The rave scene in Northern New Mexico is fairly small and cohesive. There are probably at most four thousand people who regularly attend raves here. Most of these live in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Los Alamos. They think nothing of driving two or more hours to attend a rave. Raves in New Mexico vary in size from one hundred to two thousand people. There have been no massive commercial raves. Most raves are advertised with flyers and on the web, and their promoters usually have permits. These raves usually draw at least four hundred, and as many as two thousand people. There are also some underground raves with no advertising and no permits. These raves usually draw at most three hundred people. There is usually a greater need for harm-reduction services at the advertised raves, because the advertising attracts many young, inexperienced people. Those who attend underground raves are generally more knowledgeable about drugs and more respectful of themselves and others. There are very few dance clubs, and those that succeed cater either to the eighteen-and-over crowd or to all ages, because there are not enough alcohol-consuming adults interested in electronic music and dance for the clubs to succeed by catering only to adults. As a result, there is only one unified electronic music scene, which includes both raves and clubs. There is a core of about three hundred people who attend most raves. Many of these people help the promoters to set up and decorate the venue, and to clean up at the end of the night. There are about twenty promotion companies, including about ten with some years of experience. Most of the experienced promoters are friends and many of them help at each other’s events, sometimes providing security, concessions, audio, video and lighting. Some of the experienced promoters are willing to help the less experienced promoters learn the various aspects of producing a successful rave.

Ravers in New Mexico are younger on average than those in many other states or in large cities. In New Mexico, the greatest number of ravers are in the fifteen to twenty-five age group, and almost all ravers are between thirteen and thirty. Perhaps the small number of ravers in their late twenties is due to the fact that raves became popular in New Mexico only in the last ten years or so, or perhaps it is because there are not many dance clubs with electronic music. The large number of young ravers may be due to the advertising tactics of promoters, who may print five or ten thousand flyers and distribute them in popular locations like shopping malls. Because of the youth and inexperience of so many ravers in New Mexico, the drug education and harm reduction services provided by PartySmart are especially valuable. Fortunately, we have many dedicated young volunteers to staff our booth, whom the young ravers feel comfortable to approach. Some of our most dedicated volunteers are fifteen years old, and most of our volunteers are under the age of twenty-two. The popular-education approach, by which our volunteers and those we serve each learn from the other, seems to be particularly effective with teenagers. Those who are younger may be more willing to accept what they are told, while some of those who are older may be willing to research and distinguish for themselves between facts and propaganda.

Here are some writings about rave culture:

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