This evening is the last off a three-part series by Studium Generale on Music, Clubbing & Identity. On Wednesday, March 22, we will dive into Rotterdam Rave? Hardcore! and on March 29, Rotterdam, (the) Nighttown.

The Ritual of Raving

No other music genre has been more likened to a ritual experience than electronic dance music. “Ravers” and scientists have pointed to the transcendent state that can be reached by the audience, and the intense feelings of collectivity felt there. In this final week of Music, Clubbing and Identity, Studium Generale explores this further, with a mini lecture from Femke Vandenberg, highlighting the audience experience of electronic dance music and explaining why it is so often equated with a ritual. This is followed by Brian Welsh’s highly acclaimed movie Beats, which takes us back to Scotland in the 90’s and follows two friends who risk everything for the experience of an illegal rave.

Femke Vandenberg is a cultural sociologist at the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. In her research, she is interested in the role of music in society, particularly focusing on the audience experience of live (digitally mediated) music and its potential in generating feelings of collectivity.

About the series Music, Clubbing & Identity

What would day life be without nightlife? To many, clubbing is almost as indispensable as food, drink and sleep for the body and mind. What else can wash the week away like a great night out clubbing with friends? During the Covid-19 lockdowns, people got a proper glimpse of life without pounding beats, sweaty dance floors and moments of collective ecstasy. And we missed it, dearly. Now that it’s back in full swing, we wonder: what is it about clubbing and raving that makes it so important for people? In this trilogy, Studium Generale and the Rotterdam Popular Music Studies research group (ESHCC) explore this question and more, with documentary screenings, brief academic talks and professionals from the field. Learn everything about collective ecstasy, pounding gabber beats and the rich nightlife history of Rotterdam.


More information:

  • Date: Tuesday 4 April
  • Time: 19.00-21.00 (Doors open: 18.30)
  • Location: Theater, Erasmus Paviljoen on campus Woudestein
  • Entrance: Free, but reservations recommended


Organised by Studium Generale, Rotterdam Popular Music Studies (ESHCC) and Music Talks