Why PLUR is Important and What it Looks Like on the Dancefloor

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PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) – most ravers know this mantra and try to embody it, but why is it important and what does it look like on the dancefloor?


If you’re a reader here or have attended raves in the past you probably know about PLUR or have at least heard about it more than once. But do you know what it really means? Do you know about its origins and evolution of how it is seen today?

PLUR is a behavioral and ethical guide for ravers and clubbers that grew out of a desire to be a safe and inclusive community. The term as we know it today began as the Peace Love Unity Movement (PLUM) that was started by Frankie Bones in 1990. Then after the movement was fully established and after a fight at Storm Rave in 1993, Respect was added and PLUR was born. From there, it became the mantra of the scene and found its way to reach from coast to coast.

The bottom line is that every raver and festival-goer should be approaching all engagements in the tenants of PLUR. This is one reason why the scene is so inviting to misfits everywhere – the mantra implores us to share music and movement together. It assures that those who feel as though they are without a home can find one on the dance floor.

PLUR is such an important ethos to me that it is the basis of my one and only tattoo, and while I didn’t know it at the time I was part of the scene when the mantra was just becoming a movement. Many have questioned if PLUR is still a driving force in the culture and what’s happening to it in the era of social media, but what follows is an example of how it is still something that anyone can follow to this day.

Mens Rave Fashion Kandi
Photo Credit: Sincerity Photos


At a warehouse party in Brooklyn, the spirit of PLUR was alive and well. 

It was a local lineup with a very friendly, inclusive crowd made up almost entirely of locals and frequent faces in the scene. For the entirety of this show, I was at or near the very front. As people came and went, the “front crew” bonded over the course of the night and I felt like I knew everyone around me, yet, in fact, I only knew one other person by name.

The feeling of unity of the dance floor brought us all closer together and created a vibe that I can feel to this day. Everyone was dancing together, having a great time, and watching out for each other too.

Small acts of kindness are one of the best ways you can help spread PLUR vibes.

As someone who is on the taller side of the spectrum, it is hard to not be aware of my surroundings. At one point two women were dancing behind me who were quite a bit shorter, so when space opened up around me, I moved into it and motioned them forward so I could move behind them.

Offering that spot up at the front so they could see the artist playing was met with immediate gratitude. It was a small gesture on my part but something that hopefully made their night more memorable.

I always give back to the community whenever possible and help other ravers out.

Hearing loss prevention is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, so I always carry extra foam earplugs to hand out in case someone needs them. Lo and behold at the warehouse that night was a woman next to me with her fingers in her ears and clearly uncomfortable. Without hesitation I handed her a pair, she put them on, and I received a big, appreciative hug in return.

I also know how hot it can get inside those warehouse parties, so a hand fan is an item that I’ll always bring with me whenever I head to one. (I use these for fanning, not clacking, of course!) Despite the venue that this particular rave was at having a high ceiling and open sections outdoors, it was definitely steamier than most would like inside so some cooled air was appreciated by my group and others at the rave.

Hard Summer 2019 PLUR
Photo Credit: Sincerity Photos

Just because you’re a PLUR practitioner doesn’t mean you can’t stand up for others either.

While I wish we’d never encounter negative or aggressive people in the scene, it is something that can and will happen. But if you practice PLUR then you should always stick up for others in the scene who are experiencing those bad vibes and do your best to bring peace and love to the situation.

For instance, at one point during the event, three women were dancing near us and two drunk dudes started harassing them. I verified that this attention was not wanted and then carefully worked my way in between the guys and the women to help block them out. The guys were pissed and started shouting and for the briefest moment, I felt a sense of danger knowing that they might get violent.

Almost immediately the crew that I had bonded with earlier in the night acknowledged that they were aware of the situation by saying things like “we got you,” and “nice move, man.” They helped signal that they had my back and that put me at ease, even after the guys returned in a stupor and continued to harass others. This led to security getting involved (who were incredibly helpful in removing them) but from then on everyone continued to dance uninterrupted and we all had a great time the rest of the night.

