able to experience it for all four days, so now I want to share my experiences with you!

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Lookin’ fly for day 2

Since we were staying in the campgrounds, we were able to arrive on Thursday to set up our campsites and enjoy a little pre-party before the first day of the festival on Friday.  Jamming out to a groovy, yet intimate set by The Polish Ambassador with a smaller crowd of campers was a perfect way to start the weekend.  Friday’s schedule surely didn’t disappoint with artists like SNBRN, Dillon Francis, and STS9.  Rolling through about 20 deep, it was hard to find spots in the crowd that would fit all of us, but having all my friends with me was well worth the squeeze.  Saturday brought an even better lineup with sets by GRiZ and Shiba San, followed by Eric Prydz.  It was amazing and beautiful to see how everyone was so involved in the music, whether it be Funk, Deep House, or Trance. And with Bassnectar finishing off the night, there was definitely no shortage of intense head-banging among the captivated crowd. What a time to be alive!

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Silent disco going ’til the break of dawn

By the third day we were all so exhausted that we only made it to one set: Above & Beyond. This decision was entirely okay with me and all of my group members because they are one of our favorite artists, and we knew the rest of Sunday’s lineup wouldn’t compare to them anyway.  The deep, emotional lyrics of Above & Beyond’s lovely tunes mixed with perfect Trance beats really put everyone in their feels.  I guess you could say it left us all feeling very “euphoric.”  Overall, the festival as a whole provided a great atmosphere with chill people from both near and far.  I will definitely be in attendance next year, and if a three-day jam sesh tied with a camping trip sounds fun to you, I encourage you to check it out too! Not to forget, there is a huge silent disco each night after the shows are over that you won’t wanna miss, trust me.

Remember — “There are no strangers at Euphoria, only friends you haven’t met yet!”

Interview with a Fellow EDM Lover

Hey guys!

Lucky for me, a lot of my close friends also love EDM just as much as I do!  We go to shows together all the time and have made so many awesome memories doing so.  Here is an interview I did with my boyfriend, Chris, on his thoughts about electronic music.  Enjoy 🙂

Why Kandi Kids are the Koolest Kids

It was at my very first rave that I was also introduced to the world of kandi.  Nothing but cheap plastic bracelets consisting primarily of elastic string and colorful pony beads, these EDM culture icons hold special and symbolic meaning to rave-goers everywhere.  It was towards the end of the show when everyone was beginning to flood the exits, someone tapped me on the shoulder and as I spun around I was greeted by him holding up a peace sign.  This was my first true experience with PLUR, and it definitely made my night one that I will always remember.  My first kandi trade, although I had nothing to give in return, was the heartwarming gesture that launched my interest in raving.

Garnished with creative designs or wording of some sort, each piece of kandi is totally customized to the individual.  Trading kandi with fellow ravers can represent the birth of a friendship, a time you saw one of your favorite artists, or simply a special moment you will remember forever.  I can trace each one in my personal collection to the specific instance of when I traded it and with whom, creating a lovely assortment of sweet memories that I will carry with me forever.  Soon after I received my first piece of kandi, I was motivated by the positivity it represented to start making my own, so I too could spread the love.  What started as a few single bracelets quickly evolved into multileveled cuffs and arms full of beads.  It became an addictive hobby of mine that I devoted countless hours to, both for its therapeutic properties and the consolation of knowing I made someone smile with such a simple gesture.  This is a picture of my kandi collection, which includes a variety of singles, cuffs, and even a few masks.  Some of them I made myself and others I received from trading.  It’s fun to watch it grow as I become a more seasoned raver!

