Selling old Rave stuff

Dreamscape 1 flyer

Over the Easter weekend I have been cleaning out all the old crap I own and found not only my vinyl collection (mainly hardcore/rave and happy hardcore) but also my magazine collection. I have a load of the home computer course magazines and early T3’s but more interestingly I have Eternity which is not the monthly conservative Christian magazine according to Wikipedia. Nope its the controversial underground dance magazine and I seem to have issue 4 onwards till the last one. Currently Fantazia.org.uk are selling them at between 9.99 and 14.99 a issue which is a markup of at least 500 percent, and they seem interested in buying more. Which is good, because I could shift my lot and it will go back into the hands of someone who will enjoy them.

I also have a ton of Rave flyers in a briefcase (heaven knows why). I was able to remember the combination even after so many years and so now have access to about 250+ flyers. Once again Fantazia seem to want to buy them, but I also noticed Fantazia don’t just sell them, they can put them on Canvas and ship it to you if you like. So I’ve been thinking it would be great to get some of the really good flyers up such as the Obsession fish flyer. Like the magazines, I’d be happy to help out on any project which puts all the flyers online including Fantazia, raveflyers, its-all-about-flyers, phatmedia and hyperreal.

There is so much that happened during this short period of rave culture. The history of house music timeline is worth reading if your not aware of the differences and don’t know where house music came from. Its also quite interesting to super impose the timeline of house music on top of the history of rave timeline. There are some classic bits that even I remember reading or hearing about….

1988

At a time when football violence was escalating, rival fans dance together in an ecstasy induced euphoria thinking the world is going to change. – “…like angels from above, come down and spread their wings like doves…”

Paul Stone & Lu Vukovic start RiP. They provide a harder edged party. Located in a labyrinth like warehouse complex on Clink Street, near London Bridge, home centuries ago to Britain’s first prison. RiP sees Mr C (Later of the Shamen – who played their first experimental acid set at RiP) and Eddie Richards & Kid Batchelor play a harder more underground house (“as opposed to the pop songs at Shoom” – Mr C) to a very diverse crowd, from gangsters to people in shell suits.

In Manchester the Hacienda’s Hot & Nude nights kick start acid house in the North.
April – RiP (still at Clink) move to Fridays with their ‘A-Transmission’ nights and Sundays with ‘Zoo’.

April 11th – Paul Oakenfold opens Spectrum in London. A brave move, in that it is to be held at Heaven, near Trafalgar Square (at the time one of the biggest club venues in London). To make matters worse it is held on Monday nights. Even so after 3 weeks they had 1200 people in every week with just as many locked out. Spectrum quickly gains a musical reputation as anything goes. Paul Oakenfold even plunges the complete club into total darkness and played Tchaikovsky’s 1824 Overture on one occasion. They also hold a few nights at Legends in Manchester and one party in a marquee by the Thames.

1989

The location of these events was a closely guarded secret up until an hour or so before the start. Meeting points would be made available through flyers and pirate radio stations (Sunrise, Centre Force, Fantasy). Mobile phones were still widely regarded as Yuppy toys but thanks to BT’s messaging service they became an ideal way to co-ordinate people to different meeting points (Motorway service stations usually) and eventually the venue itself. It generally turned into a game of “follow the car in front” until you find a party. By keeping the venue secret like this they could get everyone on the move heading for the party or in the wrong direction if needed. The police have no option but to follow. So the end effect is that 1000’s of people can descend on one location in a matter of minutes. Once a party’s goes past a certain size there is, in reality very little the police can do.

June 24th – Sunrise’s Midsummer Nights Dream at White Waltham airstrip, Berkshire is attended by over 11000 people. The Sun newspaper runs the headline “Ecstacy Airport”. Other reports involve “youngsters so drugged up they ripped the heads of pigeons!” & “at the end of the night the floor was covered in empty ecstacy wrappers”, unsurprisingly , both are untrue, the empty wrappers are actually pieces of silver foil that fell from the ceiling – dead pigeons nowhere to be seen.

1990

10th August – “It’s a fad. It will be over in 3 months” claims Superintendent Mick Bromwich of the Coventry police.

Alex  paterson (later of the ORB) and Jimmy Cauty (KLF) take over DJing in the VIP room at Land of Oz (held at Heaven in London). They play a weird mix of film music and animal noises! Ambient music is born.

October 13th – The Legendary Eclipse opens at Lower Ford Street, Coventry. Britains first legal all night rave club. The club is packed all night every Friday & Saturday.

September 1st – Pirate radio station Kiss becomes Britain’s first legal dance radio station.

1991

January 30th – Hacienda closes after door staff are threatened with a gun. “We are sick of the violence” – Tony Wilson

New Years Eve – 12,000 at Fantazia at Westpoint Exhibition Centre ending with the now legendary Top Buzz set &  Raindance-Big Bad Head at Melton Mowbury.

1992

April 10th – ITV’s Hitman & Her program do a show from the Eclipse in Coventry. A classic TV moment see’s Michaela Stachen having to leave the club because “its too hot … they’ve all got eyes like saucers … “. – I have this somewhere!

June 27th – Amnesia House hold “The B
ook of Love” at Brayfield Stadium. After first announcing hit intention to get married at a rave on the BBC’s “The Time, The Place” back in 1989. Mickey Lynas (partner in Amnesia/Nemesis) gets his wish and marries with 15000 ravers as witness’ and Grooverider as the best man.

July 25th – Fantazia hold “One Step Beyond/Castle Donnington”. Licensed for 25000, the totally outdoor stage is made to look like a castle with a huge dragon in the middle of the crowd.

1993

April 30th – Universe do the first Tribal Gathering with 25,000 people at Warminster near Bath. Total chaos on the surrounding roads with a 15 mile traffic jam leading up to the site at about 9pm.

August 13th – Universe stage their Big Love event attracting 30000. With 2 totally outdoor stages set back to back, Heaven (House) & Earth (Hardcore). Probably the last totally outdoor event. Sound restriction problems cause the levels to be turned right down half way through the Prodigy’s set.

The Criminal Justice bill is put to parliament. With the new rave clause, defining a ‘Rave’ as 100 or more people dancing outdoors to music “mainly comprising of repetitive beats”. New powers for the police will include the right to detain anyone they believe is heading to an illegal rave and the right to confiscate sounds systems (like they hadn’t been doing this anyway)

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.