Just what the f*ck is PLUR? Maybe you heard it being thrown around during your first rave or maybe you know about Lady Casa and her PLUR-Warriors. Either way, you're confused af but have gone along with it for too long and now you can't ask without looking stupid. It's about time you finally know whats up. Don't worry, Electric Soul got yo back.
The word PLUR resonates with generations of ravers, emblematic of the lifestyle they strive to have. The 4 letters are actually an acronym for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect, pillars in which a raver should live their life by. This has nothing to do with getting turnt or schwasted for raves, it's all about the vibes people give off and how we treat one another.
This aspect of PLUR encourages people to approach life with others in mind, encompassing the idea that violence should never be the answer to any problem. I think this is best exemplified by the fact that one rarely ever sees fights break out at music festivals. We've been to EDC for four years in a row and have never seen a fight, even though it's a festival that hosts 100,000+ people per day. Similarly, the King of Coachella claims he hasn't seen a single fight break out in the 9 years that he's been.
Ravers are notorious for holding up the peace and love sign in all their pictures, but what does it actually mean? When it comes to love, people who claim to live by the PLUR lifestyle are accepting of everyone. It's the ability to share their happiness with anyone and everyone, despite all our differences and quirks. You are submerged in this love when you meet people at festivals, as everyone is just down to make friends and be a part of your festival experience.
Ravers come together at festivals to share the music experience together, united by their love for the artist, atmosphere and vibes. This means that anyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, age, are welcome to join in this experience, as everyone has come together based on a common interest. PLUR-Warriors (Stealing the term from Lady Casa) will defend their fellow ravers through thick and thin!
Being respectful of the environment and to everyone around you is at the pinnacle of living by the PLUR lifestyle. It means you can be who you truly are and not worry about other people judging you, because you wouldn't judge others either. It all goes back to what we were all taught in Kindergarten "Treat others how you want to be treated". This saying may be lost to most people by now, but it's what holds the PLUR community together. It's about lifting others up, not tearing them down.
Now you know the basics to what the PLUR culture entails, but you can definitely find more info on your own, or even better, experience it for yourself by going to a music festival near you (Road to Ultra anyone?! South-East Asia homies represent). You may still scoff at the idea of PLUR and the culture surrounding it, but if you read some of the stories of how EDM and the festival scene have changed people's lives, you'll come to understand the true impact it actually has. Just check out this Reddit thread of people explaining how the PLUR lifestyle has changed them for the better. Another good place to start is by watching the Electric Daisy Carnival documentary that features heartfelt stories of ravers and their experiences.
By understanding what PLUR is, you can now officially "PLUR with someone", which is the action of exchanging Kandi with another person. No, Kandie is not the sweets Willy Wonka makes in his chocolate factory. Kandie, in this sense, refers to the array of colourful bracelets you see ravers wear on their arms. They come in all different sizes, styles, intricacies and can feature trinkets, words and even cool perler (Please refer to the man's Mario Cart perler in the photo below) patterns.
Kandies are made by ravers ahead of time for the purpose of trading. By making a "trade" with someone, you give/exchange bracelets, a gesture that seems childish in nature but actually symbolizes so much more. The bracelet is a tangible memory of the connection you made with the person who gave it to you, signifying the start of a new friendship. People spend hours and even days perfecting their Kandies, so it's quite the compliment to have someone choose YOU to be the recipient of one.
In order to properly trade kandies with someone, you need to learn the handshake (Secret handshakes and friendship bracelets, that's why everyone at festivals act like best friends!). It consists of 4 coordinated hand signs that you do together, each representing the words in PLUR. On the last word, "Respect", you place the bracelet on the other persons arm.
If someone chooses to PLUR with you, you better have the handshake down pat, so watch the quick video down below to get it right!
PLUR & Kandi from Electric Soul on Vimeo.