Before the Rave Scene.
In start of the 1980s, House music becomes truly alive. The sound was pioneer by Djs in New york & Chicago. This specific sound was promoted all around 1984 and was played inside warehouse parties which were made for principally gay African American, Latino men and additionally blended adherents. The music and gathering scene quickly spread and by 1985, it had fanned out developing to be the music of inclination for hetero and gay person gatherings of people all around the Usa. Real areas incorporating Detroit, Boston, Montreal, San fran, L.a and Miami improved their own particular special understandings of the house scene. A specific strain of American House music called "Acid" enters Great Britain and is met by all in all as dissimilar flavours. Music like Dub reggae, northern Soul & European electronic impacts are quickly included, converting and changing the music. Various warehouse occasions show up as the medication Ecstasy treasure its route into the United Kingdom, fuelling another high vigor party society which was unique. These sort of components served to make the environment that brooded and handled the conception of the early Rave scene.
Steve 'Silk' Hurley has the very first House music number 1 with the song "Jack your Body".
The Times newspaper reports the first ecstasy seizure inside London. Not quite realizing that the effect of the drug makes people dance yet, the media report that ecstasy is a sex stimulant.
AprilTrevor Fung & Ian Saint Paul open a little club in San Antonio, Ibiza. It was known as the Project, (named after a club in London that Ian had been somewhat running). It quickly grew to be a center point for youthful British holiday makers who were out there to get a good time in the Balearic islands. Early ravers started to find out what had been happening and shortly many eventually left Britain summer time to check out the wide open air night clubs of Ibiza similar to Amnesia exactly where DJ's like Alfredo had been playing many of the first house music imports.
SeptemberTrevor and Ian ask their acquaintance Paul Oakenfold to ibiza for his birthday. Paul brings along with him Johnny Walker, Nicky Holloway and also Danny Rampling. Trevor and Ian close the venture club and so they devote the rest of the summer backwards and forwards between Amnesia and Cafe del mar.
AutumnReturning to London, the newly converted Ibiza crew immediately sense some thing has transformed. Paul opens the initial Project club after hours'. At 2am when the nightclubs were formally concluded Paul & his Ibiza team would start theirgathering until 6am. This continues only some months before Law enforcement officials raid the event.
NovemberDanny Rampling and Jenni open Klub Sch-oom (soon reduced to Shoom) in a health centre around Southwark bridge, just south of the Thames in London.
A couple weeks later Paul Oakenfold holds the initial Future event in the back area of the Heaven nightclub, a immense club in London's Charing Cross.
Shoom is one of the first club nights to adopt the Smiley face logo for its flyers. Ravers of the time like it for its association with the peace & love Hippy movement of the 1960's. The smiley face later becomes the symbolic representation of acid house in the UK.
Many new people are exposed to the rave scene including , Dj El chicano, Letronic and Otiz F. Angel (younger relation of Buzbys head doorman).
Paul Stone & Lu Vukovic start a harder edged party called RiP, situated in a labyrinth like warehouse complex on Clink Street, near London Bridge. RiP sees Mr C (Later of the Shamen) and Eddie Richards & Kid Bachelor play a harder more techno underground house ("as opposed to the more soulful sounding house music at Shoom") . The crowd are very diverse crowd, from gangsters in shell suits to middle class revellers.
Clink street is also one of the first to feature MC 'E-mix', one of the scene's first MCs. He added a new spin by rapping & toasting on the House & Techno of the time.
Hot & Nude nights kick off the acid house trend in the North at Fac 51 Haçienda (better known simply as The Haçienda). Founded by Rob Gretton, the Hacienda was largely financed by the record label Factory Records and the band New Order along with label boss Tony Wilson. It was situated on the corner of Whitworth Street West and Albion Street, close to Castlefield, in the centre of Manchester.
