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What Is PLUR?

You've heard ravers talk about PLUR a lot, and you've heard music festivals talk about it, too. But, what is PLUR?

By Ossiana TepfenhartPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

As an OG in the rave scene, I can tell you that EDM culture and rave culture has definitely evolved a lot over the years. I initially joined the rave scene in the mid-2000s, and many of my closer friends in that scene were the people who held underground raves in the 90s.

Honestly, it's really hard to recognize mainstream rave culture when you compare it to what it was back then. I can think of quite a few differences that would make most newbie ravers raise an eyebrow.

For example, back in the day, there were no tutus and teeny, tiny rave outfits. Actually, ravers basically looked like walking glow tents. There was a point where almost all rave outfits were also handmade.

Going to your first rave often also meant that you'd learn how to spraypaint your own goods, too, so you wouldn't look like a narc at your next party.

Of late, raving became a lot safer, too. When it wasn't popular, police would immediately stop people wearing beads and cuff them under the RAVE Act. Rave totems? Well, they weren't really a thing cause you'd probably get arrested instantly for having one.

One of the things that people won't tell you about being a DJ in the old school rave scene is that you got a lot of flak from it. I remember seeing a lot of my friends getting made fun of for not joining other music genres instead. (Joke's on those guys, they're famous now.)

Over the years, raving also became more accessible. It used to be that you'd need to know someone to even find out where a DJ was spinning. Even today, finding certain kinds of raves (*cough* happy hardcore concerts *cough*) often might require knowing someone who knows someone.

Terminology also changed. Even the name "RAVE" used to be an all-caps thing that stood for Radical Audio Visual Experience. But, there was one thing that's always remained the same: PLUR.

But, what is PLUR, per se? As a long-term fan of electronica and electronica culture, let me explain what PLUR is, and why we all need it in our lives.

What Is PLUR: An Acronym

PLUR is an acronym, first off. It stands for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. It's basically the credo that all ravers are expected to live by, though many might not. Some older ravers, upon noticing issues in the community, also add an extra "R" for Responsibility.

That being said, PLUR is more than an acronym. It's a mentality that's pervasive in the rave community. It's the idea that, no matter who's standing next to you in the concert, they are your friend simply because they are there.

PLUR is the thing that makes people take hours on end to make kandi bracelets, knowing that they would give them away to random strangers and trade them with others. You do it because you feel PLUR for them, and you want them to know that there is unity within the movment.

It's a radical notion, the idea that you should just love someone because they are a fan of rave culture.

Yet, at the end of the day, we're all human. We all have flaws and problems. Isn't it a better, wiser idea to promote peace, love, unity, and respect to make the world a better place — even if it's just for a couple of hours in a warehouse?

What Is PLUR: The Community

To a point, PLUR is one of those things that needs to be experienced in order to be fully understood.

I've seen a lot of different communities out there. I used to be an anime geek, a goth, and more. However, those communities had absolutely nowhere near the level of love, acceptance, and support that I've witnessed in the rave scene.

  • PLUR is when you see homeless people in the scene getting shelter, no questions asked, and being asked if they need soap to shower.
  • PLUR is seeing a group of people, post-rave, split a massive box of food just because they know half the group can't afford to eat otherwise.
  • PLUR is when you have someone who's been desperate for attention find the friends they've always needed — and finally get their mind right as a result of the companionship they have.
  • PLUR is having someone give you a drug test to make sure that you stay safe if you choose to do ecstasy.
  • PLUR is making sure that a stranger is alright if you see them crying or sick at a rave.
  • PLUR is making sure your broke friends have a place to camp when they're at one of the best music festivals in the US — and then asking to split a bottle of vodka with them.

Yes, I've seen all that in the rave scene, and even more. I have yet to see that level of unity, love, and empathy in any other scene on a regular basis. That's special. That's what PLUR is about. What is PLUR, if not a community mentality?

While there are definitely a lot of flaws in the rave community, I can't imagine my life without PLUR in it. I just...can't. It means that much to me.

What is PLUR, if not a great way to live life and learn to bond with your fellow people? What is PLUR, if not the cure to a lot of the ills of society? What is PLUR, if not the reason why electronica has one of the most tight-knit communities out there?

I truly believe that, if more people would take up PLUR and act on PLURRy principles, the world would be a lot better. So, I live PLUR. I love PLUR. And I suggest it to everyone who I meet.


About the Creator

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of New Jersey. This is her work account. She loves gifts and tips, so if you like something, tip her!

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