We Out Here Festival • Rave culture x mental health


Back in August, we were invited to join a panel at We Out Here festival aimed at exploring Synchrony in the context of rave music events.

Taking place in the Talks Tent at We Out Here festival in Cambridgeshire, the panel was brought together by neuro-aesthetics expert Robyn Landaun (co-founder of Kinda Studios) and featured our founder Brian d'Souza (DJ Auntie Flo), producer Erika McKoy, and cultural anthropologist Dr Martha Newson.

Are the connections built through club culture able to benefit people’s mental health?

The panellists discussed the role of different elements, from the drums all the way to the drugs involved in rave culture, and how they can contribute to a feeling of connection and exaltation in collective music experiences.

Dr Newson has been researching extensively group bonding, rituality, and community of rave culture. Her latest paper titled explores how raves can invoke identity fusion and lasting cooperation via transformative experiences.

Undoing the negative connotations associated with rave culture is a big challenge, but this research shows there are indeed social and behavioural benefits that ravers gain from the experience. Our need to connect meaningfully with others will always prevail – whether it’s singing in choir at church or stomping to electronic music in a dis-used warehouse.