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It is believed by some, perhaps those unfamiliar with the rave community, that wearing kandi signifies one’s involvement with drugs.  Although this may have proven true in some cases ten or fifteen years ago, wearing kandi today does not automatically make you a drug addict.  It is purely an innocent gesture – our way of showing peace, love, unity, and respect to each other.  I hope to see the kandi culture live on through the continuously changing world of EDM.  While representing the pride we take in individualism and rebellion, it also keeps us grounded by reminding us of our values.  Trading kandi is a beautiful representation of the kindness that unites the rave community as one; it is a conversation starter that can also double as a gift.  For something that often costs less than one dollar, its value is priceless.

Wanna trade?  Start making your own kandi creations with these simple tutorials and designs at kandipatterns.com 🙂  It’s my go-to website for all of my bead needs!

Get Your PLUR On

Hello!

Today I want to write about the universal code of conduct that brings all true ravers together as one happy family: PLUR.  Since the birth of EDM and raving, this all-but-secret handshake has been uniting dance music culture all around the globe.  PLUR is an acronym for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.  In the rave world, these four ingredients make up the essential philosophy of life.  It’s something I think everyone should know because it can be applied to all areas of life, not just an EDM show.  In order for one to be PLUR, one must be educated on all that it entails.  Here is an outline I have created of everything you should know before deciding to adopt the raver’s law:

Peace

Inside a show, avoiding conflict and negativity is one of the most important factors in having a good time.  There is absolutely no room for hostility in a tightly packed crowd and us ravers stay true to the belief that violence is never the answer.  As opposed to a normal concert or crowded bar, you will hardly ever see a fight break out at a rave.  And if one does, it is often quickly resolved.  This first step of the PLUR handshake is characterized by each person holding up a peace sign and touching their two fingers together to connect their hands, as shown below:

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Love

Usually the most prominent of the four symbols, love is constantly being circulated throughout a group of rave-goers.  This is often exemplified in the forms of hugging, holding hands, and sometimes even kissing.  Raves are always filled with smiling faces who are ready to make new friends with those who share the same values as them.  It is hard not to feel accepted at a show like this, where everyone around you is reciprocating happiness.  Perhaps that is why EDM has gained so much popularity in recent years.  As for the handshake, this part is shown by making half the shape of a heart with your hand and completing it with the other person’s hand making the same shape, like this:

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Unity

Unity stands for us banding together through it all.  Whether we’re right next to our PLUR buddies or across the world from them, EDM is the sole force that unifies us all as one. Ever since I stepped into the rave community, I have felt a strong sense of connection with my fellow EDM-lovers that I never once experienced at, let’s say, a Taylor Swift or Britney Spears concert.  I think it has something to do with the constant beat of dance music that keeps you grooving and bobbing your head at the same pace as all those surrounding you; it’s almost impossible not to be friendly in such an environment.  Unity is symbolized in the PLUR handshake just by pressing your hand flat against another’s, unifying the two of you through the fingertips.

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Respect

Last but certainly not least, we finish off the PLUR code with respect.  Having been to many concerts of several different genres, I can honestly say the atmosphere of an EDM show is incredibly different than that of other types of music.  The immense amount of respect we all show to one another is what reinforces the positive vibes that circulate within a rave.  It is very rare that you see people arguing, punches being thrown, or any sort of negativity, really.  We are all there purely to enjoy the music, have a rockin’ time, and maybe even make a new friend or two.  Trading kandi is a prime way to meet another raver, since it gives both of you something to remember each other by.  Kandi trading always comes at the very end of the PLUR handshake; first, respect is shown by interlocking your fingers with another’s, and then they transfer a beaded bracelet from their hand to yours and vice versa.  It really is a beautiful gesture in its entirety that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

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Now you’re all set for your next rave!  I hope this blog post taught you something that you can carry with you and apply to your life every day, regardless of what music genre you listen to:-)  If you wanna be even more PLUR, check out this interesting article that takes a different approach on the subject.

See ya next time!

Gloving: Hypnotization by LED

Hey folks!