March 29thAn illegal pirate station called Obsession FM start their broadcast. The music policy for the station is 40% soul, reggae & 60% Acid house. The hook line – Ravers! Are You Obsessed? Was given birth. The partners, Richard Okuno, Sav Petriou, El Chicano, Roy Chen, and Otiz F. Angel openly dedicate their broadcasts to support warehouse parties & spread the rave underground movement.
AprilAfter years of escalating football hostility in London, many rival fans suddenly STOPPED
THE VIOLENCE! Within months making hooligans find themselves raving together, even becoming friends. This induced euphoria was cause by House music and ecstasy. Many individuals take up a new general view that the rave movement can spread happiness. Another optimistic view was the world is going to adjust for the best. Promise land (lyrics) by Joe Smooth best catches the mood in London". ..When the angels from above, come down and spread their wings like doves...then we'll walk, hand in hand, sisters, brothers, we'll take you to a promise land".
RiP (still at Clink) move to Fridays with their 'A-Transmission' nights and Sundays with 'Zoo'.
April 11thPaul Oakenfold opens a club night called Spectrum in the center of London. A heroic move, in that it is to be held at Heaven, (at the time one of the biggest club venues in London) near Trafalgar Square. To make things harder the event is held on Monday nights. Even so after 3 weeks Spectrum has 1200 people going every week with just as many ravers locked outside. It was a road block. Spectrum quickly gains a musical reputation as a rave venue. On one occasion, Paul Oakenfold even plunges the complete club into total darkness then plays Tchaikovsky's 1824 Overture. Spectrum also hold a few nights at Legends in Manchester and one party in a marque by the Thames.
June 4thNicky Holloway opens 'The Trip' at London's Astoria. Thousands of ravers attend filling the massive club every week. Full on street parties erupt after each party closes, with revellers dancing in water fountains opposite the venue and around their cars. Passing drivers, tourists and Police are baffled by hundreds of people chanting "Acieeeed!"
Large companies notice the rave trend and rush to cash in on the 'smiley face' symbol. With no copyright or protection, thousands of mass produced smiley t-shirts & "Wheres the Acid House Party" T-shirts appear everywhere.
There were even tabloid rumours that the brain numbing TV soap Eastenders was planning to make an episode where Ian Beale would drop LSD at a rave and try to jump off a bridge. This commercialisation was the first invite to a wave of plastic ravers. People who disliked the culture now wore Acid t-shirts because it was cool to do so. New, cash rich, clubs, promoters and well connected DJs (some corporately backed) enter the rave gold rush.
July 20thIn protest to commercialisation, New Generation opens at Turnmills. The rave is hosted by
Otiz F. Angel, Ray Loc, Cram Gee & El Chicano with an invite only policy. The promotion is aimed to create an active inner core of hardcore ravers. To host their first acid event, the New Generation play a night of acid, techno and a experimental sound they called Dub Trance.
There after New Generation organise many more events in and around the Farringdon, Shoreditch & Brick lane area.
The Sun newspaper at first cashes in on Acid with its own Smiley T-shirt but this is quickly back-tracked as the tide suddenly turns. A new agenda begins with the smiley face frowning. This is adopted throughout the media. The BBC bans Jolly Roger's tune "Acid Man".
Voices throughout the London underground scene become aware of rumours that the authorities are taking steps to put an end to the raves. Some say because of the drugs, or the fact that so much money was now being made. Other theories accused the government of being opposed to an awakening of minds with fears that, under the right conditions, people could connect and they could lose control. (Divide and conquer conspiracy).
ESP promotions is born at the Roadmender, Northampton. A few packed nights called Bounce follow at Castaways (later renamed to Millwalkies).
AugustTony Colston-Hayter, disenchanted with the increasingly stricter door policy of Jenny Rampling at Shoom, enters the scene. Tony holds his first parties at Wembley Studios under the name “Apocalypse Now”. On the last night of Apocalypse Now Tony lets ITN news film the event. Interviews with the dj's and positive news are dropped by the TV networks in favour for 'shock' footage of 'spaced out kids' and drug paraphernalia.
