Rave Culture
a documentary short by Tom Frisch


Rave Culture is a short documentary film about the culture, scene, and experiences that revolve around a rave party. Shot on location at six Chicago parties over the course of a year, this film explores multiple issues surrounding the rave scene, including public opinion, promoters, drugs, police, and the culture created by this phenomenon.

Created by Tom Frisch for an independent study at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Electronic Visualization Laboratory, this piece will be part of a larger body of work shown at his MFA thesis show (April 30th 1999, RM 250 Behavior Sciences Building, UIC).

View a RealVideo version of the film here.

If you are interested in this video, or would like to show or review it, feel free to e-mail Tom at tomk@evl.uic.edu.


Most of the larger parties in the Chicago area hire Diversified Audio to provide the necessary power to move the crowd. Here employees set up some speakers for Tokyo. The system in the main room will put out nearly 128 dB in front of the speakers, which is equal to a 747 at take-off.
Kiley of Simple Productions (Chicago) speaks to the decline of the scene, and how she hopes to revive it. At 18, she has gone to raves for many years, and recently begun to promote her own parties.
Max began doing promotions at clubs in Europe, and now is building up the Chicago scene by bringing in internationally famous DJs such as Ken Ishi. At his party "Tokyo" over 3000 ravers danced all night in the gymnasium of a south side highschool. The best feeling he has is when he can throw a good party where kids have fun.
Amanda is "not your typical raver", she has gotten married, is in the navy, and loves going to raves. One of many drug-free kids I met, she is angered by a drug bust that just took place. Amanda compares a rave or house party to a concert of her favorite bands. For a small price, a partygoer can see many acts all in one night.
This guard wants his bust on tape- he caught a navy man with fifty dollars worth of cocaine. One of the more friendly guards at any party I visited, he had the crowd chant "just say NO!" as the dealer was kicked out.