With electronic dance music becoming more and more pervasive in the mainstream, and parties increasingly commercialized, is there still such a thing as a "rave?" And by "rave" I mean a community-vibe underground gathering that combines visual art, music, dance and a DIY spirit and is spread by word of mouth. After checking out an underground full-moon party, I can testify that the answer is positive.
The venue was located in the middle of nowhere (a botanical garden somewhere in the hills of Taoyuan County), so getting there was an adventure in itself. The revelers who made it were rewarded with a spectacular party in idyllic surroundings under the starlight. The first things that struck my eyes were the elaborate glowing decorations and the beautiful sky. The partygoers all seemed in fine fettle. Some of the attendees were artists who helped decorate the venue with their artwork, some were fire-dancers and some brought their drums and tents to share with their friends. Mostly, people went for the love of music. There were about 150 people that night, a mix of foreigners and Taiwanese.
"It feels like a reunion for me. You will understand what I mean if you ever come back again," said Taipei resident Jack Lee. "Most of the people here tonight are regulars, who would show up every time."
The founders behind this impressive event, which only takes place two or three times a year, is a small group of like-minded psy-trance lovers called 26D Production. Dragon, a member of the crew, is a veteran Taiwanese DJ and producer who's played at large-scale outdoor events in England, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Africa.
This type of party also appeals to people who don't normally listen to psy-trance. "You don't need to be a psy-trance fan to enjoy the party. The fresh air, open space, cool people and moonlight are what this is all about," partygoer Andy Yu said. Although the sun was already up by the time we left, the music and the party people showed no signs of slowing down.
So when is the next party? Why don't we all go? Well, I've been asked not to reveal any of the contact information because the organizers don't want to attract too large a crowd. But if you are a true raver, follow the clues in this review.