An event for dancing at which electronica (electronic dance music) is played. Generally, music performance at a rave is done by a DJ, who is a performer who plays prepared tracks and mixes and layers different tracks in real time. Sometimes, other performers who play synth tracks live play alongside the mixed tracks. The music played is usually in the range of 120-140 BPM, to work with the style of dancing that most rave dancers do, and DJs use cross-mixing and beat matching to keep a steady beat going as the music transitions from one track to the next.

Raves are a sort of subculture. The first raves often took place illicitly on unguarded property, such as vacant warehouses or outdoors in empty fields, and news of dates and places for future events was spread by word of mouth. Events may feature multiple DJs and go on for most or all of the night. The music is often accompanied by elaborate light shows. Drug use (particularly the illicit drug known as "ecstasy") has been a part of the culture, although most rave promoters try to discourage it.

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