I’ve never been to South Africa, but after reading Koko’s review of Ultra Music Festival SA, I kinda wanna go now. So if you like festivals and South Africa or just wanna give this a read, check it out!!!
I love me some music festivals.
UMF, or Ultra Music Festival, is an annual music festival of the electronic persuasion. It originated in Miami, Florida in 1999 and instantly gained popularity in the EDM world. With close to 200,000 attendees and tickets selling out every single year, the event grew and began holding international shows. It has debuted in over 9 countries worldwide and finally hit Africa in 2014.
This is the largest EDM event on the African continent, and after hearing great reviews from other PCV friends about the 2014 event, some friends and I decided 2015 was our year to venture to Johannesburg and steal a slice of this magic, which started at noon and went until the wee hours of the morn.
We walked into the expo grounds and all I can say is…oh. my god. So many beautiful people. Like I can’t even.
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One downfall of the rave culture in Hawaii is the lack of PLURR. The EDM scene is plagued with underage bandwagoners, who think they are cool by taking hella drugs and going to raves. We are trying to change that mentality. You see those kinds of people everywhere, but especially here. Raves are about the music, having a genuine appreciation for the artists, sharing those moments with your friends, and doing your best to make sure everyone has a good experience.
PLURR is a popular acronym in the rave culture, standing for Peace, Love, Unity, Respect and Responsibility. (Also seen as PLUR) It’s been a common theme among ravers since the 1990s once a popular DJ named Frankie Bones shouted it out when a fight broke out during his set at an event.
PEACE- Keep the peace with everyone. Don’t go to raves causing fights, bringing drama, and spreading bad energy. Dance, enjoy the music, and savor every moment.
LOVE- Show love for each other. Show love to the DJs. Show your love for the music. Share with each other. You have gum? You have water? Share it. Acts of kindness always come full circle, and you will be rewarded in some way.
UNITY- The beautiful thing about electronic music is that is unifies people. Ravers come from all walks of life, and they can show up to these events and feel connected to each other. We all fit in. We all belong. We are all one with the music and with each other. There is a oneness of mind and feeling.
RESPECT- Show consideration for others. Especially for the venue hosting the event. Be polite, don’t litter and don’t make a mess. Show kokua for the environment.
RESPONSIBILITY- Don’t act a fool. Be smart with your alcohol & substance consumption. Make good choices. Also, look our for your friends. Whenever I hear stories of ravers being carried away on stretchers, the first person I blame is the friends of the victim. You gotta look out for people. You come as a group- you leave as a group.
One of these most common ways of spreading PLUR is through giving kandi (like pictured above). Beaded bracelets made by hand to be given or traded with other ravers. The beads usually are a standard size, they come in all different colors, and lettered beads are often used to spell out words or phrases on the bracelets.
Every rave I go to, I try to make plenty of kandi to give out or to trade. I often make custom ones for my friends I know I will see at the event. I also make some generic ones to give out to people or trade. When I see a raver not wearing a kandi, I make a point to give them one. There is a series of hand gestures in which the kandi gets transferred from my wrist to theirs while we hold hands. If they have never been PLURRed a kandi before, I make sure I explain it to them, and encourage them to come to the next event with kandi, and join in on the PLURR.
I attended a rave called Winter Wonderland last night. Mat Zo was deejaying. I brought over a dozen kandi with me and gave them all out through the course of the night. One guy I gave a kandi to had his friend take photos of every PLUR step so that they will know how to do it from now on =) They said they now feel accepted … It made me happy to see them so excited.
We do not judge those who are new to the scene, nor do we try to keep newcomers out. Instead we welcome them with open arms. And while doing so, we educate them on the concept of PLURR and encourage them to acclimate themselves to the way we do things in our culture.
Demonstrating PLURR is something I always promote and strive to do myself. Keeping these practices alive is very important to me. If ravers showed a little more PLURR, it might help change the reputation of the scene, and keep the culture bustling!
-Love Koleana Kai McGuire
“Strings a bunch of beads together during arts and crafts, jeweler.”