Buku Fest is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited. The lineup is huge, the venue is awesome, and I expect the vibe to be a bit hectic but all around representative of my city, the Big Easy.
But Buku Fest does things a bit differently. Last year marked Buku’s first showing, and successful is an understatement. Buku had an enormous turnout for their stellar lineup, an audience of attendees ages sixteen and up. This year, the lower-than-average age limit returns, making some question: How young is too young to rave?
Let’s be honest, EDM festivals are pretty much as close to euphoria as you can get. The love and unity between thousands of people emanates far beyond what our everyday society delivers. Who is anyone to deny that to any single person? Well, being more honest, there is a large amount of substance abuse at festivals. Substances that may open your mind to new ideas and creative insights, but also have the ability to cripple festys and leave them running naked through law enforcement brigades (who hasn’t seen that naked guy?). Would sixteen year olds make responsible choices while raging to the music they love?
As far as year one went, no serious reports of underage drug overdoses or numerous law-enforcement problems. As far as I’m concerned, that makes this year something to look forward to. It’s not as if all ages shows are any less appealing to me than 21+ shows. In fact, this year I met a lovely young lady at the age of 4 at Kaskade’s Voodoo show who danced amongst older ravers with her parents. This was her 3rd Voodoo Fest in a row.
So, in my opinion, I enjoy the concept of allowing a festival to be open to younger ages, but I do not think for one minute that 16 should be the standard age limit for raves. Underground raves are still a thing, let them learn on their own terms. I’d like to think of Buku like a training ground for up-and-coming ragers. Learn how to appropriately act among your fellow PLUR friends, and in two years I’ll see you at EDC, young friend. Otherwise, there’s always sock hops and school dances.