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Raves Are the Youth Culture of Today

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Raves are all night parties attended by youths aged from 14-25; they are made up of DJs playing loud electronic music normally generated by computers. Raves first emerged in the mid-1980s in Britain as after parties when clubs were closed. Since then, raves have gained popularity in many other countries in the world and expanded itself into a youth culture. Rave admission fees normally range from $5 for nightly events, and prices have gone up to $200 for the biggest events. Since rave events have attracted up to 30,000 youths aged from 14-25 in one event, drug usage at raves have also become a concern for parents and politicians recently. To make raves safer, policies have been created to try to control rave events, and to legally publicize and hold a rave today; the promoter must hold a proper permit. Driving raves underground by banning them will only make them more dangerous because they are harder to monitor, therefore more lives are at risk. The government needs take the responsibility to try helping make raves safer; rave parties should not be banned by the government.

Bans would only force raves to be illegally held underground at unsafe venues. Underground raves have been proven much more dangerous than controlled raves. If the government bans raves, the raves would just move on to the underground, making them a lot more dangerous. To acquire a permit for a rave, the venue must comply with the rave protocol that was made to ensure the safety of venues for raves. According to the protocol, venues must have been reviewed long before the event, and the venue must provide running water at no charge. Raves in the underground have been the cause of many deaths due to the lack of water, air or space. On October 10 1999, Allan Ho who was a 21-year-old Ryerson student died from an ecstasy overdose at a rave. He attended an underground rave that was held in an abandoned warehouse that provided no running water and very poor ventilation. The venue was certainly no place to hold a rave with 3,500 people, and police officials also referred the venue as a firetrap . Driving raves underground is dangerous. Remember, Allan Ho s death occurred in a place that was not licensed. (Chow, 2000). Since there are no regulations for raves when they are held underground, promoters normally risk the safety of everyone else by shutting off running water and charging up to $5 per bottle of water. Underground raves are always held in a mystery location that is normally not disclosed until hours before the event (Wier, 2000). Promoters do this to deter police surveillance, and therefore there are no police and paramedics outside the event like at controlled raves. It is much better to have ambulance, firefighters and 70 pay duty cops lined up outside ready to respond to problems before, rather than too late (Levy, 2000). Having paramedics outside raves has already saved 21 people who were taken to hospitals who attended raves at the CNE in the last 3 years. The 21 people would have been found dead from drug overdoses if there were no one outside to help. The government must make raves safer by allowing more control instead of banning them so raves would be forced into the underground where they are more dangerous.

Raves are the youth culture of today, and they will continue to exist even if the government tries to stop them. In the past, youth culture was always the concern for parents and politicians. Like rock concerts in the 70s, drugs were a problem, but stopping them would not solve the problem, they were likely to get worse. They continued, because it was the youth culture, and no grown-ups could stop it from happening. Youth cultures that existed in the past such as disco, Elvis, swing kids and rock fans all had their share of drugs, but they were all an expression of themselves, and politicians were not ready to stop people from expressing themselves freely. Raves are also seen as a stress-relief from the outside world, as raves have attracted a variety people who think of themselves as outcasts, but at raves, the peace, love and unity makes them feel wanted. but what struck me more than the immense sensory bliss was the amazing group of people who shared this experience with me six thousand young, beautiful, humans having a good time together. No fights. No one crying in the corner. No one sick in the stairway. Everyone smiling. Six thousand brothers and sisters of all races, classes, and sexual orientations, living equality. Beautiful. (Raver)

Since their birth in Canada 10 years ago, raves have changed a lot since when they first started as events where a group of teenagers would bring speakers and equipment to a warehouse and break into it, then party all night or till the police showed up. Today raves are held publicly, and raves today feature amazing lasers, artificial fog, spinning records and lot of friends to meet (Farley, 2000). Raves are unstoppable; they represent what youths are today. Raves are threatening the very fabric of Canadian life (Fatino, 2000). Raves are not threatening anything, but banning them would destroy the youth culture. Raves should not be banned, the government cannot abolish what so many people represent, the youth culture will continue on.

The government should not ban raves, but instead provide more control at legal raves and more drug education. Attempts to ban raves in the past in the UK did not succeed. After raves were outlawed, they slowly moved onto the dance club scene, dangerously mixing alcohol and drugs together (Weir, 2000). The combination of alcohol and drugs were even more of a threat to public health. Drug education is more important than trying to stop drugs from being take at raves, because drugs can be accessed outside of raves in places like clubs, concerts and schools. Instead, teaching the public about the dangers of the drugs, and how much someone can take before the drug becomes a threat to their life is more valuable. The municipal government of Toronto has also proved that allowing raves to occur on city owned property is much safer than holding raves on private property, where building standards may be minimal. A total of 14 raves have been held on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition since March 1997. Data was collected from 13, they showed at a total of 298 paid-duty police were hired, and in addition to that, there were OPP licensed security guards. 13 raves were attended by a total of 82,100 people, and 21 people were taken to the hospital, yet no one died, and 86 arrests were made. The 21 who were taken to hospital were all later released after taken care of (Downing, 2000). These numbers show that when a rave is controlled, the police and paramedics can be there to help when it is needed. At controlled raves, the minimum ratio of a paid-duty officer to attendees by law is 1 to 500. At a rave with more than 1000 patrons, there must be ambulance services contracted for a minimum of four hours. These minimum standards are the reason why controlled raves are much safer than ones underground. The number of police officers present, both plain clothed and uniformed can also act as a deterrent to drug dealers. When an underground rave takes place, there would be no police officers present at all or even nearby. Therefore drug dealers have absolutely nothing to fear of at the underground raves, so control at raves would also decrease drug availability. There is no real solution to drug use, but controlling raves with strict standards will decrease drug abuse, instead of leaving drugs dangerously taken without any help nearby. The government should not ban raves, but make sure raves are safer for everyone to enjoy.

The issue of raves cannot be disregarded. If raves are banned, the youth culture will establish other ways to express itself. No one can tell teenagers what to do, but the government can make sure what they do is safe and not harming themselves or others. Raves that have been controlled by the government in the past have shown that they are safer. Banning raves will just move them underground, where drugs can harm more people and no one will be there to help those in need. The government cannot change what goes on in a rave, but they can certainly assist in creating a safer rave environment for youths. The education of drug use is the responsibility of the government, because people need to know what the drugs really do, instead of finding out when it is too late. Raves are not harming society, they are misunderstood, banning them is only a way the government wants to ignore the rave culture, but they have to understand that doing so will only cause more problems.

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