The Hedonistic MDMA Rave Culture & How To Understand It

The ”E” era was a hedonistic time when MDMA (Ecstacy) was known as the drug of choice at raves in the early 90s. The MDMA rave culture wasn’t the first to experiment.

In New York and Chicago, clubbers experimented in the early to late 80s. The UK ravers were in for a huge surprise. We never promote the use of MDMA and have proof later in this post that it can have its negatives.

The timing of ecstacy was perfect with illegal raves and parties taking place all over the UK where the best was yet to come. Without glorifying the use of MDMA, it’s a fact the reason it was so easy to get was the lack of knowledge known about it.

Nothing was done about the situation for a few years so people partied with the freedom to experiment. Retrospective to what happened in New York and Chicago freedom was now thriving on the UK rave scene.

It wasn’t a case of taking drugs for the sake of it, therefore people would only take MDMA at raves or after parties. It’s a recreational drug of choice and that choice was mostly to energise and create euphoria on the dancefloor.

The Rave Scene

The “rave scene” refers to a cultural movement that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, characterized by electronic dance music (EDM), all-night dance parties, and a sense of countercultural rebellion.

The rave scene reached its peak popularity in the mid-1990s but gradually declined in the late 1990s and early 2000s. MDMA was far purer in the early 90s with (The Love Dove) heading the want list for MDMA in general.

MDMA The Drug Of Choice?

The Hedonistic MDMA Rave Culture & How To Understand It

Going back 30+ years ago MDMA came in the form of a small pill. The most prominent pill of choice was known as (The Love Dove) This was a pure form of MDMA and was sold at a whopping price of around £15 – £20 per pill.

Yes, the price was high, however, bear in mind ravers reframed from drinking large amounts of alcohol (True Ravers at Least) Considering back then most people only took one or two pills per event.

It became the recreational drug of choice because it created euphoria. It was a time of real pleasure soaking up the vibes and reaching out to each other. Hugs, kisses and in-depth conversations were everywhere.

MDMA Rave & Freedom

It was a sense of total freedom from what was going on during the Thatcherism days. The economy was weak and the minor strikes became violent. People needed some freedom to express themselves.

That freedom came in the form of parties and lots of them. It wasn’t until the press decided to change its mind from loving what was happening to later calling it a drug-fuelled mass of hedonism.

Without the freedom of the MDMA rave scene, EDM wouldn’t be as remarkable as it is today. Old Skool ravers understand that PLUR is the only way forward and that part of EDM history is ours.

The excitement before events was phenomenal, whereas, ravers couldn’t wait for the next rave to take place. With the freedom to party and attendance climbing week after week, it couldn’t get any better.

Due to so much free raves were destined to be monitored and then stopped. This is the case with most things that seem perfect in life. It’s a shame the scene later split and the government created a new law called the Criminal Justice Bill.

MDMA Rave – Euphoria On The Dancefloor

The Hedonistic MDMA Rave Culture & How To Understand It

When a night was scheduled to take place ravers across the country attended from all over the UK. Once in the event ravers would pop their first pill, some would decrease the risk of being searched and swallow their stash in the queue.

It was common to be waiting in the queue only to come up after taking MDMA. The Music was booming inside and expectations were high. Ravers simply couldn’t wait to hit the dance floor.

Once on the dancefloor, it was rare to take breaks for some hours as the ”E” effect held ravers close together and the music took them on a journey. The total energy of the night was surreal.

The music, the lights and the promotional professionalism took events to a new level. The use of MDMA made the nights more exciting with lasting memories even today.

DJs, PAs and fairground attractions all played a part in the rave itself. The atmosphere is what drove the masses to go wild on the dancefloor. Ravers would look at each other and nod when a decent tune came on in agreement.

Rave Invitations

The word got around pretty quickly in 1991 due to the sheer number of people getting involved. Invites from ravers were passed over to friends. The message was clear.

It’ll be the best time of your life.

Taking that message into account those that were invited or found the scene as an experimental phase themselves became infatuated. It was a lifestyle change something many searched for.

The general public was intrigued to know what was going on. Back in the illegal rave days, you would have to have had an invite. The location of the rave wasn’t issued until the last moment.

Flyers were littered everywhere during the legal rave days. partygoers would collect and pin them on the wall of the bedroom. New nights were advertised via flyers for raves all over the UK.

The MDMA race scene attracted thousands and nothing at the time could stop it. Service stations up and down the country filled with ravers both night and day after and before events.

Is Taking MDMA Worth It?

After interviewing five people from the rave days who attended raves from 1990-1998 three out of the five said they had repercussions. These are ravers that attended raves and took MDMA frequently over the years.

It’s quite obvious from our calculation that taking MDMA does affect moods later on in life. This is due to serotonin depletion. Serotonin is a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in the brain and throughout your body.

Don’t try or even experiment with MDMA now. It’s less likely to even be close to being MDMA and could be classed as even more dangerous if tested. It’s far from the days of the Love Dove.

All Eyes On Us

The use of MDMA at raves became noticeable around 1988 – 1994 when the press kept writing vicious reports about drug-fuelled parties across the UK. Reports were taken note of and the government began their restriction plan.

While attempts at harm reduction in this area were initially publicly vilified, soon drug agencies, the medical profession and the government all responded with a new stream of harm reduction initiatives.

This was aimed at reducing the death toll. If we look at the harm-induced rate of deaths caused by alcohol over the years it’s far higher. However, It’s always a risk taking drugs and knowing little about MDMA it became the top priority to learn more.

The Rave Scene Split

The raves became bigger and more publicised and I guess you could say the MDMA rave scene was too obvious. It kind of grew too big and drugs became the main topic when discussed.

Ironically it wasn’t until around 1994 the rave split into Jungle, Drum & Bass and Hardcore. Those that loved the unique hardcore days found themselves with fewer raves to attend and it became less friendly.

Raves Began To Decrease

The Criminal Justice Bill meant licenses became harder to obtain for events and MDMA was looked upon as a class A drug. The whole scene’s freedom was decreasing and ravers became more aware of authorities.

That time of freedom was so special it’s hard to explain. Like most raves, you simply had to have been there to know how amazing it was. When we were left alone it was total freedom.

The end of the rave scene is a complex topic with several factors contributing to its decline. Some of the factors that led to the end of the rave scene include a crackdown on illegal raves.

The UK government introduced new laws to restrict unauthorized parties, and the police began to crack down on illegal raves. This made it difficult for promoters to organize events without facing legal consequences.

As the rave scene grew in popularity, it became more commercialized. This led to a dilution of the original rave culture, and many enthusiasts lost interest in the scene.

The rave scene was often associated with drug use, and the use of ecstasy and other drugs became more widespread in and out of clubs. It was out of control and too many risks were taken.

MDMA Rave Consclusion

The Hedonistic MDMA Rave Culture & How To Understand It

Although the rave scene still exists I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling sad about saying goodbye to the rave scene of the 90s. It’s understandable that moving on from the rave community must have been difficult.

It’s important to remember that people and communities often grow and change, and it’s natural to move on to different experiences and interests. Even though those great memories are there now nostalgia is too.

If you’re feeling down about leaving the rave scene, it might be helpful to reach out to friends or acquaintances from that community to reminisce about good times or plan a new adventure together.

You can join our community at Rave On 1991 on the Rave-Based Forum.

It’s important to focus on the opportunities and experiences that lie ahead. MDMA Raves might be less, however, you can build something new from past memories and hope that someday freedom to party all night will return.