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Photos: Return to the raver parking lot at Caffeine Music & Arts Festival 2012

With another

Caffeine Music & Arts Festival

on the books for 2012, take a look back at last night's parking-lot scene outside the

1STBANK Center

with the folks who traveled from far (Texas) and near (the Springs) for the all-night annual party put on by Triad Dragons. This motley crew drove down from Wyoming for the party with a mixed group of veterans and rookies to the rave scene. "This is our last hurrah before we graduate." This was her first show, not his, and they were both very excited for it. You can sense nervousness in people who've never experienced a rave, but the anxiety is paired with excitement. Here we have a promotor from Texas who raved about the scene in Lubbock and how it's blowing up. Another Texan who made the trip north for a guaranteed party. Candy, as these glowing pieces of jewelry are called, is common in the scene. Show-goers traditionally trade them. "I've been doing this for seven years," says this raver. Tie-dye has its place, but, really, anything goes when it comes to a rave. Style is nothing like it is in other scenes -- or perhaps the style is acceptance, which is what draws so many in. Meet Virginia. This is her first rave. She is very excited. I saw this guy several times over the course of the evening, and every time, he'd approach me and ask, "Are you having fun?" He was smiling widely the whole time. These guys are just pumped. Arriving early can have its drawbacks, but, as they said, "We're ready when the doors open." This couple brought out the big guns for the show. The "Mushroom Twins" were a big hit last year, and they decided to make it a tradition. "We're from Colorado Springs," this couple says. "And the scene there is nothing like it is in Denver."  "We would rather save money for shows here than go to ones in Colorado Springs." "I'm just here to slang shirts," says Tom, owner of Hyphy Color. Some right-on-time arrivals just pulled up, all smiles and ready to party. Just as the sun was dropping, this punk-gone-rave couple came walking up -- no words, just grins -- and then they were off. Another motley crew from Colorado Springs pre-gaming in the lot prior to the show. Their ritual, as they put it: "Show up, slam a few, then roll in." This here is a car hood. Those are stickers of various Denver-based dance/rave companies. Pretty simple.



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