Drugs

What It Was Like Selling Ecstasy in the 90s Rave Scene

In the heyday of raving, you could walk into a party with a bunch of pills and walk out with £6,000.
March 4, 2016, 12:00am

Anyone who's been to one of the corporate festivals typical of today's EDM industry making millions off of barely legal millennials might find it hard to imagine how these descended from the grubby warehouse raves of the 90s. Before pop culture started borrowing the neon-laced sentiments of raving and predating regular news of kids being hospitalized at big fests due to overdoses, there was a thriving underground rave subculture running through the veins of numerous major cities in North America. This movement was undeniably fueled by several substances, but most notably, pressed pills of ecstasy.

As I've been working on modern-day ecstasy stories, I've caught myself daydreaming about what it was like to be part of the scene back in the heyday of raving, and I ended up speaking with two sources who worked together as part of a major ecstasy ring in the United States during the 90s. They were there to witness the shift in rave culture as it began to evolve at the turn of the century.

Both sources were eventually caught for their involvement, served time, have not taken part in any related activity since, and have agreed to speak to VICE on the basis of anonymity. If you dropped ecstasy in the 90s in the United States, there's a chance you took a pill that came from the very ring they were part of.

VICE: How did you guys get into this in the first place?