Party Ideas for Rave Themes

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Raves are generally all-night parties featuring techno music, an underground vibe and a focus on non-traditional dancing. Light shows, glow sticks and strobe lights are often associated with rave parties. Music is an integral part of a successful rave party, as is the atmosphere, which is generally loud and dark.


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Hire a DJ that is experienced in spinning techno and electronic dance music for the most authentic sound. Music is essential to achieve the right vibe for the party. Rent speakers or see if your location will supply them to pump up the volume. Louder is better for raves. Choose music that is high energy to get your crowd moving. Set up a second "chill" room in which music is played either by another DJ or from an iPod playlist that is mellow and trance inducing. This room is the place for the refreshments, allowing guests to relax between dance sets.

Lights and Effects

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Rent strobe lights, a disco ball, black lights, and multi-colored lighting kits from a party store for all the lighting needs. Keep all overhead lights or other "regular" lighting turned off, so the special effects can work. For an authentic feel, you'll want to have as many lighting and special effects as possible. A fog machine is a rave party essential. Decorate walls with black light posters that will "come alive" under the black lights. Hang large sheets of plywood decorated with spray painted glow in the dark graffiti for a cool urban vibe.

Refreshments and Favors

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Provide refreshments to keep dancers hydrated. Tubs of bottled water should be kept in a separate refreshment area, away from the dance floor. Sports drinks in neon colors will fit the theme and glow under the black lights. Provide guests with neon and multi-colored glow sticks to dance with. Provide some chairs in the refreshment room, but keep seating to a minimum. The success of a rave party really depends on the energy and participation of the crowd.