Whether raving is the same as clubbing, depends on the definitions of these two. Raving can be as easy to define as simply “attending a rave”. Clubbing, can maybe just mean hitting different clubs in a night. If these two definitions are good enough for you, then the simple answer is “no”. However, the club and rave scene has been changing significantly in the past decades. Both raving and clubbing are becoming more hybrid and therefore the questions whether raving is the same as clubbing can be not as straightforward to answer. Below I have gathered 5 main differences between raving and clubbing that I have encountered in both scenes.
Differences between clubbing and raving
For me raving is not the same as clubbing. I enjoy both, but when thinking about what to do in a night I will distinguish these two in order to make my decision. The below factors are usually what guides me to decide or determine whether I will be raving or clubbing.
A big difference between raves and clubs is the type of music that the DJs play. Clubs focus on playing music that is popular to a wider public. In many cases, the DJs playing at clubs will include current pop remixes rather than their own creations in their sets. Raves on the other hand, tend to target people who seek to listen to electronic music mixes and enjoy hearing new music created by the very DJ playing at the rave. Therefore, what kind of music you feel like hearing will determine whether you are going raving or clubbing.
Another difference is that raves tend to have a line-up of different DJs playing while clubs do not always mention the DJ in the house. If they do, it is my experience that is not as emphasized as with raves marketing. Since when clubbing, the music is often popular you would know who the artist is. When raving, I enjoy knowing who the DJs are playing the sets since I can look them up later and listen to other music they have created. Knowing who the DJs are is not as important when clubbing as when raving.
Clubs are well known for places where you can go dance to your favorite tunes. It is almost as if some places play some of the same songs frequently which makes it easier to know what they will be playing that night. This factor makes them fun places to party since you already have an idea of the playlist. If you frequently go to a specific club, you will eventually learn the songs and can easily dance along. This may sound familiar about clubs in college. Because of the familiarity of the music, dancing with a group of people or in pairs is popular as everyone is singing along while dancing. Raves, on the other hand, are not as popular when looking for somewhere to go dancing. Still dancing happens but more as a side effect of the music. Most times you will be deep listening to the music and dancing along to this but most probably solo. To learn some moves for the raving scene, check our post about how to dance at raves.
When hearing the word clubbing, you may most likely think of a big venue with radiant decorations, fancy cocktails and an open dance floor. When hearing raving, you may instead think of a more close, underground, and dark area with a stage where the DJ is the center attraction. This visualization is also very present in most clubs and raves. There are of course some cool and elaborated raves, but it is my experience that this is more important and present in clubs than raves.
However, in the last decade a lot of clubs are becoming more hybrid in regards to the rave scene. Clubs may slowly change the focus to more electronic music as the darker hours approach or even introduce a special DJ. And likewise, raves are also becoming a bit more hybrid by including more themed decorations in the venues. Also, some sitting areas where people can enjoy their cocktails and talk.
Number of places you go in the night
Clubbing usually implies hitting different clubs in a night. Raving is most understood as staying in the same place because of a specific line-up. This may not strictly be the case, but it is my experience that one will most likely hit different cool clubs in a night rather than different raves. However, if you have had this experience, please let us know about it in the comments. We would be very interesting to read about this way of raving!
Thank you for reading our blog about the question, is raving and clubbing the same? We are all different type of people, and ravers, so let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Also, please check our shop for accessories for your next rave, or club.
Tatianna Rodriguez has been in the rave community throughout her life. Each month she visits a new country around the world to explore their rave traditions and beliefs. She is excited to help you learn more about the rave and music festival scene.