A rave is generally defined as a large party that includes the services of DJ who may play all manner of house, techno, hardcore, or other electronic dance music. It began receiving popular attention worldwide in the 1980s as a place where like-minded people could get together to enjoy music and an atmosphere that would combine dancing, light shows, and drug use.

Flyers and tickets circulate to promote and allow admittance for raves. Unfortunately for Matthew Johnson, the creator of the Rave Preservation Project and participant of raves for more than 25 years, such memorabilia gets lost through the passing of time. With the project he started in 2013, Johnson says he hopes to collect and preserve rave flyers, posters, and other staples of the activity in a climate-controlled environment.

On the project’s website, interested participants can view memorabilia that has been scanned into the site and sorted by country and state. Johnson has gathered materials from several countries and now boasts a collection that contains more than 21,000 pieces and is sorted into more than 1,200 galleries that represent 17 individual countries.

The Flyer of the Month section displays a select number of posters that condenses and compliments the full view available in the project’s archive. It showcases some of the best examples of art and creative distribution from among the ranks. There are intricate drawings of human figures and body parts such as eyeballs, an advertisement for “100% Energy… Mental Detergent” drawn to resemble a box of laundry soap, and the claim that rave participants can “awaken to the next generation of rave culture.” The variety is immense.

Johnson lives in California and is currently accepting donations for the project. He makes his contact information available to potential donors so they can contact him by phone, email, snail mail, or meet him in person to hand off memorabilia face to face. Donors can also contribute funds to the project to support material storage and website hosting costs. The names of all donors, unless they prefer to remain anonymous, are listed on the website with links to their own collection projects or DJ websites if they have them.

Image courtesy of belleaventurière via Flickr.