DNA Explainer: what are rave parties?

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On Saturday October 2, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a rave party in Mumbai and arrested 8 people, including Aryan Khan, the eldest son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

After detaining and questioning the star child, NCB arrested Aryan Khan on Sunday, October 3 at 2 p.m. Khan was arrested in connection with the agency’s seizure of several different drugs, including 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of MD, 21 grams of hash, 22 MDMA pills and Rs 1.33 lakh in cash.

Aryan Khan was detained alongside others who were present with him at the time of the raid, including the actor called Arbaaz Merchantt.

Aryan Khan

The Mumbai raid party is not the first of its kind in the country. Rave parties have been around for decades in the West. In India, they have been on the rise and in the news several times in recent years.

What are rave parties?

Rave parties are described as dance parties related to a specific type of music known as electronic dance music. In their current form, rave parties originated in the 1990s, when DJs played a variety of music at illegal underground events. These evenings can also feature live musicians and dancers. People who attend rave parties are called “ravers”.

Rave parties are characterized by music played at extremely high volumes with deep bass thanks to powerful subwoofers and large audio systems, as well as visual effects such as laser shows, image projections, neon signs and fog machines.

The size of rave parties can range from small evenings in private enclosures and clubs to large festivals, featuring multiple DJs and specific dance areas, held in large grounds and warehouses. Such parties go on uninterrupted for many hours, extending into the night or even for an entire 24-hour day. Rave parties can have exorbitant entry fees for ravers.

Origin of the term ‘rave’

The term rave is said to have originated in 1950s London in the UK, where it was used in reference to “wild bohemian parties”.

It became the word for all the crazy and over-the-top parties in general over the next decade, before fading away for a while. It resurfaced in the 1990s with the birth of the dance music genre.

Illegal drugs at rave parties

Rave nights are synonymous with widespread use of illegal drugs such as cocaine, party drugs or MDMA, MD, LSD, GHB, cannabis, hashish, ketamine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. Police and narcotics agencies are always on high alert against such events and often carry out raids at rave parties to arrest drug suppliers and dismantle racketeering.


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