Tag Archives: EDM

Rave kandies and the process of trading them at festivals

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Korean/White
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA/Colorado
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/19/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Main Piece 

Informant: The motto and the handshake of the community, and the code we live by is PLUR. It stands for Peace, Love, Unity, Respect. It means you’re peaceful, and not there to start shit. We gotta spread love, we gotta spread unity because we are all vibing together. Then there is respect, because you have to respect everyone there and the land where the concert is because we don’t want to leave trash around. 

One of the things that ravers do to express themselves are Kandies. They are bracelets made of elastic string and beads, they are really easy to make and people usually make them themselves, and then some people get really advanced. You can trade kandi with people, when you meet them usually you trade kandies when you are about to leave and there is a whole handshake for the trade. 

Interviewer: What is the handshake like?

Informant: First it is peace so you hold out a peace sign and touch both fingertips. And then you do love, so you make half of a heart with your hand and join it to theirs. So when they’re together they make one big heart. And then you do unity where you grab each other’s hands, like interlocking fingers. And then on respect, you trade the kandies and transfer it from your wrist to theirs while your hand is still interlocked. 

Interviewer: What are kandies usually made out of?

Informant: The kandies are usually handmade, they are made of beads. sometimes they spell out different artists, different DJs, different sayings. It is kinda like the pins at Disneyland, people are always looking to trade kandies with each other to collect memories of different times. 

Background

The informant is a great friend and housemate of mine, who is currently a senior at USC studying Health and Human Sciences whose family is living in a town four hours outside of Denver, Colorado. Coming from a military family, the informant has lived in various areas, the most memorable for him was New Orleans. The informant is half Korean and half Caucasian, and is a sports fanatic having played soccer for most of his life. The informant is also a very big raver, as he enjoys going to several festivals a year, originally beginning to attend in his senior year of high school. 

Context

One day while we were at our house I noticed that he had on a whole sleeve full of what looked like friendship bracelets, and when I asked him what they were for he explained that they were kandies for a rave he was attending that night. After he was willing to interview, I asked him about the bracelets and the customs of raves. 

Analysis

I think these folk objects are a very inexpensive and easy way to make and a great way for ravers to identify with one another when they are in crowds at large festivals. I think the practice of trading kandies and the handshake that goes along with it symbolize folk greetings at these festivals, and provide a sense of unity and togetherness. As the informant mentioned, it is also a way for people to remember certain festivals or raves that they attend. 

Mosh-pit culture at EDM raves and festivals

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Korean/White
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles/Colorado
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/19/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Main Piece

Interviewer: What are the rules of mosh-pitting?

Informant: If someone falls, you pick them up you do not trample them. You are not trying to intentionally hurt anyone, that is usually a golden rule. Sometimes there are also women-only moshpits, and it is pretty cool because it encourages women to mosh without worrying about the muscled-up guys that usually mosh. Every guy will let them just have their pit, it is always respected. 

There are different types of moshpits too. There is a circle where people just mosh in a big circle thing. And then there is a circle pit, basically you are just running in a circle, there’s no bumping or hitting it is just running. Sometimes people are inside the circle, and some of them can get huge like wall to wall at venues. That is a weird one haha.

There are also ones called Wall of Deaths–those are crazy, man. DJ’s usually start it by saying “Yo, this is my last song, I wanna see a Wall of Death in this Motherfucker. Lets’s Go!” 

Basically what happens is two lines open the middle of the venue, and people go to one of the sides. Once you have a big enough opening, the bass drops, and then both sides just run at each other. You collide with each other and then you just make this giant mosh pit. It is crazy. You’ll usually see this with EDM, pop-punk, heavy-metal. 

Background

The informant is a great friend and housemate of mine, who is currently a senior at USC studying Health and Human Sciences whose family is living in a town four hours outside of Denver, Colorado. Coming from a military family, the informant has lived in various areas, the most memorable for him was New Orleans. The informant is half Korean and half Caucasian, and is a sports fanatic having played soccer for most of his life. The informant is also a very big raver, as he enjoys going to several festivals a year, originally beginning to attend in his senior year of high school. 

Context

Being someone who attended a lot of Latinx punk shows in my hometown, I am a big fan of moshing. Last year my informant took me to my first rave, and explained the different styles of moshing and how to mosh in this scenario. Now, I have gone to a couple of more, and during our interview I asked hi to break down the rules and different types of moshpits. 

Analysis

I think mosh-pits are a type of folk dance at certain venues where participants are able to act in a more aggressive and violent manner than how they’d act in everyday scenarios. Moshing gives a lot of individuals a chance to express any pent up anger or aggression, while still balancing the concept of PLUR (Peace, Love Unity, Respect) which many ravers follow. I believe that is why there are many types of mosh-pits and set rules to secure that people do not seriously injure themselves. 

Kandi in the Rave Community

--Informant Info--
Nationality: United States
Age: 20
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/10/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

The following is a retelling of a performative event experienced by the informant: 

Informant: 

“ In the rave culture, that is the community and happenings surrounding EDM (electronic dance music) there are a lot of things that everyone in the community partakes in together as acts to show unity and respect. Actually, there is a term P.L.U.R., this stands for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. There are these bead bracelets that are worn called “Kandi” and people make all kinds of kandi, some are really simply and just a single strand of beads and some are very intricate and are even 3-D. Ravers have these kandi to trade with people at shows that they have moments with – like they dance together for a song or a set and have fun, one person lends someone something etc and then at the end of a moment they will exchange these bracelets with a handshake that emulates “P.L.U.R.” . For Peace they both make a peace sign, like a “v” with their index and middle finger, touch the finger tips together and from that they keep their hands pressed against each other and make the shape of a heart for “love” with each person making one side of the heart. For unity they move their hands so they are flat against each other’s, palm to palm like a prayer position, then they interlock their fingers on respect and while their hands are interlocked one of them pulls a bracelet from their wrist over their interlocked hands and then to the other person’s wrist and the other person with reciprocate. It’s a fun way to remember wholesome moments with strangers, and a lot of times people will keep their favorite Kandis and only trade them with people who mean a lot to them.” 

Background: 

The informant refers to himself as a raver and has partook in the giving and receiving of kandi. He says it is sometimes a really lovely moment and is one of his favorite things about going to EDM festivals. He says he often makes Kandi for people he is going to raves with, and then if he is with that friend at a set for a Dj they both love, he will trade the person a specialized kandi and it is always a really special moment for both of them as the other person has often also made a special kandi for the moment. 

Context: 

The informant is a friend of mine and I was asking him questions about why he likes raving so much. He then brought me a kandi and he taught me the handshake.

My thoughts: 

I think this is a really wholesome way to share and remember events with strangers. Not only is it a performative moment that can serve as an initiation into the in-group since it’s a big deal to receive your first kandi.