But the blame does not fall entirely on the behind the scenes machinations of promoters and talent. Ravers are guilty as well. Supporting a promoter who just plain disrespects you by throwing sub par events that never live up to their advertising or their ticket price does nothing to improve your scene. How many times does an event you attend have to get shut down at 2 am before you decide to no longer line that particular promoter's pockets? It's one thing for a new promoter to learn the ropes, make mistakes, and maybe even throw make up events - but it's entirely another for such a situation to incubate for years and years. It doesn't take much to stifle scene growth in a smaller city, and supporting slothful promoters with your hard earned dollars is not going the answer.
Then what is the answer? Since I seem to be so full of criticisms, I must therefore have some kind of rave master plan that solves everyone's problems! I can assure you that this is not the case. Every scene is different, with it's own peculiar needs, circumstances, and history. There is, however, a universal solution that anyone can implement - and that is GET INVOLVED. Throw a rave (or don't). Spin some records. Raise your voice! If there is a DJ that you love, in your area, let everyone know, and encourage him to send a demo to a promoter (a step that so few DJ's actually take these days). If there was a party that was really great, once again, let everyone know! But make sure that it WAS really great. Not "oh the headliner was awesome but there were no bathrooms and someone stole everyone's cash in the coat check and the cops shut the party down at 4 am". Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and instead of hiding what actually goes on, the more people that know, the more people who will be able to make their own judgements on where and how to spend their Saturday night (or Friday, if that's your thing).
The short version of all of this is introduce a true market economy to your rave scene. I don't mean economically - I mean rewarding the good and shunning the mediocre. Recognize that yes, promoters from time to time make mistakes, but support those that grow from their mistakes, instead of those that repeat them ad nauseum. Promoters should develop their own stable of great DJ's - artists that are talented, and above all, reliable. And DJ's should realise that if things start to smell fishy, they probably are, and it's in their best interests to just move on until they find someone who is truly interested in providing them an environment in which they too can grow and develop.
This may seem all very pie in the sky, and nothing changes overnight. But the alternative is to watch your scene smother itself to death under the weight of those who cared only enough to ride it into the ground.