August 17thThe Sun newspaper follows up the Sunrise report and issue an investigation into the Heaven night club (then owned by Sir Richard Branson) and home to Spectrum. Claiming "Junkies flaunt their craving by wearing T-shirts sold at the club with the messages like 'Can you feel it?' & 'drop acid not bombs'". Not understanding the pun 'Drop Acid meaning play Acid house' not bombs, the Sun took the term literally linking Acid House with the drug LSD. After the Sun newpaper's article on Heaven, Sir Richard Branson tells Paul Oakenfold that he need only rename his club rather than shut it down. This amazing generosity keep the very best club night in London alive. Spectrum closes but opens again within weeks renamed 'Land of Oz'.
Following up the New Generation raves, Otiz F. Angel hosts an illegal warehouse party called 'Resurrection' at Millmead industrial estate, Tottenham. 600+ ravers arrive at the party and Resurrection goes weekly. The negative is that the location is in close proximity to two rival hooligan gangs, the Yids (Tottenham fans) and the Gooners (Arsenal fans) yet the events remain peaceful. Although there is no trouble, Resurrection warehouse becomes known as a notorious gangland venue.
AugustAt the end of this "Summer of Love" the unfortunate ecstasy related death of Janet Mayes (R.I.P) at an illegal acid party sparks a Police campaign against warehouse parties. In respect for Janet, many ravers reduce even stop the use of substances yet still remain living the raver lifestyle without the chemical high. Campaigns start reminding people the the rave scene is about the music. This is a time to focus on the concept of peace, love & unity championed by Rave culture. During a bust at a party in Sevenoaks, 20 year old student Paul Hartnoll is beaten by uniformed officers. He recovers and goes on to form the band Orbital.
September 12thAcid House is introduced to Liverpool as James Barton takes over The State ballroom to start Daisy. DJ's on the first night are Andy Carroll & Mic Microdot.
Robert Darby and Leslie Thomas charged with "conspiring to manage premises where drugs were supplied" after organising a boat party on the Thames. They are sentenced to 10 and 6 years imprisonment.
Grooverider & Fabio open a legal club night called Rage.
Tony Colston-Hayter renames his organization to Sunrise after the bad publicity surrounding the last Apocalypse Now. The first event is busted by Police.
Sunrise sell 4000 tickets for their Guy Fawkes Edition party. As the event kicks off in a run-down gas works (where the film Full Metal Jacket was made) riot Police raid it an shut down the music. At 5am the Police draw back hopelessly out numbered by ravers who climbed barbed wire fences and ran across dual carriageway's to get in.
Carl Cox was already a well respected D J on the infamous M1/Orbital rave circuit but at this event Carl breaks-through. Playing at Sunrise, he hooked up a three decks. 15,000 ravers rocked to the amazing experience- since the Carl Cox is known as 'The 3 Deck Wizard'.
November 7thThe Daily Mail newspaper reports Sunrises party as "evil night of Ecstasy"
November 20thObsession Fm becomes a 24/7 house music station. After a assembly with Densil Roberts &
Otiz F.Angel, Obsession FM become one of the dedicated pirate radio stations the support the Sunrise events amongst other top raves.
Wayne Anthony enters the scene forming Genesis. Genesis ('KP' & Wayne Anthony) host their first party in a warehouse near Aldgate, East London.
December 24thGenesis hold their second warehouse party. Held in an vacant warehouse near Clapton Pond, Hackney. Genesis use thousands of old car tyres that littered the building to build a UV lit entrance tunnel and bar area. Combined with a Christmas tree, parachutes, netting, inflatables & some new white canopies stolen from a nearby building site.
December 26thGenesis return to the same warehouse (now with a written contract with the owner!). Initial problems with the electricity had the first 300 or so people standing round in the dark. Later they are caught totally off guard as (mainly due to the reputation of the xmas eve party) 2000 people descend on the warehouse.
