UK Rave History Timeline 1987-1993

UK Rave History Timeline 1987

uk rave history timeline

January – Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley has the first House number 1 with “Jack your Body”

The Times newspaper reports the first ecstacy seizures in London. The drug, it says “Is used as a sexual stimulant”

Early summer – Trevor Fung & Ian St Paul open a small bar (see note on this in the comments) in San Antonio Ibiza called the Project (named after a club in London Ian St Paul was partially running). It acts as a focal point for young British youth’s out for a good time on the island. Taking ecstacy and going to open air clubs like Amnesia where DJ’s like Alfredo were playing some of the early house imports.

September – Trevor and Ian invite their friend Paul Oakenfold to ibiza for his birthday. Paul brings with him Johnny Walker, Nicky Holloway and Danny Rampling. Trevor and Ian close the project bar and they spend the rest of the summer back and forth between Amnesia and Cafe Del Mar.

Autumn – The newly converted ibiza crew return to London and immediatly they feel something has changed. “How can they forget what has happened in ibiza over the summer”. Paul starts to open the original Project club ‘after hours’. At 2am when the club officially finished they would let the ibiza crew in and party untl 6am. This lasts only a few weeks until the Police raid it.

November – Danny Rampling and Jenni open Klub Sch-oom (soon shortened to Shoom) at a fitness centre near Southwark bridge, just south of the Thames in London. Two weeks later Paul Oakenfold holds the first Future in the backroom of the Heaven, a huge club on London’s Charing Cross.

UK Rave History Timeline 1988

January – Shoom adopts the a Smilly face logo from the for its flyers. The smily face becomes the symbol of acid house.

February – First Illegal warehouse partys held by Hedonism

March – Shoom moves to the YMCA on Tottenham Court Road, but there are still more people dancing and partying outside than inside! So it then moves to a small club called Busby’s

Joe Smooth’s “Promised Land” sums up the feeling surrounding Shoom at this time, as people take ecstacy, dance, smile & hug each other. Concepts unheard of in such a stiff British culture. At a time when football violence was escalating, rival fans dance together in an ecstacy enduced euphoria thinking the world is going to change. – “…like angels from above, come down and spread their wings like doves…”

March – Paul Stone & Lu Vukovic start RiP. They provide a harder edged party. Located in a laberynth like warehouse complex on Clink Street, near London Bridge, home centuries ago to Britains first prison. RiP seees 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-Transmision’ 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 reputaion 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 marque by the Thames.

June 4th – Nicly Holloway opens The Trip at London’s Arstoria. This too is rammed every week. A full on street party erupts every night after it closes with people dancing in fountains and on cars. Passing drivers and Police are baffled by 100’s of people chanting “Acieeeed!”

The British public are introduced to ‘smiley culture’ and the corporate cash in began. Mass produced smiley & “Wheres the Acid House Party” T-shirts appear everywhere. There were even tabloid rumours that Ian Beale from the soap Eastenders would take LSD at a warehouse party and try to jump off a bridge.

The Sun newspaper initially cashes in with its own Smiley T-shirt but this is quickly abandonded, as the tide turns, with an anti-drugs one with a frowning smiley (frowny?)

The BBC bans Jolly Roger’s “Acid Man”.

Murray Beetson meets Craig Campell (fresh from an appearance from TV’s Blind Date – hehe) while on holiday in Tenerife with Richard Clarke (DJ Clarkee). ESP promotions is born at the Roadmender, Northampton. A few packed nights called Bounce follow at Castaways (later renamed to Millwalkies).

August – Tony Colston-Hayter, disolusioned with the increasingly stricter door policy of Jenny Rampling at Shoom, holds his first partys at Wembly Studios under the name “Apocalypse Now” One the last night of Apocalypse Now he lets ITN news film the event. Interviews with the dj’s are dropped in favour of ‘shock’ footage of ‘spaced out kids’.

August 17th – The Sun publishes an investigation into the Heaven night club (then owned by Richard Branson) and home to Spectrum. Claiming “Junkies flaunt their craving by wearing T-shirts sold at the club bearing messages like ‘can you feel it?’ & ‘drop acid not bombs'”. They had taken the term Acid House and linked it with LSD rather than Ecstacy.

