The Differences Between Raves and EDM Festivals

One of the best ways to express your appreciation of your favorite musicians and DJs is to attend live performances. It can be a fascinating experience to get dressed up, meet up with friends, and spend a day or two seeing favorite artists on the stage. 

When looking for such live music events, you will likely encounter two different sorts of live music events: raves vs. festivals. Both have distinct appeals, but many music lovers are unsure which is the better option. 

In general, only a few small characteristic features differentiate the two. Music festivals and raves both attract a significant crowd, but the type of crowd and the overall vibe of the events are different, especially in terms of rave fashion and genres of music. 

Rave parties are more specific than music festivals. While diverse music genres are represented at music festivals, only a small number of DJs perform electronic dance music at rave parties. It is probably a rave if the event is underground or at a warehouse. 

It might sound confusing initially, but this would make sense if you have experienced both events yourself. Or you could keep reading this article to understand how the two events are different and how you can prepare for both once you know what to expect.

By definition

Music Festival

Music festivals can be seen as occasions where several musical acts are performed at a single location. These events might be small or big, and they can either be held for a short while or several days. Depending on the schedule, each invited band or artist performs at different times of the day or night. Festivals often feature multiple stages, usually placed in open areas such as fields or parks. Many festivals offer side stages to let smaller acts perform earlier in the day, allowing festivalgoers to see more artists without missing out.


A rave party is a special dance party held in a warehouse, club, or open space. Techno music is a common component of raves, and a typical rave can involve dancing till the wee hours of the morning. Like music festivals, they often set up smaller stages for various DJs. We can say that all rave parties are music festivals, but not all music festivals are rave parties. 

Music festivals reach their peak once the last headliner performs, whereas raves sustain a high energy level throughout the night.

Music genres

The music genre played during a rave versus a music festival is one of the most important distinctions. While music festivals are open to a broader range of genres, rave music covers a particular genre and style.

Music Festival 

Large crowds come together at music festivals to listen to live music, but there is a little more freedom. Any type of music, including EDM, rock, hip-hop, indie, country, and other genres, can be played at music festivals. A music festival can be any series of performances held in the same geographical area, regardless of the type of music played. 


Raves are events featuring multiple DJs or musicians specializing in electronic dance music (EDM). EDM is typically the only genre that is liked during parties, despite the genre having diverse styles. So the focus remains on one type of music in the underground rave scene. So, if you attend a rave party, expect some artificial sound effects, EDM light toys, vibrant colors, intense bass, and dynamic rhythms.


Both parties and festivals can include many of the hottest trends in fashion, but they do it in very different ways. You're likely to see some exciting outfits whether you're at a festival or a rave. Both of these events encourage people to dress to the nines. You'll see a lot of colors, themed costumes, and coordinated outfits at these places.

Music Festival

The fashion at music festivals is influenced by the event's theme, although most attendees wear fashionable, comfortable outfits. Since many music festivals welcome individuals of all ages, you won't see as many bold or daring attires as you might at a rave.


Rave fashion is all about being unique and expressing oneself. When we talk about rave clothes, there are almost no rules, so you can be as bold as you like and wear as much Rave makeup as you want!

Neon hues, holographic fabrics, and daring fits are some of the more bizarre characteristics of many rave clothes. Raves are also a safe environment for you to wear just about anything, including crop tops with underboob cuts and booty shorts with thong bottoms.


Another obvious distinction between raves and music festivals is the event's location. Raves can theoretically take place everywhere, but music festivals are typically limited to a particular area.

Music Festival

Music festivals are often conducted in the same place every year because it becomes convenient for the performers and attendees. It might take place on a few thousand acres of land in a designated location, in an arena, or on a number of stages in a massive building. Since most music events take place outside, this is more typical.


Theoretically, raves may take place anywhere: in a rural field, a sports arena, on a stage erected by the ocean, etc. The fact that raves often take place at night makes them so distinctive. The light shows are outstanding whether you attend underground raves or one in an 80,000-person stadium.  


It's becoming increasingly difficult to categorize events because the lines are blurring, and more and more types are coming up, so why bother? Life is too short for categorizing everything. If you like the atmosphere and the music, it doesn't matter what it's called. Have fun and enjoy while you can.