Regional Raves: Hawaii's Wonderland Event Was One For The Books
Music is a great unifying force in EDM. People from different states, countries and continents are brought together by their favorite DJs and music festivals. Sometimes, we forget that shows and festivals can be vastly different experiences (even if the DJs are the same!) when they are held in different places. Regionally, there are (slight) differences in how ravers show their love for the EDM community, and iEDM had a chance to experience this firsthand.
We've raved our way across the United States attending shows from coast to coast. From Coachella to EDC, Ultra, Electric Forest, Imagine, Electric Zoo, Bonnaroo and more, iEDM has had a taste of what regional raves are like. We traveled a bit further across the Pacific Ocean to attend Winter Wonderland on the island of Oahu in Honolulu, Hawaii. And it was an experience.
Hawaii is more than 2,300 miles from California (the nearest mainland body) and is considered the most isolated populace on the earth. However, the islands have a burgeoning EDM community and many DJs have made the hop across the ocean to play at various shows on the islands. Hawaii's Winter Wonderland saw a bassy lineup with Snails, Sikdope, Kai Wachi, Bleep Bloop, Hi I'm Ghost, and Cherney bringing the wubs and wobbles to the island.
Wonderland rumbled the Kapolei Event Center on Oahu and a sold-out crowd gathered on a 70 degree January evening to rage, headbang and dance their hearts out. The event was just what I liked, wobbling bass, shaking rails and a lot of headbangers ready to throw out their necks and backs. The music was incredible, the crowd was hyped and the venue was intimate, but for someone who hasn't raved in Hawaii in a year, I was a bit thrown off by how out of place I felt. Don't get me wrong, I'm a local girl born and bred, but after raving on the mainland for the better part of three years, I forgot how raves vary with region.
It had been awhile since I've attended an EDM show in Hawaii and the first thing that stuck out to me was rave wear. I dressed the way I always do for shows: artist jersey (Excision for this show) and shorts. But I stuck out because I was conservative by Hawaii standards. Here, I forgot that rave bras and tiny booty shorts were the norm for girls and a shirt (or lack thereof) and shorts were normal for guys. Coming from winter shows in New York, everyone has layers, leggings and hoodies. I felt a bit like the old lady at the rave. I was one of maybe five girls that I saw who wasn't showing their midriff. But when it's 70-88 (rough approximation here) degrees year round, why not take advantage of the warm weather?
One of my favorite parts of the night actually happened when I was sitting at a table during Kai Wachi's set (I really am getting old). A glover couple were sitting on the edge of the table and spent over an hour and a half just sitting there and giving each other light shows. It was probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen and such #couplesgoals. But the flow art in Hawaii is real. There are definitely glovers, poi artists, orbiters and other flow artists on the mainland, but the amount of talented glovers in Hawaii boggled me. All over the venue grounds you could see microlights being tutted, rolled, conjured. It made my little glover heart dance. Huge shout out to the Hawaii flow artists, y'all are something talented!
Despite differences in attire, temperature and artistry, some things are consistent with shows no matter what city, state or country you're raging in. The PLUR was real, the music was phenomenal and Hawaii demonstrated that which I've always known: The 808 state can throw down.