Let’s all remember this story as a way to make our world a better place by spreading the PLUR far and wide – one small moment at a time.

Through those small actions that I made that night, I was able to help others have an amazing one and helped turn a bad situation into one that was positive. In return, I felt so much love from others in the crowd around me all night long and it helped solidify in my mind that PLUR is the mantra that is for me.

Make sure to always look out for each other on the dance floor and in life in general. We’re stronger together out there!


What’s your story? What does PLUR mean to you? Comment below!
Jared Skolnickhttps://edmidentity.com/author/jareds/
Jared, aka JSkolie, was introduced to electronic music in the 1990’s by way of Orbital. He raved in parks and fields in South Florida where the entirety of the production was a DJ in a box truck. Now living in NYC, he attended his first Above & Beyond show in 2016 and his life has never been the same. Jared has been energized by the Trance community and its PLUR ethos. He is a supporter of harm reduction and is a DanceSafe volunteer. Jared enjoys endurance events and has danced for 12-hours straight while often recovering from raves with bike rides just as long. Or longer.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this article!!! It is so uplifting to hear what PLUR means to others! And thank you for sharing about your tattoo! I have a few of my own and am thinking about how to incorporate PLUR into one in the near future.

    When I think of PLUR I think of sharing my CamelBak with a fellow raver who is going HARD with me. I think of people being fully self expressed, wearing WHATEVER they want, showing their excitement and emotions, dancing their asses off together and being free from all constraints. I think of being in a mosh pit and raging with new found friends, pushing and shoving each other with Glee and helping each other up when we fall. When I am participating in PLUR, I laugh, I cry, I grow, I become more alive, I am kinder and more caring for others. PLUR has made me a better person and when I am being PLUR I inspire others. It’s the most fulfilling community I have ever been a part of.

    TRP The ShapeShifter

    • Beautiful perspective! I miss a good mosh pit. I love when it APPEARS violent, but is 100% friendly and supportive. Had this happen organically at a local NYC club a few years ago and when this women went down, everyone stopped. She was helped up, checked out, and once confirmed OK, tossed back into the pit. We shared some conversation over a drink later and she was so euphoric over what occurred!

  2. I am a 70 yo raver. Entered the scene 5 years ago. Have raved all over the world. I love the notion of plur but also realize that most others just dont get it. On a recent dance cruise and girl and her boyfriend were obviously drunk and thought it appropriate to push thru a packed crowd during the boat drill. His gilfriend claims I pushed her as she went buy. Of course I didnt but that didnt stop her rant.
    I tried to be cool and ignore her,but to no avail. Some other ravers tried to keep us apart but when this dude stated for all to hear, a threat. ” we’ll be on this boat for 4 more days old man I’ll find you.” Well that did it. I went after him with the intention of doing him great bodily harm. No body threatens me or my wife. I spent 20 years in law enforcement and that shit is a no go for me. I reported the case to shipboard security and they handled it. Some people thought I was uncool and brought a negative vibe. Fuck that
    A 70 yo OG derserves respect.

  3. Thank you for this article! I’m a 26 yr old raver & me & my boyfriend are always talking about IMPORTANT plur is & how ppl need to be more Plur. Friday night, I went down to Brooklyn mirage & saw Ilan Bluestone. It was amazing! I had 2 of my GloFx whips & people were loving it! I had everyone smiling and dancing & breaking out of their shells. I had the time of my life! I can’t wait to return for Valentine’s Day & see Galantis! It was nothing but good vibes! Ilan is amazing!!!!

    • I missed Ilan this weekend, but just know that there was an incident with a drunk guy on the first night. Unfortunately for him, he misbehaved in the middle of a large group of NY Anjunafamily including an ex-military guy. He was restrained while others got security who quickly and professionally assessed the situation and removed the drunk from the venue. It’s a shame that we have to encounter this at all, but such a blessing when we can stick together and handle it effectively.

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