Warehouse parties becoming last-minute rave with FGCU students

Posted on December 1, 2011


By Brittany Cagle


Within the warehouses of Southwest Florida there’s a rising trance of something intangible: A unifyingpulse in melody that resonates and a dynamic feeling ofmusic that transcends description.

An underground new age phenomenon is redefining what disk jockeys once shunned as niche music culture. Electronic music is finally worthy of having a proper home for its followers.

“The shows are something rare,” Garrett Faulkender said about the rising rave legacy in Naples. “It’s like going to a concert and a club meshed into one.”

Garrett Faulkender is a junior and legal studies major at Florida Gulf Coast University. He’s alsoa frequent attender of the underground warehouse parties in the Southwest Florida region.

The original “Where?House!” underground parties have launched this new edition of “The Rabbit Hole Series.” These parties—even with last minute notification—can draw more than 1,000 people.

“It’s a carefree environment where the bass is pumping until the sun comes up,” Faulkender said.

Attenders arrive dressed as they are, dance until the 3-4 am mark and bribe the DJ for one more track until the night comes to a close.

The Rabbit Hole Series defuse the reputation as beinga gathering for drugs and other related illegal activity. The focus remains on unity between electronic dance music collaborators, such as DJ’s, promoters, community officials and other skeptics alike.

“No one judges how you dance or what you wear,” Faulkender said.The underground movement respects the freedom of those who express themselves and worship the dance floor without harassment.

Alex Shields, a senior at FGCU, is both a rave show entertainer and DJ at multiple Southwest Florida underground shows.

“My love for music keeps me waking up in the morning,” Shields said. “But my main trial of being a DJ has been finding time to breathe.”

Shields began his career as a DJ at 16 years old. He started with house parties and began making a name through formals at his school.

He continues to DJ for large-scale programs on the FGCU campus, such as Greek Formals and registration events in South Village.

Outside of work and school his self-taught moves guide his passion for electronic music.

“I first learned how to spin glow sticks on shoe strings to give light shows and then slowly added fire into my vocabulary,” Shields said. He performs shows with fire poi chains in front of the Lani Kai on Fort Myers Beach.

Shields switched from fire to glow sticks as he became more familiar with the underground electronic music scene. “When I lived in Dallas I became one of the professional dancers,” he said.

Through his trials and tribulations in the rave industry he remains dedicated to both his work and college studies.Shields continues to be a successful student in his double majors of civil and environmental engineering and double minors in math and physics.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to rest for the past 3 years,” Shields said. “But when I surround myself with music, life seems simple.”

Electronic will continue to flood and pulse through the warehouses in Southwest Florida. Dancers can be spotted just before the sun rises as they slip back into civilization with glow sticks in their hands.

The partylocations are frequently changing and can be tracked by trails of glitter, flashing lights and neon clothing…

Or there’s always the Facebook page.




Posted in: Brittany Cagle