Ever seen those people wearing gloves with light-up fingertips and waving them around in front of peoples faces?  If you have, you probably wondered what the heck they were doing.  If you haven’t, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about.  Moving away from the music aspect of rave culture, I am eager to begin exploring the artistic elements that make EDM so spectacular.  The most popular of which (and for good reason) is the rapidly growing phenomenon referred to as “gloving.”  Taking its place in rave culture as a form of both art and dance, gloving can be best explained as combining liquid movements with optical illusion.  Stated by today’s leader in glove production, EmazingLights, “Gloving is primarily done by moving your fingers and hands to the rhythm of music while wearing LED light tipped gloves that accentuate your movements.”  At almost any EDM show nowadays, you will see glovers scattered throughout the crowd waiting on their opportunity to mesmerize and entrance individuals with an amazing light show.

With the growth of popularity comes the growth of hate as well, and this theory proves true to the form of art and dance us ravers know as “gloving.”  Its recent placement in the spotlight of EDM culture has paved the way for its spread into a beautiful phenomenon among ravers, but also amplified the negativity and rumors surrounding the activity.  The sad misconception that exists between gloving and the outside world is that the visually stunning effects produced by light shows are meant for the pleasure of drug users.  Although this may occur in some instances, it is far from holding the entire truth as to why gloving was created and who it is intended for.  It hurts me and many others to see its reputation be damaged by something so naive.  Gloving is a new and innovative form of art and dance that brings happiness to millions of sober souls around the planet.  In return, it deserves to be shown the same amount of respect and positivity as other well-known types of art and dance.

Simple as it seems, there is an immense amount of technique, dexterity,  and flow required to produce these stunning visual effects, and the bar gets set higher and higher with each new edition of LED technology and artist that dedicates their spare time to practicing.  Unlike other other art forms associated with LED technology, such as poi and hooping, gloving has arguably the widest range of “movements,” which in turn allows for practically boundless creativity.  It blows my mind to see the huge level of talent that has emerged from this trend.  Whether I’m actually receiving a light show in a crowded venue or just entertaining myself on YouTube, I find myself mesmerized every single time.  Luckily for us, some of the top glovers from around the world showcase their skills by posting their own videos, so ravers outside a show can still get their LED fix.  More recently, a few of the big names in glove production have picked up on this strategy and turned it into a form of advertising.  Extremely talented glovers show off a pair of said company’s gloves by giving a light show with them, and in turn receive great sponsorship and positive publicity.  This combination of the latest technology and top talent results in beautiful sequences of color and movement that could wow anyone.  Here’s one of my favorite examples by one of the best glovers I’ve seen (and he’s only 14!!), for those who have never experienced the chaotic artistry that is gloving.

*Skip to 1:10 unless you want to hear a short, inspiring interview*

If you now feel the urge to put on a pair of gloves and start giving your own light shows, snag your first pair here 😀

Until next time, peace out!

Spice Up Your Playlist With Some EDM Sauce

Hi guys!

Today I decided it would be fun to take a step back from my own topics and look at another blog somewhat similar to mine.  EDM Sauce posts about everything there is to know about, well, EDM, and also stays up to date on the latest news from festivals and artists.  This is helpful to a lot of ravers because it puts all of our EDM needs into one organized location.  I keep up with the posts on EDM Sauce quite regularly and they have actually been part of the inspiration for my own blog topic and posts.  Their website features categories like news, music, best songs, links to buy tickets, and even an option to submit your own song for it to be reviewed by the experts.  All in all, I love EDM Sauce because it provides me and my fellow ravers a perfect place to stay in tune with the ever-changing world of Dance music.

