A Night At The Warped Rave

Words: Faith Thurnwald
Photos: Asher
I attend Warped, a Riot Collective rave. I start the night with a bottle of champagne and a little light bondage. Nothing too weird, I promise.
I assure you, I wasn’t popping champagne and tying myself up –although that sounds appealing, a new self-care routine perhaps? So, no masochistic masturbation, but to get ready for a rave, one must get slightly sauced and pay homage to the kink scene.

I harness myself up, drink champagne, apply way too much eyeliner, drink champagne, garters on, then off again later and by hands that aren’t my own (the harness came in handy). I decide on an outfit, play drinking games, pile into the tub for bathroom selfies, break the shower curtain and yell at everyone to get into the uber. I arrive ready at Warped, the rave.

What comes to mind when someone mentions a rave? Sweat? Smoke? Eardrum-bursting electronic music? An out-of-the-way warehouse? All of the above, right? Now I don’t know about the sweat it’s winter and I’m rather dry, but Warped delivers on everything else.


Warped, as a Riot Collective event caters to queer, femme, non-binary and GNC creatives, which the rave’s line-up exclusively hosts. Each DJ is offered an opportunity for the night to perform freely, in an otherwise male dominated industry. But tonight, the queens and the queers creep out with their leather, lace and great music taste.


As with Fluidity, Warped is run by the artist and powerhouse, ATOMICX. ATOMICX not only creates their own art, which has been self described as; intense, vibrant and raw, but they also managed to start up No Order and Riot Collective: two directives that pave the way for a more diverse – and let’s face it – interesting art scene in Brisbane. ATOMICX creates their own world, through events and their publication; this is a world where for the first time in thousands of years you don’t have to be a straight white dude, to flourish.

I sift my way through the smoky scene, moving between leather clad figures and laser lights. GERM’s animated art decorates the DJ stage and their projected visuals move to the music. GERM is a Brisbane based artist, whose art comes alive with character. The characters are what all cartoon-esque characters should be: exaggerated, loud and sometimes a little grotesque. They’ve seen some shit – their clothes are ripped, their covered in band-aids, or sometimes their brains are falling out (I hate it when that happens). GERM’s animations are attuned to the music as three eyed aliens slap away at their keyboard as the beat – in turn – slaps.


I bounce to the beat and move to the music, in reality I’m sure I simply sway while simultaneously looking like a dickhead, that’s right I can multitask. But raves are not about reality and neither am I. The music is a blend of techno, electronic and tech-house. Now, forgive me, this is not my forte, but I’ll give it a go…


Throughout the night DJ’s hit the stage, each bringing their own style, their own rhythm, their own sound. The theyphex twins talentedly tap away, and dance between genres offering up a mix of house, breakbeat, garage, electro and techno – whatever it is, it slaps. The non-binary duo formed through experimentation, bringing us tunes, which we too can explore to.

SCALYMOTH provides genre defying oonst oonst, bringing trance to the dance. Her tunes hypnotize and hold you, they keep the crowd craving more and create an atmosphere in which one could dance for hours.


I leave the rave, inviting the mandatory random home with us. Once home I realise we’ve run out of alcohol – no matter – I play with the ponies instead, and I really slow them down. Warped indeed. I did say I was rather dry, not (like my favorite beers) super dry.

I wrap up the night with how it started; a little bit of light bondage, and it ties me up until the early hours.