Raves are a big deal in the Web3 space. They established themselves as a dynamic social stratum where authenticity, nostalgia, and community come together, sometimes sparking innovation. Once the cultural touchstones of a generation, these gatherings have evolved. They now are proof of our quest for connections and neo-spirituality—a quest that finds fresh perspectives in the new internet age.

They have been a way to escape from reality since 4ever, acting as sanctuaries where the soul can dance free, unburdened by the daily. But with the most recent cultural shifts, they became the playgrounds of the Web3 avant-garde, where the latest cultural moves unite with the energy of human expression, to honor life and (re)claim it.

As we now live in a so-called post-pandemic society, these alternative spaces bring hope, leading us toward a future filled with experiential depth. They show humans' resilience and ability to adapt, to find comfort and celebration in a very fast-changing world. The resurgence of this particular 90s culture is a call to all of us, degens or normies, a heads up that in our online existence, there is a pulse that thrives on real interactions and emancipation from the hell of the algorithms.

On the dance floor, we reengage with our fundamental human nature—sober or not. It’s a place where life’s rhythm harmonizes with a sense of communion and togetherness, reflecting our innate desires for creativity and collective ecstasy.

rAAVE, Istanbul, 2023

The Quest for Authenticity

In the online purgatory, saturated with curated content and cyber selves & slaves, raves are definitely a bastion of authenticity. While never logging off has become the norm, there’s a growing yearning for the opposite. Raves offer just that—a raw and real environment. They provide an unfiltered context where rav3rz can drop their PFPs and engage in genuine self-expression.

rAAVE, a party and rave collective by AAVE, the parent company of Lens Protocol, is a strong representative. They aim to revive the spirit of the classic London—and on a larger scale, the European—rave scene within the space, hosting decentralized parties across the globe from 2021. Their events pay homage to the recent-past techno scene while being clearly in a Web3 state of mind. It mixes underground and accessibility, and sets the floor for a global revival of the movement. rAAVEs are known for their inclusive atmosphere and hyper-curated experiences, where no detail is left behind. In 2022, after their Bogotá edition, the organizers found a glowing review in the unlikeliest of places for party reviews: The Economist. “It was a grown-up event—one which reflects a newfound maturity among a community more commonly known as anything but” said Alice Fulwood, the journalist, after an evening partying with the rAAVErs.

Seoul Milady rave, 2024

In a different register, there's also the Milady raves, organized by 33REISEN x Remilia. These deep basement parties are unique, embodying the often misunderstood Remilia tentacular ecosystem’s vibe. It’s a convergence of e-girls, cyberangels, aristo/NEET evangelists, cheering subcultures, network spirituality, fashion reminiscent of FRUiTS magazine, and the new internet with a twist. The parties are usually charged with upbeat rhythms and super crazy bootlegs, creating an experience that’s nostalgic and avant-garde.

Two rooms, two atmospheres but both have been pioneering a new format of raves, where the energy of the network comes across the rave culture. These are good examples, yet they are just a part of broader raves and club parties coordinated by various Web3 communities, DAOs, cultural initiatives, and more. Indeed, partying is an inherent aspect of the space, which is evidence of the craving for authenticity.

Milady in control, HÖR, Berlin

90s’ Nostalgia

The 90s rave culture, with its untamed spirit, continues to hold a magic that resonates across generations. It’s a timeless allure that captivates both the early rav3rz and clubberz, those who danced wildly under the strobes and lasers (and smoke machines of course), and the younger generations, who, though they never lived it, seek to (re)catch its essence.

While for many the music would appear to be the number one element to be nostalgic for, we can talk here about the rebirth of an entire subculture. This includes the return of Y2K fashion, glow bracelets and sticks, the classic smiley face :), and the sense of camaraderie that defined this time.

This longing is quite strong in Web3, bridging the past and present, where decentralized beliefs reflect the communal and anti-establishment ethos of the original scene. In this context, the crypto everything acts as a symbol of the autonomy that rav3rz celebrated back in the days. It represents a resurgence of the true values, where the new internet facilitates an updated collective experience, akin to the warehouse parties that defined the era for the OGs.

This revival is a shared memory, but also a mission to commemorate and perpetuate the spirit of freedom and community.

rAAVE, Istanbul, 2023

Touching Grass

We’re all just trying to keep our heads above water; screens serve as our windows, Zoom calls as our boardrooms, and for some of us (me), energy drinks become our lifeblood. Yet, in this chaos, parties have turned into havens for the spirit. Right in the thick of the bustling Web3 space, where being offline is almost prohibited, these hangouts offer a rare opportunity to ‘touch grass’—to step away from our devices for a moment. It’s a chance to recharge the mind, to bask in real surroundings, and to feel the energy of people moving together.

Amid beats and lights, one finds a break from the Infobahn. Raves are rituals of IRL reconnection—a digital detox and a gentle invitation to go AFK. As we chill and have fun, we’re reminded of the world beyond the matrix, a world that’s tactile, immediate, and profoundly human. It’s in these moments, lost in the music and found in the crowd, that we truly understand the power of touching grass—of being present, if only for a night, in the joy of reality.

Well, there are so many other factors that can be discussed about this increasing interest within internet communities, but this is my take for today.


rAAVE taking over the beach