"Rave, Rave... Against the Dying of the Light"

By April Clyburne-Sherin
Dartmouth High School
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Raves, often held in warehouses or other large venues, usually boast one or more rooms, each with a set of disc jockeys and light shows. Often they don't start until late in the evening, and many high school students go just to have a place to dance until the early hours of the morning.

Most ravers in Dartmouth High School explain that their love for raves is due to the sense of community and openness they experience while at the rave.


"Everyone there is so open- minded," grade 12 student Deirdre Porter comments, "You see people that are openly gay at raves, and nobody cares. They're just there to have fun."

With dances ending even earlier this year, there are few opportunities for minors in Halifax or Dartmouth to dance, unrestricted, all night. For many teens, dancing is not only fun and exercise, it also helps relieve stress.

Parents, however, often feel insecure about the rave scene. Even some of the ravers themselves aren't always crazy about time period before they enter the chosen venue. Due to the limited areas for raves to be held, the buildings chosen can sometimes be located in unfamiliar, and shady, neighbourhoods. Once inside, however, ravers agree that they feel nothing but security and protection.

"Sometimes they have cops there," former Dartmouth High School student Britta Sherin adds.

"My mom doesn't want me to go to raves," grade 12 student Stefanie Bruce commented, "because of their association with drugs."

There is an undeniable connection between drug use and raves that many parents fear. Most raves are alcohol free, and the drugs sometimes used at raves are Ecstasy, Special K, LSD, GHB and Crystal Meth.

Although any raver will agree that many people go to raves completely sober and have a great time, some believe going high is much more fun.

Ecstasy is known to increase a person's energy levels, and often makes them more social. Ecstasy is considered the most popular and most common drug used by ravers. These drugs, however pleasant the high and moderate the use, can result in unnatural heart rates, seizures, and organ failures; and death can occur even without overdosing. If used in excessive amounts, or if mixed with other drugs, these substances can cause permanent, and fatal, damage to ones body and mind.

"The connection between drugs and raves isn't fair," grade 11 student Siobhan Martin states. "The people who take drugs at raves enjoy the effect of them, and are willing to take the risks. They would do them whether there were raves or not. Just because you go to a rave, doesn't mean you're going to do drugs."

Until there are more exciting options for students at Dartmouth High School who love to party, the number of them who will party at raves will likely increase. Precautions and careful planning to ensure their friends' and their own safety at the rave can help to guarantee a carefree and thrilling night for all involved.