The Controversy of Rave “Gloving”

EDM started as just another music genre, but has evolved into a lifestyle. This lifestyle is defined by various practices and hobbies that have allowed fans to express themselves and publicly share their talents at raves and shows. Until recent legislation has prohibited these actions.

One of these practices is the ability to give “light shows” with “rave gloves”. This is when a person wears gloves with LED lights at the end of each finger and performs distinct motions with their hands to match the rhythm and beat of a song. The motions create a “light show” for the captive audience. Here’s one of the acclaimed best glovers, Gummy, giving a light show:


Unfortunately, rave gloves are not allowed in most venues. This ban and others are against most of these seemingly harmless hobbies within the EDM scene. These bans started happening almost two years ago, when the Electric Daisy Carnival was banned from Los Angeles after a 15 year old girl died of a drug overdose.

But why ban rave gloves or light toys? Some people, such as California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, claim it’s because there is a drug connection with the hobby. She mentions this accusation in this video from 4:18-4:52 :


Let’s be rational here. Although the rave culture has a controversial connection with drug use, how do light toys like rave gloves encourage people to use drugs?

This hobby is not inherent with drugs, but with an understanding of EDM music and a passion for the music and lifestyle. One does not need to be on drugs to enjoy the Gummy video or the practice of gloving. In a sense, gloving is a new art form similar to dance. It involves motions to a beat of a song and creates a performance for people to enjoy.

Hobbies like gloving have become icons of the EDM scene. Many people have learned the skills to become advanced at the hobby and have spread their performances and knowledge throughout the internet, mostly on Youtube.

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About chanel_theedmscene

Chanel is a recent graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Communication and a huge passion for EDM music.

Posted on April 30, 2012, in Scene and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You pick an interesting subject, attempts to ban rave gloves, that seems like it might gain an audience even on more mainstream news sources, where stories about regulating potentially unsavory behavior often get run as soft news. I tend to agree with you about moral panics and misunderstanding of subcultures, so I am glad that you are trying to explain these practices to a non-raver audience.

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