December 28thSunrise IV "Boxing Day in Heaven" December 30th Sunrise V "Final Party", held at the Astoria New Years Eve Sunrise team up with Genesis for parties named Sunset at Leeside Road, Hackney, London. A venue already utilised by Genesis on Christmas Eve & Boxing Day. It turns nasty and Tony Colsten-Hayter is confronted by a gang of West Ham (ICF) football thugs who demand a cut in the profits. This leaves him looking for party venues that do not fall within the 'territories' of football gangs.
JanuaryGenesis / Sunset parties. "The Fight Goes On", "Against All Odds", "Hedonism" & "Strength to Strength".
Inspired by what he had seen at RiP, Joe Wieczorek starts holding illegal warehouse parties in various east end locations (Shacklewell Lane, Essex Road, Homerton & Ferry Lane to name a few). Labrynth is born.
Around the same time, Andy Swallow and Tony Wilson having already run a succesful after-hours club at Mile End, Hackney, starts Echos in a small club at the foot of Bow flyover, East London.
Friday's are Tony Wilson's "Adrenaline" while Saturdays sees Andy Swallow's "Pasha". With links to ICF (West Ham United's football hooligans) the club soon becomes a disreputable gangland venue.
Fantasy turn on their first Broadcast and using powerful transmitters gained a massive audience. An array of pirate stations soon followed including Sunrise, & Dance FM.
January 28thRiP move to "The Dungeons" at Leabridge Road, Leytonstone.
Jarvis Sandy enters the scene with a party called Biology. Held in a film studio in Battersea, this party is a huge success and starts the assent of Biology in the rave scene.
FebruaryWayne Antony & Kp flood London with a month of Genesis parties * Genesis’89 – The Promised Land - * Genesis’89 – West Way Blues - * Genesis’89 – In House We Trust - * Genesis’89 – Only Love Conquers Hate
FebruaryLabrynth hold a party in a disused warehouse at Silverton Way, Canning Town. An East-end gang ask to take over the door but Joe refuses. This refusal leads to three nutters sneaking into the venue and hacking innocent people with machetes. Joe is threatened at gun point and decides to get out of the illegal warehouse party game. Labrynth move to a licensed club venue, The Four Aces Club in Dalston.
FebruaryJames Barton teams up with John Kelly to start a new night at Liverpools Nights Alive nightclub calling it The Underground.
March The scene takes a new direction as parties move away from inner city nightclubs and move out to huge barns and fields in the countryside. Like a premier division, all the top promoters dish out an amazing summer of raves. Sunrise (Tony Colston Hayter), Biology (Jarvis Sandy), Energy (Quintin "TinTin" Chambers & Jeremy Taylor), Back to the Future (Dave Roberts, also a partner in Sunrise), Weekend World & World Dance (Anton Le Pirate).
MarchObsession Fm unceasingly promote all the illegal raves. True to their word, they broadcasted rave information and House music 24/7 . Viewed as a source to illegal parties Obsession FM go through continuous raids. Not helping, their rumoured links to hooligans and transmitter funding by Jamaican Yardies, leads to Obsession regularly being targeted by the Dti.
Police bust a party in Blackburn as the situation heats up.
AprilThe production levels of the illegal rave parties dramatically increased. The smaller founding raves became unimportant as large events become the in thing. Illegal partys with 1000's of kilo watts of sound, lasers & fun fairs, attended by sometimes tens of thousands of people cladded out in ponchoes, smiley's, bandanas & kickers becomes a weekly event. With ten of thousands of new people starting to go to raves, the term Raver becomes fully main stream.
The location of these events was a intimately guarded secret up until an hour or so before the start. Meeting points would be made available through flyers and pirate radio stations such as (Sunrise,Centre Force, Obsession, & Fantasy FM). 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 broadly turned into a game of "follow the car in front" until you find a party. By keeping the venue secret promoters 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 goes past a certain size there is, in reality very little the Police can do to stop it.
AprilBreakbeats begin to materialize in rave tunes. Rat Pack run Trip City at the Elephant & Castle.