One of my favorite things about this brand’s blog is the wide range of topics it covers.  Starting with news, I can check up on the different rave scenes all around the nation, from L.A. to Miami.  This week, one of the featured stories told about the world’s first 360 virtual reality EDM concert, which is to be performed live by the well-known Hardwell in Miami during this year’s Miami Music Week.  Their posts are so exciting to read (like this one), it’s hard for me not to get stuck on the site for hours at a time!  Switching over to another section of this blog strictly for music, I can discover fresh new tunes in just about every genre of EDM, from Hardstyle to Tropical House.  Here, I can also see news stories relevant to a specific genre, like the hot new Trap music video or the Drum & Bass compilation that is to be released this month.  I love this feature because it allows me to see and hear what I am really interested in, rather than having to scroll through the giant pile of every new EDM track (trust me, there is an overwhelming amount released each week).

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A screenshot taken by me 🙂

With all these lovely aspects and many more, EDM Sauce not only satisfies all of my music needs, but provides unique, positive vibes that I have not felt in any other music blogs.  It is both formal and informal in just the right ways.  The posts are written by a team of individual bloggers, which allows for the opportunity to provide new and different perspectives on a range of topics.  Personally, I enjoy and appreciate this because it makes me feel like I am reading a message from a friend or a fellow raver, rather than a brand.  Whether you’re an up and coming DJ wanting to be heard or a festival junkie searching for the best lineup, EDM Sauce offers a little bit of everything for all types of ravers.  I would recommend this blog to anyone interested in knowing the ins and outs of America’s rave scene or even just looking for some good new music.  Check them out at edmsauce.com!

See ya next week!!

 

Getting Technical: The Genres Within

Hey y’all!

As another sort of intro to this blog, I thought it would be fun to explore and elaborate on EDM itself, specifically its subgenres.  There are so many different types of electronic music – enough to confuse even a seasoned raver like myself!  From Future Bass to Acid House to Jungle Terror, the list could go on forever.   When I first began listening to EDM, they all sounded the same to me (womp womp), as I’m sure they do to most of y’all.  In fact, it’s still hard for me to place some tunes and artists in specific categories.  But I think I’ve learned the gist of it, and I’m excited to advance both my knowledge and yours on all the different types of womps that make EDM such a fun genre to listen to.  Today I will write about three of the more popular genres: House, Trance, and Dubstep.  I will also include a sample of each from my personal favorites to give an idea of what they sound like. 🙂

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Image courtesy of ifunny.co

House

As one of the oldest genres of EDM, House music is also one of the most popular, and for good reason.  It’s a timeless combination of catchy melodies and strong beats that will get just about anyone grooving.  It first emerged in Chicago from the grave of disco, and now it is heard in clubs throughout the world and is also mixed into mainstream music.  It provides a great dancing tempo that is usually between 120-135 BPM (beats per minute).  Artists like Zedd, Deadmau5, and Daft Punk have been dominating the world of House for the past several years and continue to put out amazing tracks.  However, most of the popular “House” music we hear today is a subgenre of the actual, such as Progressive House, Future House, and Deep House.  Here’s a video from the 90s of Robin S singing a classic House song, “Show Me Love.”  It’s vocals and melody are still heard in many popular remixes today.

Trance

This lovely subgenre of EDM allows one to get lost in both the music and the mind.  Trance music features strong, steady buildups and breakdowns that will leave one feeling euphoric.  Born in Germany around 1990, the tempo of Trance ranges from 110-150 BPM and often features repeated melodic phrases and/or female vocals, although purely instrumental Trance is just as common.  It has become one of the most popular genres of EDM today, with artists like Armin Van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold, and Ferry Corsten headlining major festivals around the world.  Below is an awesome track by one of my favorite Trance artists, Above & Beyond.  True to its name, it’s hard not to feel like you’re literally in a state of trance while listening to this genre.

