Pavement Rave- Being apart of the Future of EDM in a Pandemic
Before COVID hit, shutting everything down, I spent majority of my free time at venues. Whether I was working for Live Nation or Steez or just attending as a fan, I was at a show 2-4 nights a week. Then the infamous corona virus hit the US early March. Luckily the weekend before the city of Philadelphia shut down their venues I was fortunate enough to attend three shows in a row. I decided to attend that many shows on back to back nights to kick off my spring break. Looking back at it I got much more of a spring break then I bargained for when I thought it would only be a few weeks. But super glad I made the decision to see Tchami, Subtroincs, and Mitis as my last shows.
When my quarantine started I thought about how long it would be till I attended another live event again. 6 months? 9 months? Maybe a year? However the scene is fast acting and livestreams took over to replace weekend nights once spent at crowded venues to now lonely quite nights at home.
However then the EDM scene really stepped up and started announcing drive in raves across the country. Quickly there was coined all kinds of drive in raves, vibin drive in, pavement rave, rolling rave, park n' raves, etc. That were in full swing within 4 months of the initial shut down. I believe these drive in raves where a recipe for success in Covid era mainly because its a one person show. There only needs to be one performer/ DJ on stage, as well as in the recording studio, and when traveling in times like these thats a much greater advantage over like a 5 piece rock band or a pop singer with their back ups.
The first drive in rave I attended was in Kings Mountain NC with Subtronics and Boogie T. I was very weary attending the first drive in concert as we are in a major pandemic. However there were lots of rules, regulations, and precautions at every event. There was security at every show enforcing social distancing as well as making sure everyone was wearing masks. People were kicked out if they didn't comply. The Pavement Rave in Scranton even had temperature checks and to avoid food/ drink lines they had people order on a app and food was golf carted to their area. It was really impressive to see how serious some events took their safety.
Here is a of the drive in raves I have attended:
6/25 Subtronics w/ Boogie T in Kings Mountain, NC at Hounds Drive In
7/16 Nghtmre w/ Sullivan King in Kings Mountain, NC at Hounds Drive In
8/8 Subtronics w/ Wreckno + Zia b2b Vampa + Shizzlo in Scranton, PA at Montage Mountain
8/26 Subtronics w/ Digital Ethos b2b Chee + Level Up in Philadelphia, PA at Citizen Banks Park
9/19 12th Planet w/ Hesh + Brainrack in Philadelphia, PA at the Great Philadelphia Expo Center
9/25 Boogie T w/ Dirt Monkey + Chee + Jaenga in Scranton, PA at Montage Mountain
9/26 Sullivan King w/ Riot Ten + Brondo + Decadon + Layz in Scranton, PA at Montage Mountain
One of the drive in raves happening in the PA area was the Pavement Rave series put together by Stage West hosted mainly at the Montage Mountain lots in Scranton. I was very lucky to be asked to join the promotional team by Damn Millennial to help push ticket sales on social media. I was super excited to accept the opportunity and to be apart of promoting for drive ins. I feel this promoting gig was perfect for me to gain more experience in promotion and social media techniques. In quarantine I wanted to use this time to work on my career and grow my knowledge. I have been taking classes, interning, promoting drive ins, attending countless masterclasses/ workshops virtually.
The Pavement Raves I promoted for:
8/7 Subtronics w/ Subdocta + Vampa b2b Level Up
8/8 Subtronics -wooked on tronics set- w/ Wreckno + Zia b2b Vampa + Shizzlo
9/5 Peekaboo w/ Champagne Drip + Tvboo + Sully
9/6 Adventure Club / Wooli + Tynan + Codd Dubz
9/25 Boogie T w/ Dirt Monkey + Chee + Jaenga
9/26 Sullivan King w/ Riot Ten + Brondo + Decadon + Layz
10/23-24 The Disco Biscuits
10/29 Sullivan King w/ Riot Ten + Kai Wachi + Shizzlo in Butler PA at the Circle Drive In
10/29 Wakaan Takeover Throwback set- Liquid Stranger w/ Lucci + Tvboo + Wreckno
10/30 Wakaan Takeover T R I P P E D set- Liquid Stranger w/ Champagne Drip + DMVU + Mize
10/31 Wakaan Takeover Banger set- Liquid Stranger w/ Rusko + Luzcid + Sully
Again a huge shout to Damn Millennial for letting me join the promotion team for the Pavement Rave series and Stage West for putting together a safe and socially distanced event to connect fans and music when they need it most! It was an absolute blast to be apart of such a great team, attend safe yet super fun shows, and learn more about adapting in the scene. I am super glad that drive in raves became a thing since they saved my quarantine and I enjoyed the unique experience while promoting. These drive ins where a saving grace to both DJs, fans, and all BTS event staff during the pandemic.
But wont drive in raves stop during the winter, so what does that mean for the scene?
I suppose more live streams will occur. More artists will work on livestreaming and make perhaps special virtual experiences. Like Griz had a virtual summer camp with music and workshops. Attendees where shipped a goodie box so fans could have a interactive experience and a souvenir. Perhaps as we get deeper into winter months the numbers will decrease allowing for larger venues with more space to allow for social distancing to open. So maybe by the end of winter venues hopefully could be open venues with very limited capacity. Who knows, maybe there might be even more virtual festivals with more add ons like art, yoga, wellness, etc with ways for fans to interact over a zoom call. There could even be zoom calls where an artists performs and does a Q&A where fans pay to obtain the link to take over where touring was.
No matter what happens this pandemic is a breeding ground for creatives and entrepreneurs to keep the scene alive and continuing to connect fans and music safely.
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