Outside London, Tommy Smith and Tony Creft take over the administration of the illegal parties in Blackburn after the first organisers are arrested. Almost every week empty warehouses in and around the Blackburn area are descended on by thousands of ravers. Sett End, Bubble Factory, Unit 7, Pump Street and many more abandoned buildings,warehouses and even an old abattoir are used for parties over the coming months.
April 16thOtiz F. Angel's single New Generation 'Body & Soul' is distributed by SRD
while he does an interview for Eternity magazine. During the interview he describes three common types of raver forming inside the rave culture.
“Ravers who rave because their friends do it”.
“Ravers who love the music but are not into the peace, love philosophy and are not bothered which direction the scene will take.
“Ravers who love the scene and believe the scene has the potential to make a positive impact in the world”.
Back to the future, finding that their lined up venue has been revealed, end up holding a party in a cattle silo, still half full of animal feed!!
May 20thSunrise 5000: 'Once In A Blue Moon' is held in aircraft hanger at Santa Pod race track. On arriving at the site in the early evening to set up, Sunrise find there is no electricity and no toilets. Their only option is to take a big risk with a diesel generator running dodgy wiring next to a pile of old newsprint.
Few weeks after the rave, Tony Colston Hayter (Founder of Sunrise) appear on the Jonathan Ross show. First he hand cuffed himself to Jonathan Ross then he threw water over Paul Morely (Journalist). The was a publicity stunt for the 'Freedom To Party'. Although there was a tonne of negative press after – it was still funny as hell.
Energy hold their first major party, located in Westway film studios with 5 rooms, 12 Djs. This level of production was not experienced before including one room decorated as Greek temple and another exactly like the set of the film Bladerunner.
June 10thBiology hold a party in a field near Elstree Studios, London.
Red Parrot illegal parties begin around Blackburn area.
Hypnosis set up the first dance tent in on of the car parks at Glastonbury.
Police use a new strategy and start to monitor info lines and posing as Ravers to find venues before the convoys.
June 24thSunrise’s Midsummer Nights Dream at White Waltham airstrip, Berkshire is attended by over 11000 people. The Sun newspaper runs the famous headline "SPACED OUT" with a two page "Ecstasy Airport” expose. 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 ecstasy wrappers”. Unsurprisingly , both were untrue. The empty wrappers are actually pieces of confetti that fell from the ceiling; dead pigeons nowhere to be seen.
July 1st - 2ndEnergy party held at Membury, Berkshire. Police seal off 20 miles of the M4.
Biology and Panorama are made to find venue after venue as police intelligence find the main venue and all the back ups. Failing to find a spot, hundreds of cars drive up motorways and down country lanes all night. The party disastrously end in a club in Birmingham (The Hummingbird) and starts at 8am. Its a terrible event.
July 22ndEnergy hold an event in a Warehouse behind Heston Services. Over 1000 Police seal off the whole area but ravers simply park their cars on the hard shoulder of the motorway and run across 6 lanes. Enough gain access to the party and the Police let it go on.
The size of illegal rave parties increases quickly, starting to cause national panic by the end of the summer. With media reports of over 20,000 at one Sunrise event, and convoys of "crazed teenagers" tearing up and down motorways across the country, the government felt something needed to be done. Chief Superintendent Ken Tappenden sets up the Polices Pay Party Unit. Information is gathered about organizers, large, medium and small and it entered onto the HOLMES database.
Tragically, 16 year old Clair Leighton (R.I.P) dies after taking an E at the Hacienda in Manchester.
JulySpectrum hold the first large scale illegal rave in the Birmingham area. A field near Tamworth sees a full funfair and thousands of ravers. Due to a lot of Police pressure with this event Spectrum go inside and use the Hummingbird nightclub for all future events.
Anthony & Chris Donnely stage Joy at Stand Lees Farm, Rochdale. August 12th Future Dance Music Festival held by Sunrise & Back to the Future near the village of Longwick, Buckinghamshire. 17000 tickets sold.
From Noon till Noon, Sunrise & Back to the Future.
