History of Raves in the UK
By 1991, organisations such as Fantazia, Universe,N.A.S.A "Nice And Safe Attitude", Raindance and Amnesia House were holding massive legal raves in fields and warehouses around the country. One Fantazia party, called One Step Beyond, was an open-air, all-night affair that attracted 30,000 people. Other notable events included Vision at Pophams airfield in August 1992, with 40,000 in attendance and Universe's Tribal Gathering in 1993.
In the early 1990s, the scene was slowly changing, with local councils passing by-laws and increasing fees in an effort to prevent or discourage rave organisations from acquiring necessary licenses. This meant that the days of legal one-off parties were numbered. By the mid-1990s, the scene had fragmented into many different styles of dance music, making large parties more expensive to set up and more difficult to promote. The happy old skool style was replaced by the darker jungle and the faster happy hardcore. Although many ravers left the scene due to the split, promoters such as ESP Dreamscape and Helter Skelter still enjoyed widespread popularity and capacity attendances with multi-arena events catering to the various genres. Particularly notable events of this period included ESP's Dreamscape 20 on 9 September 1995 at Brafield aerodrome fields, Northants and Helter Skelter's Energy 97 event on 9 Aug 1997 at Turweston Aerodrome, Northants.
The illegal free party scene also reached its zenith for that time after a particularly large festival, when many individual sound systems such as Bedlam, Circus Warp, DIY, and Spiral Tribe set up near Castlemorton Common. In May 1992, the government acted. Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the definition of music played at a rave was given as:
"music" includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.
–Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
Sections 63, 64 & 65 of the Act targeted electronic dance music played at raves. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act empowered police to stop a rave in the open air when a hundred or more people are attending, or where two or more are making preparations for a rave. Section 65 allows any uniformed constable who believes a person is on their way to a rave within a five-mile radius to stop them and direct them away from the area; non-compliant citizens may be subject to a maximum fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1000). The Act was officially introduced because of the noise and disruption caused by all night parties to nearby residents, and to protect the countryside. However, it has also been claimed that it was introduced to kill a popular youth movement that was taking many drinkers out of town centres, where they would drink taxable alcohol, and into fields to dance and go wild. In November 1994, the Zippies staged an act of electronic civil disobedience to protest against the CJB.
After 1993, the main outlet for raves in the UK were a number of licensed venues, amongst them Helter Skelter, Life at Bowlers (Trafford Park, Manchester), The Edge (formerly the Eclipse [Coventry]), The Sanctuary (Milton Keynes) and Club Kinetic.. In London, itself, there were a few large clubs that staged raves on a regular basis, most notably "The Laser Dome", "The Fridge", "The Hippodrome", "Club U.K.", and "Trade." "The Laser Dome" featured two separate dance areas, "Hardcore" and "Garage", as well as over 20 video game machines, a silent-movie screening lounge, replicas of the "Statue of Liberty", "San Francisco Bridge", and a large glass maze. At capacity "The Laser Dome" held in excess of 6,000 people. Events proved to be one of the main forces in rave, holding legendary events across the north-east and Scotland. Initially playing Techno, Breakbeat, Rave and drum and bass, it later embraced hardcore techno including happy hardcore and bouncy techno. Judgement Day, History of Dance, and now REGENeration continued the Rezerection legacy. Scotland's clubs, such as the FUBAR in Stirling, Hangar 13 in Ayr, and Nosebleed in Rosyth played important roles in the development of these dance music styles.
These were nearly all pay-to-enter events; however, it could be argued that rave organisers saw the writing on the wall and moved towards more organised and "legitimate" venues, enabling a continuation of large-scale indoor raves well into the mid-nineties. One might remember that the earliest house and acid house clubs were themselves effectively "nightclubs". Public perception of raves was also overshadowed in the press by the 1995 death of Leah Betts, a teenager who died after taking MDMA; journalists and billboard campaigns focused on drug use, despite Betts cause of death being water intoxication in her home, not an MDMA overdose at a rave.
Genuine illegal raves have continued throughout the UK to this day and unlicensed parties have been organised in venues including disused quarries, warehouses, and condemned night clubs. The rise of the Internet has both helped and hindered the cause, with much wider and more accessible communication resulting in bigger parties, but consequently increasing the risk of police involvement.
Sourced from - wikipedia
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