After The Sun’s article on Heaven, Richard Branson tells Paul Oakenfold that he need only rename his club rather than shut it down. Spectrum closes but opens again within weeks renamed Land of Oz

At the end of the so called “Summer of Love” the ecstacy releated death of Janet Mayes at an illegal acid party sparks a Police crack down on warehouse partys. During one such raid at a party in Sevenoaks, 20 year old student Paul Hartnoll is beaten by uniformed officers. He recovers and goes on to form Orbital.

September 12th – Acid House is introduced to Liverpool as James Barton takes over The State ballroom to start Daisy. DJ’s on the fisrt night are Andy Carroll & Mic Microdot.

A young James Perkins starts a club nights in Cheltenham called Trance.

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.

October – Tony Colston-Hayter renames his organization to Sunrise after the bad publicity surrounding the last Apocalypse Now. The first event is stopped by Police.

October 1st – Grooverider & Fabio open Rage

November 5th – Sunrise sell 4000 tickets for their Guy Fawkes Edition party. As the event kicks off in a derelict gas works (where the film Full Metal Jacket was shot) riot Police raid it an shut down the music. At 5am the Police withdraw hopelesslly out numbered by people who climbed barbed wire fences and ran across dual carriageway’s to get in.

November 7th – The Daily Mail newspaper reports sunrises party as “evil night of Ecstacy”

December 10th – Genesis (‘KP’ & Wayne Anthony) do their first party in a warehouse near Aldgate, East London.

December 24th – Genesis hold their second warehouse party. Held in an empty 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 canopees stolen from a nearby building site they are immediatly catapulted into the premier league of party organisers. The party attracts 900 people.

December 26th – Genesis return to the same warehouse (now with a written contract with the owner!). After initial problems with the electricity which see the first 300 or so people standing round in the dark, they are caught totally off guard as (mainly due to the reputation of the xmas eve party) 2000 people descend on the warehouse. The drink stocks were disapearing at such a rate that Wayne sent some people to a nearby 7-11 shop and bought every drink in the place at full price! Nice xmas bonus for the owner of that shop!

December 28th – Sunrise 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 under the name Sunset at Leeside Road, Hackney, London. A venue already used by Genesis on Christmas Eve & Boxing Day. Tony Colsten-Hayter is confronted by a gang of West Ham football thugs who demand a cut in the profits. This leaves him looking for party venues that do not fall within the ‘terretories’ of football gangs.

Acid House had morphed into rave by the end of 1988. Read our post on What Really Happened to Acid House

UK Rave History Timeline


January to April – Genesis / Sunset parties. “The Fight Goes On”, “Against All Odds”, “Hedonism” & “Strength to Strength”.

Inspired by what he had see 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 succesfull 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 notorious gangland venue.

January 28th – RiP move to “The Dungeons” at Leabridge Road, Leytonstone.

February 25th – Biology hold their first party in a film studio in Battersea.

April – Rat Pack run Trip City at the Elephant & Castle

Labrynth hold a party in a dissused warehouse at Silverton Way, Canning Town. An East-end gang try to take over the security but Joe refuses them. This leads to 3 men sneaking into the warehouse and attacking people with machetees. Joe is threatened at gun point and decided to get out of the warehouse game. Labrynth move to a licenced venue, The Four Aces Club in Dalton.

James Barton teams up with John Kelly to start a new night at Liverpools Nights Alive nightclub calling it The Underground

The scene takes a new direction as the parties move from inner city clubs and warehouses to the countryside. Soon there are Sunrise, 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). All competing to be bigger and better than the last.

They all hold some immense illegal partys with 1000’s of Kwatts of sound, lasers & fun fairs attended by sometimes tens of thousands people cladded out in Baggy tops, smileys, bandanas & kickers. Acid House becomes a phrase reserved for the newspapers as the partys themselves begin to be called Raves. The term Raver is born

The location of these events was a closelly guarded secret up untill an hour or so before the start. Meeting points would be made available through flyers and pirate radio stations (Sunrise,Centreforce, Fantasy). Mobile phones were still widley 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” untill 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 decend on one location in a matter of minutes. Once a party got past a certain size there wa in reality very little the Police can do.

Breakbeats start to appear in rave tunes. East end Hip Hop due, Shut Up & Dance are surprised by their 5,6,7,8 single becoming an anthem as they had never been to a rave at that point.

