A collection of community-based harm-reduction guidelines curated by ravers for ravers with the intent of ensuring that everyone experiences a safe rave in a safe space.













           In 1971, Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be the "public enemy number one of the United States" and thus launched the Drugs War. The DEA was formed in 1973 and imposed mandatory prison sentences for non-violent drug-related crimes. It wasn't until the 1980s that Ronald Reagan really buckled down on drugs, causing an upsurge in prison, primarily targeting low-income communities and people of color.

The drug war continues to rage today, though less public and with a shifting dynamic. It is universally accepted that the aggressive tactics of criminal punishment and stigmatization continue to fail to prevent people from doing drugs. In fact, studies show that they are more than likely to have the reverse effect, while also causing severe trauma to impoverished communities of color. The harm reduction movement came about in response to the grave crisis.
Historically, harm reduction is a collection of public health and social practices that communities engage in to properly care for each other with the intention of minimizing the social and physical consequences of drug use, regardless of their legality. The ultimate goal is to see where people stand on drug consumption and meet them there by adequately treating them with boundless compassion.


Rave Scout Cookies is committed to endorse harm reduction practices and provide resources to the community and society at large as one of its rave preservation projects. In 2019, we partnered with DanceSafe National to raise awareness on harm reduction and cease the shame and stigma of drug use. Criminalization remains the primary weapon of the drug war. The use of the criminal justice system to solve public health problems has proved to be ineffective but also socially destructive. It promotes stigma and discrimination, largely carried by already marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Rave Scout Cookies and DanceSafe National acknowledge all social aspects of rave culture, some of which could be hazardous. We do not condemn or condone, and support rather than punish. We devoutly hope to provide an open and honest education about issues such as drug safety, mental and sexual health in an accessible, professional, and fun way.

A global DIY music community joined forces to create a DIY venue harm reduction guide for those who manage spaces, host and or attend events. 

D.I.Y. Venue

Harm Reduction is a resource for
people who manage spaces, host events, and / or attend events.

This is an incomplete, evolving draft
of suggestions for fast, free and low-cost
changes that can be implemented immediately. 

This is not a comprehensive safety manual or
replacement for involving licensed experts
and meeting fire / building codes. 

This collaborative effort is edited by community
and professional experts who span a range
from DIY / lived experience to credentialed
professionals in architecture, fire rescue and
prevention, disability justice, and more.

THIS TITLE has most often been interpreted as

DIY Venue
Harm Reduction

(harm reduction for DIY Venues) 

But we think of it more as

DIY Venue
Harm Reduction

(harm reduction for all venues, with a DIY approach)

Instead of spending time defining what counts as a โ€œDIY Venue,โ€ we focus on reducing harm everywhere.
Many โ€œlegalโ€ venues that pay rent and meet building and fire codes realized they could do more to improve their safety and accessibility measures following the 2016 Ghost Ship tragedy.

This resource centers the needs of low-budget, precarious DIY situations, while expanding beyond ad hoc strategies.

This information is also helpful

for pop-up or
temporary events.

Whether you live in a punk house that hosts monthly shows in your basement,
or you are hosting a legal, permitted, one-time event in a public park,
you can keep your community as safe as possible.



with all of our neighbors

but not limited to communities of color,
low-income communities immigrant
communities, and vulnerable communities
who are likely tO inhabit spaces at risk of fire,
eviction, or gentrification.
The information is


beyond Niche subcultures throwing parties in warehouses.

In DIY communities like that of the Ghost Ship, โ€œSafer Spacesโ€ has most often been interpreted to mean keeping a space free from racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, harassment, violence, and other interpersonal and social concerns.
The Ghost Ship


brought forward the need
to also consider the physical

and structural safety of the buildings and structures where these social relationships take place. This document is therefore strongly aligned with the disability justice movement, which has long been making the case for many of these improvements.

in addition

to modifying spaces and policies on the part of venues and event hosts, we identified
strategies and improvements that attendees and guests can use.
We wanted to emphasize audiencesโ€™ agency in harm reduction and venue accountability.

For accountability purposes: this document was initiated by Susanล Surface, a curator, unlicensed architectural designer and long-term DIY music community member currently based in Seattle, WA.

It was started concurrently with saferspac.es, which was initiated by Melissa J Frost โ€“โ€“ also an architecture professor, unlicensed architectural designer, and long-term DIY music community member โ€“โ€“ as a platform where service providers and professional or technical experts can connect with venues or community members in need of those services. 

It is maintained by a community of collaborators worldwide.