If you’re just jumping on the dayglow electronic dance music bus, it’s important to know a big part of the scene is the culture and sense of community. To avoid looking like a total n00b (that’s “newbie,” in case you didn’t know) when conversing, you can study up on the DJs, download mixes and pair your best pasties with a tutu. But that isn’t enough to be accepted by the dedicated—as the Showtek track goes—“motherfucking raver with the hardstyle flavor.”
Rave name: Did you meet someone named Butterfly, Buttonz or Dillo? Your assumption that this isn’t their given name is likely accurate. In the underground scene, the raver community is fond of giving newbies nicknames that tend to stick and reflect personality, style or something from a shared story. But you don’t get to pick your own! Groups cherish the opportunity to debate the perfect nickname for a newbie.
P.L.U.R., or P.L.U.R.R.: The ultimate scene creed or mantra standing for “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect,” and often a second “R” added to stress “Responsibility.” Electronic DJ legend Frankie Bones is widely credited with starting the movement one night when a crowd was getting rowdy, thus asking them to start showing some peace, love and unity.
Kandi kid: You’ll know them by the trail of their pony beads. Kandi kids invest hours into making special bracelets—often themed with items or letter beads related to the event they’ll be attending—to wear and exchange with new friends. Trading happens by holding hands and is often accompanied by a series of gestures and a recitation of “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.” Once someone has given you a piece of kandi, it is considered uncouth to re-gift it to someone else.
TranceFamily: The movement has exploded into a worldwide “family” that shares a love of this dance-music genre. DJs and their followers use #TranceFamily on Twitter to rally the troops for meet-ups and story-swapping.
HouseNation, house head or house kitten: Nicknames for house music fans.
Prostitot: A negative term used by ravers to describe super-young-looking girls who know little about the scene, wear next to nothing and tend to be overly flirtatious.
Light show: A glow-stick master entertains a group of people with his mad skills, using two glow sticks or a combination of LED lights, poi (glow sticks or lights on strings) or even orbitals to create circular patterns. It actually takes lots of practice to master the art.
Binkie: A child’s pacifier typically used by people who have taken MDMA or Ecstasy to alleviate the side effect of teeth grinding and don’t care how obviously E-tarded it makes them look.
Speaker tweaker: Attendees who are all about loading up on drugs and zoning out in front of the massive speaker stacks, to better feel the bass move through them. They’ll probably be deaf by their 30s for not wearing earplugs.
Cuddle puddle: A group of people all sitting and hugging, massaging one another, watching a light show or simply zoning out—or all of the above.