Gaëlle Bombereau

From Abandon in Rave to Abandoning Rave


Putting techno-rave events in the lens of the works of Van Gennep or other anthropologists shows that there is something of an initiation played out here, and that it is legitimate to see this phenomenon acting as a rite of passage in the transitional phase leading to adulthood. The word “ play ” appears well chosen here, as ravers playfully experiment their subjectivity in a parallel world which can be thought of as a mirror-image of everyday reality. Beyond the idealization of techno-rave and its either rough-edged or suave aesthetic, triteness is transfigured in a festive plane where ravers can experiment social life as a playground of trials. Eventually, and through a hard-come change in focus, the painful withdrawal from this world can be made possible. From the idealized and idealizing representation of the festive sphere, to a more negative personal and interiorised point of view, putting an end to a raver’s “ career ” means accepting the changes the experience has resulted in.