Dubstep

Taking first place on my list of favorite EDM genres, Dubstep has found its way into both my subwoofers and my heart.  This bone-rattling type of music has evolved tremendously since its origination in London in the late 1990s, and its roots can be traced back even farther to the party scene of the Jamaican sound systems, which played genres like ska and reggae.  The year 2005 was when Dubstep really began to take off, although the aggressive tracks we hear today are far different from the deep “wub wub wub”sound that this bass-filled genre started out as.  At around 140 BPM, Dubstep usually incorporates syncopated or shuffled rhythms and bass drops that influence the intense head-banging of its listeners.  Notable artists of this genre include Skream, Benga, and Skrillex.  Speaking of Skrillex, here is one of his most popular songs, “First of The Year.”  Whether you’re at a big show or just jamming out in your car, Dubstep is a genre that is not only heard, but felt as well.

As EDM continues to evolve, so does its ongoing list of different styles.  There is something for everyone in this genre, and that’s part of why I love it so much.  No matter if you’re a bass-head or a Trance kitten, it’s all the same love and respect when you’re deep in the crowd.  New genres of EDM are developing left and right and old ones continue to resurface and regain popularity.  With the continuing expansion of technology these days, it provides almost anyone with a computer the opportunity to produce music, allowing for endless creativity and the emergence of new styles.  It will be exciting to see what comes next in this ever-growing subculture and I am looking forward to sharing it with y’all.

Until next time!

The Evolution of Rave Fashion

Hello again, I’m back 🙂

Since many of you readers are probably clueless on what EDM culture even is, I want to begin this journey by starting with the basics – rave fashion.  I can imagine these styles seem pretty crazy to those not clued in on how they came about.  Rave fashion has evolved tremendously over the past 25 years, with trends constantly changing to this day.  It began in the early 90s, when phat pants and midriff became staple icons of the underground scene.  Back then, it was more about being functional than looking hot.  But that doesn’t mean there was any lack of creativity.  Other highlights of this era included visors, smiley faces, and boiler suits.

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Image courtesy of hubpages.com

Moving into the 2000s, the fashion sense of the rave community took turns towards neon colors and cyber style.  A lot of these trends reflected elements of steampunk, such as goggles and gas masks.  Although some aspects of the 90s were still prevalent in these ravers’ wardrobes, fresh new trends like bell bottoms and crop tops took the stage and the iconic vests and phat pants quickly faded out.  Another new style that both emerged and stayed within this generation were the funky tubular headgear worn by the girl in the picture below.  I’m not exactly sure what those are called, but that’s just one example of some of the weird and unexplainable fashion trends that ravers have adapted over the years.  It was during this time that one could start to see where the EDM fashion trends of today got their roots.

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Image courtesy of Tumblr

It’s 2016 now and most ravers wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the things they did a decade or two ago.  The most prominent and noticeable change is obviously the lack of clothes we see at today’s festivals.  Instead of the baggy jeans we saw in the 90s, most girl ravers now have decided to ditch pants completely and go for a more scandalous look, like small skirts and booty shorts.  Guys have made their own style changes as well, transitioning from the 90s trends to modernized clothes, but still with the same unique flair they’ve always had.  My boyfriend Chris (in the picture below) likes to go for the newly popular all-over prints, while I usually opt for a comfy bodysuit with my favorite leg wraps and lime green fluffies.  Fluffies are those fur boots I’m wearing that almost every girl raver owns, they are one of the most widely seen rave trends today and let me tell ya, they are so fun to wear!

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Chris and I all funkified up at EDC Vegas last year. Fun fact, we had only known each other for about 24 hours when this was taken.

Many non-ravers today often take jabs at the way we EDM lovers dress (or don’t dress, really).  But we have to remember that rave fashion is somewhat influenced by street fashion as well.  Lots of the everyday fashion choices we see on girls today would be unacceptable back then, and vice versa.  Our world has evolved considerably since then and so has the closets of our beloved rave babes.  It is often forgotten that we aim to be different, controversial, and rebellious.  That is the foundation that raving was created upon and we will stay true to our values of youthfulness and self-expression no matter how much hate we get.

If you’d like to add some sweet rave clothes to your wardrobe, or even just look at what other crazy styles are out there, check out this awesome website called iHeartRaves!

See you next time!:)