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A rave is a slightly dated music event that was popular between the years 1991-1999. It was usually a one-time event, located in an unused space, whereby electronic music was played and/or performed. Raves generally ran between 10pm-4am, prompting some to view the events as part of a deviant youth culture.

Raves are often romanticized as illegal and/or 'underground'. Though the truth is they were simply unlicensed, lacking the necessary city permits that allowed the event to legally make a profit. The unlicensed nature of these events, made them vulnerable to sudden closures by the police and/or vice.

An early solution to this problem was to ask for a donation rather than charge tickets. This had marginal success, and tended to be chaotic and unreliable for the production team who needed a regular revenue source to book talented performers.

In the late 1990's a series of crack-downs against raves forced many productions to cease operations, and/or move out of Portland in lieu of more accepting counties. In an effort to fill the void, local music clubs quickly stepped in to provide a licensed commercial space for this genre of music. From then on, raves or rave-like events became possible.

Some might say that raves supported or held in a club is in opposition to the original concept of a rave, that being a 'free' 'open' environment outside of the confines of the commercial music industry. The truth is that electronic music and dance music are legitimate, viable genres of music, and deserves a wide range of support from the music industry. On the street, it translated to night clubs having weekly rave night, which grew in popularity as the one-time rave events disappeared.

Thankfully there has been a resurgence in the format within the past few years.


A promoter is a music industry term for companies who work to distribute announcements for a specific musical event. The most common form of announcement is a music poster stapled to a telephone pole where there is a lot of foot traffic. Also, color prints are taped to glass in retail stores. In some cases, flyers are distributed. It's common for promoters to be dedicated to a music venue or club.

Local Rave Promoters

Local Rave Venues

DJ Music Stores

Record stores who sell rave music tend to be specialized for dj customer base. Records being the original form of playing rave music in a club, though this is slowly changing to cd players and mp3 players. Songs are generally designed to be mixed with other songs, and so songs tend to have a long spartan beginning and/or endings. A layer of a single instrument, whether a melody without rhythm, or a simple layer of rhythm. Because of this, songs are will sound hallow or empty when listened individually. Songs in this deconstructed form are not immediately popular to general consumer.

Local DJ stores

External Links