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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rave On! (Silently) at Union Station on Saturday, February 28

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 11:12 AM

click to enlarge Raving it up old-school. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Raving it up old-school.
Some old folks who have vivid memories of the nineties may think that 4:30 in the afternoon is a little early to start raving, and Union Station is kind of a strange locale when there are so many abandoned warehouses in St. Louis, but those folks are just showing their age.

It's a whole new world now. Saturday's rave will be bereft of Ecstacy and, most significantly, never-ending techno jams. Instead, the ravers will plug into their iPods and dance in silent ecstasy (the legal kind) for about five minutes. Then they will abruptly return to roaming the mall as if nothing strange had happened.

"I found videos from London on You Tube of people having silent raves," says Hayden Carter, the event's organizer. "They do it a lot in New York, too, and randomly across the U.S. We decided St. Louis should have a group, too."

And so Carter, an 18-year-old senior at St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood, put out the word on Facebook.

"First we posted a discussion blog about where we should have the event," Carter says. "People didn't want to be outside in February. Union Station is big enough and people know where it is and they won't get cold."

Ravers should bring "whatever you'd like to rave to," Carter says. He's still mulling over his own choice, but is currently leaning toward "Odysee" by Scarf!

But what about ravers who don't have iPods? "They can go on the vibes of the crowd, I guess." Carter plans to bring balloons to get the crowd pumped up.

The group will meet on the first floor by the water fountains, across from the grand staircase.  If all goes well, there will be more silent raves throughout the spring and summer and perhaps the group will graduate to more sophisticated flash mob techniques, like those practiced by Improv Everywhere, a New York group that famously froze up Grand Central Station.

Carter's band of ravers, mostly comprised of high-school and college students, has no connection to Show Me Scenes, another group that aspired to flash-mob greatness last spring and then faded into obscurity. (There are, however, plans in the works for an elaborate MetroLink musical.)

So far, Carter says, 20 ravers have "firmly committed" to attending Saturday's rave, with 20 more "maybes."

"Come with a good attitude," he advises. "But don't expect too much of a crowd." Ah, there's the St. Louis spirit!

An update: Carter just called to inform me that his next project will involve festivities in celebration of National Pillowfight Day on Sunday, March 22. At the moment, plans are shrouded in secrecy, but he promises to reveal more information as the date gets closer.

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