Putting Out Fyres: What Is a Rave and How Can You Throw Your Own?

    You’ve been working like crazy lately, and you’ve hardly had any time to run errands, let alone do something fun with your friends. 

    But finally, things are starting to slow down, and you’re ready to put your party pants on and let your hair down. 

    But, you don’t want to do the same ol’, same ol’ routine of hitting up the bars and clubs. Nope, you’re ready to do something different. You want to throw your own party, but you don’t know where to begin. 

    That’s where we come in.

    You’ve been working hard, and that means it’s time to party hard. 

    But, what’s the best way to party hard? We suggest throwing a rave. 

    What is a rave, you ask? And more importantly, how do you throw your own rave? 

    Check out this guide to learn what a rave is and how to throw your own.

    What Is a Rave? 

    First things first, what’s a rave?

    A rave isn’t your ordinary party. Raves are large dance parties that are usually thrown in secluded locations (sometimes even underground). They almost always feature performances by DJs, and they also typically feature performances by other artists as well. 

    During a rave, they play- you guessed it- rave music (think electronic dance music- you know, the stuff you can really bump your head to). The type of electronic music the DJ plays can be broken down even further into techno music, house music, hardcore music, dub-step, drum and bass, and post-industrial. 

    Don’t worry about learning about all the different types of music for your rave party. To find good rave music, you can easily find playlists on Spotify that fit the bill. 

    Typically, raves last all night long. And, they also tend to attract attention from cops, as most raves involve the use of drugs, such as marijuana, MDMA, ketamine, cocaine, and LSD. 

    Raves are also a fairly new type of dance party. In fact, the first raves didn’t start popping up until the late 1980s/early 1990s. In the beginning, you could only find raves in huge metropolitan cities in the US. Nowadays, raves take place all over the world- from New Zealand to South America. 

    How to Throw Your Own Rave 

    Ok, we know what you’re thinking- “World-renowned DJs, bumping club music, dancing until dawn- is it really possible to throw a DIY rave party?!”

    The answer is yes. While some of the biggest raves attract thousands and thousands of people from all over the world, it’s not a requirement. 

    Even with a small budget and a small guest list, you can throw an awesome rave party. 

    How do you do it?

    Let’s dive into the details. 

    Set a Budget 

    First things first, you want to set a budget for your rave. Setting a budget will help you determine how many people you can invite, how much alcohol you need to stalk up on, and what type of venue you can host your party at. 

    Setting a budget should be done even before you let others know about your rave party. This way, your guests will have an idea of what to expect coming into the party. 

    Also, when setting your budget, you need to decide whether or not you want this to be an intimate event that you invite a handful of friends too, or if you want it to be a huge party. 

    If you want it to be a huge party, then you might want to consider charging a cover for your rave. It may sound silly to charge your friends to come and party with you, but if you encourage your friends to come with a crew, that’s a lot of people to host for free!

    The price you charge for your rave will depend on what you’re willing to provide, but generally, you should be charging between $10-$25. 

    Create Your Guest List 

    Once you have a rough idea of how much you’re willing to spend up front for your rave (remember, you can make money back if you charge people), then it’s time to create your guest list. 

    When creating your guest list, you should also think about where you want to throw your rave. For example, if you want to invite 200 people to your rave, you’re not going to be able to throw the event in your basement. 

    But, if you only want to invite 20 or so people, a basement rave is possible. 

    Once your numbers start getting into the triple digits, you’ll probably want to start thinking about renting out space. 

    Also, you need to decide whether or not you want to allow your guests to bring friends, or if it’s a closed event. 

    There are pros and cons to opening your rave to people you don’t know. On the one hand, the more people you invite, the better chance you have of emulating a true rave environment. 

    But, inviting people you don’t know opens up all kinds of liability issues. 

    If you think you can handle the chaos (and still enjoy yourself), and you trust your friends’ judgment, then, by all means, open up that invite. 

    Choose a Venue 

    Other than the music, we’d argue that the venue is the most important element of creating a rave environment. 

    Besides making sure your venue is big enough to fit all of your guests, you’ll also want to keep location in mind. When looking at venues, ask yourself:

    • Is this somewhere people can easily get to?
    • Is it in a quiet neighborhood where people might call the cops if the noise gets out of control?
    • Does the venue have any safety hazards, ie, not enough emergency exits in the case of a fire?
    • Is there enough space for people to dance and mingle?
    • Are there enough bathrooms?

    By asking yourself these important questions, you’ll be able to find the perfect rave location. 

    Also, if you don’t want to fork over money to rent a venue, you could also ask around and see if any of your friends have a place they’d be willing to let you use. Who knows, one of your friends might just have a barn that’s doing nothing but collecting dust and that would make for the perfect rave environment. 

    Send Out Invites

    Once you’ve got your guest list set, it’s time to send out the invites. 

    You can either send out the invitations electronically or create them by hand.

    While handmade invitations are fun to make, we strongly suggest electronic ones. Electronic invites are extremely cost-effective, and you don’t have to worry about your guests losing track of them and texting you for party information the day of the event. 

    Your invitations should include all of the party details- where it’s being held, the cost, if guests can invite people, the hours of the party, and any other important information. 

    Also, make sure you have a spot for your guests to RSVP. 

    Assemble the Music

    A rave party is all about the music, so assembling the playlist isn’t something you should be doing at the last minute. 

    If you don’t trust your own playlist creation skills, you can always hire a DJ who has experience working raves. 

    Purchase Party Supplies 

    Having the right party supplies will really help set the tone of your rave. 

    For your rave to be truly authentic, you want to have as much glow in the dark items as possible- we’re talking glow sticks, glow necklaces, glow paint, and even lava lamps. 

    Also, think of the logistic party supplies you’ll need- tables for people to set their drinks on, alcohol, plenty of toilet paper, a coat rack, and a generator for the DJ booth. This site has industrial diesel generators for sale that are worth checking out. 

    Hire the Right Help 

    We strongly suggest that if you’re throwing a large rave party, you hire some help

    This will not only ensure the party runs as smoothly as possible, but it will also ensure that you get a chance to enjoy yourself. 

    We suggest hiring the following:

    • A DJ
    • A Security guard/doorman
    • Bartenders
    • A coat check person

    Of course, if you’re throwing a small rave in your basement, you won’t need coat check or a doorman. 

    But, a bartender is a really great addition to any rave, no matter the size. This way, people can order specialty drinks that you don’t have to worry about making. 

    Plus, when people have to order their drinks, they’re less likely to pick up a bottle and start chugging. This will help keep the event at least somewhat under control. 


    If you’re throwing your rave at a public venue, you will definitely need a permit from the city. 

    While getting a permit can be a hassle, this is certainly a step you don’t want to skip. The last thing you want is for your rave to be shut down simply because you skipped out on some paperwork. 

    Are You Ready to Throw the Rave of the Century? 

    Now that you know the answer to the question “What is a rave?” and how to plan one, it’s time to get started. 

    As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into throwing a rave. But once you’re bumping your head on the dance floor with a glowstick in one hand and a drink in another, you’ll realize all the planning was totally worth it. 

    If you have any questions about planning a rave, please comment below. 

    And, after you’ve thrown your dream party, we suggest you start planning your dream vacation. Read this guide to learn how to plan a dream vacation.