This Shrek-themed dance party coming to ALMA will make you feel like an All Star.
Spring has finally sprung in Tacoma. It’s the perfect time to emerge from your swamp, invite your friends from far far away and head out to the Shrek Rave. This event, coming to ALMA in Downtown Tacoma on May 20, isn’t your typical rave; it’s a dance party celebrating all things Shrek.
The event originated in Los Angeles in March 2022. Content creator Ka5sh decided to throw a party celebrating the popular Dreamworks Animation franchise in order to raise money for his sister, who was the victim of a robbery and near-fatal shooting. After witnessing the success of the first Shrek Rave, he decided to take the party all across the country.
The ongoing success of the Shrek Rave was bolstered by its virality on apps like TikTok and Twitter. Videos and photos of attendees dressed as popular and obscure franchise characters alike made the rounds and helped popularize the events.
Ever since the film’s release in 2001, and with the addition of each sequel, the Shrek series has set itself apart from other animated children’s media through its unique sense of humor. Now that many of the franchise’s original fans have grown into adults–whose own comedic sensibilities have been greatly influenced by the series–there is a large market for Shrek-themed nostalgia.
“Shrek really has a specific fandom,” Ka5sh told Page Six after the first Shrek Rave, “They all have a really weird, specific type of humor.”
The first event attracted famous rappers such as Rico Nasty and Yung Gravy. Many of the subsequent events have featured local musicians and DJs, who have performed sets and created remixes inspired by the franchise’s crowd-pleasing soundtracks. In particular, songs like “All Star” by Smash Mouth and their cover of “I’m a Believer”–both featured in the first Shrek film– have been staples of Shrek Raves across the country and globe.
That’s right: Shrek Rave is now an international phenomenon. It first made its way to the United Kingdom in March of this year. Recently, there have been Shrek Raves as close as Toronto, Canada and as far as Uzbekistan.
Folks who are familiar with Shrek, but perhaps not privy to the in-jokes and memeification of the series, may be confused about the popularity of these events. Why are people so enthusiastic about a dance party themed after an early 2000s animated comedy?
The simple answer is nostalgia, but the fervor for these parties goes deeper than that. Shrek Raves provide a feeling of community for people who fell in love with the franchise at any age. Attendees can expect to find others who share similar comedic and music taste as them. From descriptions and videos of past events, Shrek Raves sound like spaces in which everyone is accepted for who they are.
This isn’t surprising considering the themes of the Shrek films. Most of the movies focus on Shrek struggling to fit in because of his status as an ogre, an outsider to be feared. His emotional journey usually consists of Shrek finding people who accept him. He learns that he can still be loved without having to change the fundamentals of who he is.
It makes sense that people who relate to the themes of these films would be drawn to an event that connects them with like-minded people. Shrek Rave is a dance party, but it’s also an expression of freedom and creativity. Tacoma’s Shrek Rave will be taking place on May 20 at ALMA, starting at 9 p.m. Attendees must be 21 or older to enter. Links to purchase tickets can be found at almatacoma.com/upcoming-shows.