September 1995. Small town. Small-town movie theater. The theater was playing Hackers. Everything seemed small, but it ended up being one of the biggest nights of my life: It was the first time I heard electronic music.
Two decades and countless raves later, even though some of the memories of those nights faded, I felt the urgency to make sure those nights – the nights that helped me find myself in the community where I felt accepted – could inspire a new community, a new generation, to not only relive it, but further it.
For years I quietly digitized my friends’ flyers and sound recordings, tracing the origins of the St. Louis rave scene, on through its explosion in the early 2000s. After 10 years of collecting and digitizing, it was time to push the underground to the masses. The STL Rave Archive launched the summer of 2011.
With your help this archive will continue to grow and St. Louis Rave culture will live on, documented for future generations to experience and love.
Mission & Scope
While the rave scene continues to exist in St Louis, the scope of this archive is limited to the late 1980s (proto-rave culture) through the early aughts.
All flyers are from St. Louis club events or rave parties. The majority of recordings are mixtapes made by St Louis artists. Additional entries are live recordings from St Louis events, featuring both local and non-local artists.
Become a Contributor
The flyers and sound recordings in this archive have been sourced from several collections. Those wishing to contribute additional material can do so by contacting the archival coordinator, Rob Tygett.
A personal note to all past and prospective donors:
“Thank you for your contributions. Your support has made this archive possible. Your contributions are helping ensure that the culture of the St. Louis Rave scene will be preserved for generations to come.”