August 19thWorld Dance hold their first event near Junction 6 of the M25. Over 8000 people in attendance.
August 26thEnergy put out on their information lines that the first 5000 to arrive at their Summer Festival will get in free. Within a few hours there are over 20,000 people dancing in a Surrey field.
September 9thGenesis break into a huge warehouse in east London. The venue could hold upto 10,000 people and with a 60 foot high ceiling there was room for fairground rides! Biology also plan a party for the same night so Genesis' publicity goes into overdrive, 3 different sets of flyers and a sticker campaign eventually sees Genesis tickets outselling Biology's. At 6pm the Police arrest the lighting crew. Then as Wayne Anthony approach the venue they see Police everywhere and the man with the fairground rides surrounded by Police officers. With no other option Genesis re-direct there crowd to Biology. Genesis info lines start to give out directions to the Biology party held in Meopham, Kent.
September 16thLive the Dream, near Gib Lane, Blackburn
Raindance hold the first fully licensed all night dance event at Jenkins Lane, Barking, on the London/Essex borders. 8,000+ people in attendance.
September 23rdEnergy have the venue for their Dance89 event. Found by a Police helicopter just hours before the rave is due to start, Police stop the event. Energy end up illegally occupying another hanger at Raydon airfield, Suffolk. Jeremy Taylor is arrested for causing a public nuisance.
September 30thHelter Skelter hold their first party and manage to get 5,000+ people in a muddy ploughed field near Banbury, Oxfordshire. The KLF demand to be paid for their live set in Scottish Pound notes. They write "children we love you" on them and throw them into the crowd. Maybe as a practice for their most famous publicity stunt of burning of a £million a few years later.
Police try to bust a Phantasy party near Reigate, but are beaten back by ‘Strikeforce’ security with CS gas and dogs. This immediately changes things for others. During this rave, a chance meeting with Bobby V, Jason Jones, DJ Merlin & Otiz F.Angel facilitates the planning Resurrection / Obsession rave in Cobham.
Days after the trouble at Phantasy, the media print that ravers were aggressive and prepared to stand their ground to take drugs. Focused on the opposition from 'Strikeforce security', authorities take a hardline approach to all rave party raids across London. Later, Egged on by more tabloid front pages like "Acid peril of Drug Kids" & "Drugs & Gun haul at Acid Party", the government lash out. Tory MP Graham Bright pushes the "Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Act" through parliament and the Police's 'Pay Party Unit' is formed to hunt down Rave organisers.
October 21stBiology try to hold a rave in Guildford. With a massive line up which is to included Public Enemy to play live! A massive Police operation stops the party. Police estimate there are 30,000 people in the surrounding area trying to get to the event which was totally sealed off. Public Enemy are detained and held at Heathrow.
Centre Force Radio is raided and their DJs arrested. On the same night their Echos club is also raided.
Pandemonium do their last illegal event, held in a Church on Lime Street, Telford. The surrounding ring road is totally blocked and Paul Archer & Paul Dawks are banned from holding another rave event.
Police force The State in Liverpool to shut. Mike Knowler & Andy Carroll move down the road to Bootle and open a new night. Quadrant Park is born.
November 11thPolice raid The Underground in Liverpool. James Barton & John Kelly banned from holding events in Liverpool.
Konspiracy opened in Manchester by Chris Nelson. December At Whitebirk, Blackburn a Police car is set on fire during battles with Police trying to stop ravers entering the party,
New Years EveSunrise organise an end of the decade party and for the first time print the venue on the flyer. With only hours to go until the rave was meant the start time the Land Owner gives in to serious Police pressure and calls it off. The back up venue in Norfolk is also given an the injunction by the local Council. At around 11pm the Sunrise message lines direct the remaining ravers to head for Heston Services on the M4, then from there they are directed to the National Panasonic building in Slough where Sunrise had negotiated with Biology and Genesis to join their party.
New Years Eve
Amnesia House's (Bambam & the two brothers Keiran & Neville) party in Coventry is stopped after only a few hours.