An Interview with Miguel on COVID, Quarantine, and Raving!

How are you? How has curfew been? 

Curfew has been okay. Since I live alone I dont have much social interaction, but I find going outside and seeing people is nice. I have also been focusing on future goals, and thinking about that and cooking more and set a routine so it isn’t too bad. I also know there is an ending. so I am looking forward to that. 

So tell me, what was your relationship to raving before COVID and how did it change after? 

I was an extremely heavy raver. I raved a lot. Probably twice a week (Friday and Saturday) and Sunday would be my recovery day. When I went to rave I would go out around 8pm or 9pm and stay out until 5am. I loved raving, and the atmosphere because I thought it was an outlet. I love dancing in general, and the rave culture allowed me to dance any way I wanted without judgment. 

After lockdown it was hard to socialize, but I spent a lot more time watching DJ sets and listening to music. Before, I don’t think I understood or listened to DJing as much before. Now that I listen to more I know the intricacies. 

“I loved raving and the atmosphere because I thought it was an outlet.”

Do you think you found the same sense of joy in raving from home? 

I dont think it’s the same sense of joy. I think what I got from going to events was a sense of unity and collectivity with people around me. Now that I am at home I focus on myself a lot more, but I do get a sense of joy from online raving, but it is definitely different. 

Did you still feel the sense of community? 

Online raves, yes. There definitely is a sense of community. I went to an online rave for Alice Glass and it was cool because the screen would change for different people on the call. People would cheer for the person dancing when the screen shifted, so it still felt like we were connected. There still was a sense of community. It has shown me a lot about rave communities and how they have come out to support Djs and venues in different ways.  

Do you think it has changed your understanding of rave culture for the future? 

Definitely. I think before COVID I saw raving as a way of going out and meeting people, but now I realize the rave community does a lot for people. It is a community that is not only about dancing, DJing and techno, but also about supporting social issues. There is a big social impact as well. The rave community is extremely open and supports issues regarding the Queer community and racialized communities. For people who are part of the underground community and people who don’t fit in, they always have a place. 

So I know you have been doing lots of stuff to your hair. Can I ask you why? Why if nobody will see you? 

I have done lots to my hair. First, I buzzed my hair and dyed it pink. It is definitely a personal thing, but it is also a thing with rave culture is expressing yourself. Mullets are making a comeback and have become part of rave culture. Rave culture is also finding ways to properly express yourself. Quarantine gave me a way to change it up given I wasn’t going outside. Expressing myself also shows I am ‘with the shits.’ People may not see me at raves, but they do see me on the street and on social media, so I am advocating in some way for a community of self expression.

How are you? How has curfew been? 

Curfew has been okay. Since I live alone I dont have much social interaction, but I find going outside and seeing people is nice. I have also been focusing on future goals, and thinking about that and cooking more and set a routine so it isn’t too bad. I also know there is an ending. so I am looking forward to that. 

So tell me, what was your relationship to raving before COVID and how did it change after? 

I was an extremely heavy raver. I raved a lot. Probably twice a week (Friday and Saturday) and Sunday would be my recovery day. When I went to rave I would go out around 8pm or 9pm and stay out until 5am. I loved raving, and the atmosphere because I thought it was an outlet. I love dancing in general, and the rave culture allowed me to dance any way I wanted without judgment. 

After lockdown it was hard to socialize, but I spent a lot more time watching DJ sets and listening to music. Before, I don’t think I understood or listened to DJing as much before. Now that I listen to more I know the intricacies. 

Do you think you found the same sense of joy in raving from home? 

I dont think it’s the same sense of joy. I think what I got from going to events was a sense of unity and collectivity with people around me. Now that I am at home I focus on myself a lot more, but I do get a sense of joy from online raving, but it is definitely different. 

Did you still feel the sense of community? 

Online raves, yes. There definitely is a sense of community. I went to an online rave for Alice Glass and it was cool because the screen would change for different people on the call. People would cheer for the person dancing when the screen shifted, so it still felt like we were connected. There still was a sense of community. It has shown me a lot about rave communities and how they have come out to support Djs and venues in different ways.  

Do you think it has changed your understanding of rave culture for the future? 

Definitely. I think before COVID I saw raving as a way of going out and meeting people, but now I realize the rave community does a lot for people. It is a community that is not only about dancing, DJing and techno, but also about supporting social issues. There is a big social impact as well. The rave community is extremely open and supports issues regarding the Queer community and racialized communities. For people who are part of the underground community and people who don’t fit in, they always have a place. 

So I know you have been doing lots of stuff to your hair. Can I ask you why? Why if nobody will see you? 

I have done lots to my hair. First, I buzzed my hair and dyed it pink. It is definitely a personal thing, but it is also a thing with rave culture is expressing yourself. Mullets are making a comeback and have become part of rave culture. Rave culture is also finding ways to properly express yourself. Quarantine gave me a way to change it up given I wasn’t going outside. Expressing myself also shows I am ‘with the shits.’ People may not see me at raves, but they do see me on the street and on social media, so I am advocating in some way for a community of self expression.  

Has raving been part of this expression of youth and freedom during covid? 

Definitely. I think because of COVID people are not just going out to listen to music and dancing. People are looking at what is going on beyond the parties. It has definitely influenced young people to feel free to express themselves and what it does for people. 

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