Memory and Nostalgia in Youth Music Cultures: Finding the Vibe in the San Francisco Bay Area Rave Scene, 2002-2004


  • Eileen M Wu


youth cultural studies, rave cultures, San Francisco Bay Area, nostalgia, authenticity


In the wake of the major commercial success of rave scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area, accompanied by an increasing crackdown on venues and promoters in the electronic dance music scene, this article follows the “death” of a rave scene and looks at some of the ways young people imagined and engaged with rave culture during that time. Looking specifically at how young people utilized remembrances and nostalgia to imbue their experiences with social meaning, the author provides a tentative case study on youth cultural formation in the late modern era. The article draws upon fieldwork and interviews conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area between 2002-2004.

Author Biography

Eileen M Wu

Eileen M. Wu received her MA in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York, and is a former fieldworker for the Institute for Scientific Analysis, San Francisco.






Feature Articles