Show Review – Shrek Rave, 11/4/22, Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH


Written by Steven Paugh

Saturday November 4th, Bogarts was the setting for a touring event that is sweeping TikTok For You pages- Shrek Rave. A Shrek themed rave that has grown an immense following on all social media platforms for its outlandish and fun concept.

In the fresh fallout of UC’s win over Navy and in the midst of high winds clearing anything off of Short Vine, attendees of the Shrek Rave waited outside of Bogarts patiently for the doors to open. To anyone passing by not knowing what was going on, it had to have been a sight seeing a crowd of Shrek themed costumes and ravers all mixed in together trying to keep their hats and animal ears from getting caught in the strong gusts. Those curious enough to ask what everyone was doing were met with screams of “Shrek Rave!” to which one woman turned to her friends and said “Why the hell aren’t we going?!”. The atmosphere was electric, you could tell that people were genuinely excited for this event, even those that weren’t attending. And as soon as the doors opened the party started. The lines at the bar for the Shrek themed drinks was almost instantaneous with “Swamp Water” cocktails being the most popular. Everyone else wasted no time finding a spot on the dance floor to get the blood pumping.

The music of the evening consisted of DJs putting their spin on mainly EDM songs with Shrek quotes and sound bites incorporated into them, making for some hilarious bass drops. They also played the most popular songs from the Shrek franchise: Funky Town by Lipps Inc., Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright, and of course All Star by Smash Mouth. In fact they played many forms of All Star throughout the night, which brings my main problem with the event. There are four Shrek movies worth of great songs and they only chose at most four songs and played them multiple times. For a series that’s just as known for its soundtracks as it is its story, you’d think they would’ve tapped into that more. Now obviously not every song from the movies is dance worthy (at least not to a rave standard), but it would have been interesting seeing what the DJs could’ve pulled off with a few more of them.

On the visuals side of the rave, apart from the lighting which was exactly what was needed, I’d say they also leave a little to be desired. There were next to no decorations aside from a Shrek mask worn by the host and a stuffed Shrek at the front of the DJ booth, like the idol of worship for the night. I definitely feel like there could’ve been more and it would’ve been interesting seeing Bogarts dressed for the part as much as the crowd. Aside from that, there was also a projector screen behind the DJ and one on the left wall of the venue that played clips of the movies occasionally. However it mostly played the most chaotic, fever dream esque meme videos that I honestly found myself paying the most attention to due to how bizarre it was. While it was funny, it had to have been a twenty minute loop at the most and wouldn’t have hurt to have more variety.

But I know that these elements aren’t the reason people go to raves, most people go there to dance. The DJs and host of the event definitely made a fun, hype environment for those just looking for a chance to dance in their finest Sexy Farquad costume. I honestly couldn’t find a single person having a bad time while there and I’m glad that Bogarts was able to host this event. It gives a more laid back alternative for those not wanting to go out to something super intense. When you’re sweating through your Pinocchio costume it’ll be near impossible to take yourself super seriously, so might as well lighten up and enjoy the slightly cringe event you’ve found yourself at. So whether you’ve just seen the movies, are an admin on the Shrek subreddit, love to dance, or just need to get out of the house, why not?