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Rave New World

Raindance could very well shine as the event of the summer. Maybe even the event of peace.

Due to the ugly business of politics, that is the politics of clubdom, where competition -- and its inherent strains of dish, dis, and deceive -- is the order of the night, this item almost didn't see print. No one's to blame; everyone's guilty. That's just the way it is here in South Beach. It would be naive to expect everyone, and everything, to be cool at all times. It'll never happen. But is it too much to hope that people, and things, be a little more civil?

Some operatives erroneously assume that only by employing cutthroat tactics will they succeed. But it's not about that. The stakes may be higher, but the pie's getting bigger and bigger each day, and everyone, providing their energy's clean, will have ample opportunity to fill their pockets, and even their carpetbags. So throw down your weapons or get off the field, and let the games begin -- peacefully.

This mean season is already shaping up to be the Summer of Sweat and, as such, it deserves an event of proper magnitude. A happening of immense proportions, a gathering of the tribes, where smiles can spread like malaria. Where goodwill toward men and women can become more than mere jargon, buzzwords from a Madison Avenue soapbox, a cliche to bed the kiddies by. It can become reality. A place where attitudes are checked, differences set aside, bygones are bygones. Raindance could very well be that event.

First, some background. Though the participants are many, four key players -- British ex-pats all -- are holding the dream together: Dave Beynon (a.k.a. MC Eazy-Vibe), Chris Buckingham, Barry Tarr, and Rob Wobbly. They live together, work together, rave together. Like capitalists with vision (an oxymoron?), they saw a demand and are prepared to meet it. They want to throw the biggest party South Beach has ever seen. But it's not just a party, and the four brave young men are not simply carpetbaggers, in town to scam-bam the natives. It's a rave -- R-A-V-E -- and they've been out there before, in other towns and other nations, and they're well aware of the power.

In case you've been asleep at the wheel, a rave, like the happenings of the Sixties, is the bash to end all bashes. In the U.K., its birthplace, the rave draws anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 joy seekers at any given time. They travel the length of the country by train, plane, or automobile, but most often by bus, for the privilege of mingling with an Earth-shattering crowd of like-minded souls intent on experiencing a phenomenon. The music, primarily techno, makes the Top 10, and the success is such that even the middle-aged are getting in on the action, opting to hire a babysitter and hit a rave rather than a nightclub.

In the U.S., things have yet to kick in with the same gargantuan boot, but the time could be near. In South Florida thus far there's been one true rave, in Homestead. From reports, the scene was spectacular, and it looks as if we're only at the beginning of even greater things to come.

Ask Doug Scott, one of the threesome (with George Acosta and Javier Drada) who instigated the Homestead riot, what he envisions for the rave scene in South Florida, and he'll tell you that "from the first rave until now, the size and the scope of people who understand raves has tripled." He should know -- he's one of the Rave Doctors who handle upward of 700 people every Thursday at the Mayday rave at Egoiste.

Or ask Joe Delaney of Inferno (now at Club Nu) fame, one of the original British movers and shakers on South Beach, who happens to have a dog named Techno, and he'll readily chime in: "There's a huge future for raves in the USA. It all depends on the people making the music."

And what a crowd of over-the-top music makers at Raindance. In addition to MC Eazy-Vibe and assorted guest mike-manipulators, there's a contingent of DJs who would make any city sit up and take notice. Leading the pack is Insomnia's DJ Chang and Brit tri-deck master DJ Mole, with the inimitable scenester DJ Luis Diaz mixing up his own special blend. Then, from Manchester (U.K., of course) comes DJ Friction and DJ D-Flow, one more Miamian, DJ Krypto, another Brit, and DJ Paul Witcher watching their backs. There's even a rumor that some cat named Angelo will be joining some of the vinyl maniacs on bongos.

And let's not forget the space. Outdoors and under the stars, with both beach and pool access (including attendant lifeguards for your safety). There's a Fire Marshal-supervised Beach Bonfire (plus fireworks), and, for those on the health tip, a juicy fruit/mineral and smart-drink bar. And if you've yet to sample a Psuper Psonic Psyber Tonic or a Fast Blast, you've yet to live. Add 30,000 watts of "pure, clean, grinning sound," and you've got the makings of a monster throwdown.

There's another story lurking behind the big picture that's bound to make Raindance more than one could even hope for, and it's about peace. See, not only will the Orlando, Gainesville, Melbourne, and Tampa "families" be making the pilgrimage, and not only will there be charter-planeloads from as far away as San Diego and Toronto also in attendance, but the local promoters (hate that term) who make raves their life will join together for one common cause. Stomp and Dweeb and co-conspirators Bill True of Washington Square and Daniel E. Jacobson will coexist peacefully with Zeal, the Rave Doctors, and a host of other smooth operators. That in itself is cause enough for celebration.

RAINDANCE takes place at 10:00 p.m. Saturday at 17th Avenue and the Beach (behind the Surfcomber Hotel), 672-2930 or 674-1020. Tickets cost $10 and $12.

 
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