Call the Babysitter, We're Going to a Rave
Dance floors are typically filled with the lithe bodies of enchanted youth still experiencing their first hundred shows. But what happens after the youth fades? In this feature from Esquire, Piotr Orlov explores what happened to the individuals that made up the counter-culture of the 90s. Adults with day-jobs return to their rave roots for a weekend at Even Further.This article originally appeared on Esquire
When did it happen? When was there no longer any doubt that the goings-on at Even Furthur, the late-August, throwback electronic-music festival, were going to get well and truly strange?
Was it at the weekend's drizzly onset, when, a mere four hours after gates opened onto the Northern Wisconsin property set to host this party, the site was already so muddy it made photos of Woodstock and Glastonbury seem like estate lawns? (The rain was a downpour for much of the first 48 hours, the sludge never-ending.)
Was it when we first spotted the "Old Age Wasteland" sign, made up of four-foot wooden letters and installed across the central field of this "techno campout"? (Next to the sign, a blacked-out middle-aged beardo was already sprawled on the ground; his condition, we were assured by a crew member passing in a golf cart, was "alive.")
(Photo courtesy of Ryan Lowry)
The community had dubbed the event an "Adult Rave," both as tongue-in-cheek characterization and literal shorthand descriptor. Its telling detail, that those over the age of 35 could attend at a special "old-school" discounted price—$20 cheaper than everyone else—felt like the Ecstasy generation's first AARP cardholder benefit. The tickets sold so well that the producers had to cap them, lest they lose their shirts. In the end, 3,000 people attended, 70 percent over the age of 35, according to event producer Kurt Eckes of theDrop Bass Network—all expertly layered against the unseasonably cold clime and collectively tripping their faces off.
How would these once-bright young things and early adopters of America's dance-music scene hold up, two decades later?And how high could they get while still attempting to beat back the inevitable?