Tommy Smith and Tony Creft take over the running of the illegal parties around Blackburn after the original organisers are arrested. With convoys of cars all tuned to 102.5FM the parties quickly grow in size and reputation. Almost every week empty buildings in and around the Blackburn area are decended on by thousands of ravers. Sett End, Bubble Factory, Unit 7, Pump Street and many more abandond buildings,warehouses and even an old abattoir are used for parties over the coming months.

April 29th – Back to the future, finding that their lined up venue has been discovered end up holding a party in a cattle silo, still half full of animal feed!!

May 1st – Centre Force becomes the first 24/7 pirate acid house staion. The station is set up with help from Andy Swallow and other people connected to Echos. Police ‘intelligence’ and general rumours sugest that Centreforce (like Echos) is run by the ICF. “There were a lot of myths going round that we were involved in taking peoples doors, taking over the clubs demanding 25% and all that. Well, I dont know where the money went because I never saw any.” – Andy Swallow

May 20th – Sunrise 5000: ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ 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.

May 27th – Energy hold their first major party, located in Westway film studios Featuring 5 rooms, 12 DJs and a level of production not seen before including one room done out as Greek temple and the other like the film Bladerunner

June 10th – Biology hold a party in a field near Elstree Studios, London.

Red Parrot illegals around Blackburn area.

June 16th-18th – Hypnosis set up the first dance tent in on of the car parks at Glastonbury.

June 24th – Sunrise’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 “Ecstacy 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 ecstacy wrappers”. Unsurprisingly , both were untrue. The empty wrappers are actually pieces of silver foil that fell from the ceiling; dead pigeons nowhere to be seen.

July 1st – 2nd Energy party held at Membury, Berkshire. Police seal off 20 miles of the M4.
On the same weekend Biology find venue after venue failing and after leading cars up motorways and country lanes all night end in a club in Birmingham (The Hummingbird) at 8am.

July 22nd – Energy in a Warehouse behind Heston Services. Over 1000 Police seal off the entire 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 these parties increases rapidly, starting to cause national panic by the end of the summer. With tabloid reports of over 20,000 at one Sunrise event, and convoys of “crazed teenagers” tearing up and down motorways across the country, something needed to be done (hehe) Chief Superintendent Ken Tappenden sets up the Polices Pay Party Unit. Information is gathered about organizers etc and entered onto the HOLMES database.

16 year old Clair Leighton dies after taking an E at the Hacienda in Manchester.

July / August – Spectrum 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 problems with this event Spectrum go legal and use the Hummingbird nightclub for all future events.

August 3rd – 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.

August 19th – World Dance hold their first event near Junction 6 of the M25. Over 8000 people in attendance.

August 26th – With the Police monitoring info lines and posing as Ravers to find venues before the convoys, Energy 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 9th Genesis crack 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 campain eventually see’s Genesis tickets outselling Biology’s. At 6pm the Police arrest the lighting crew. Then as Wayne Anthony and his crew approach the venue they see Police everywhere and the man with the fairground rides surrounded by Police officers. With no other option Genesis team up with Biology. Genesis info lines start to give out directions to the Biology party held in Meopham, Kent.

September 16th – Live the Dream, near Gib Lane, Blackburn

September 16th – 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 23rd – Energy have the venue for their Dance89 event discovered by Police helicopter 2 hours before its due to start. They end up illegally occupying a hanger at Raydon airfield, Suffolk. Jeramy Taylor arrested is for causing a public nuisance.

September 30th – Helter 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 the more famous burning of £million a few years later.

September 30th – Police try to raid a Phantasy party near Reigate, but are beaten back by ‘Strikeforce’ security with CS gas and dogs in full view of TV news crews.

Egged on by tabloid front pages like “Acid peril of Drug Kids” & “Drugs & Gun haul at Acid Party”, Tory MP Graham Bright pushes the “Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Act” through parliment and the Police’s ‘Pay Party Unit’ hunt down the organisers.

October 21st – Biology try to hold a party 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 surrounding area trying to get to the party which was totally sealed off. Public Enemy are arrested and held at Heathrow.

Centre Force Radio is raided and their DJs arrested. On the same night their Echos club is also raided.

November – 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 event for 12 months.

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 11th- Police raid The Underground in Liverpool. James Barton & John Kelly banned from holding events in Liverpool.

November – Konspiracy opened in Manchester by Chris Nelson.

December – At Whitebirk, Blackburn a Police car is set alight during battles with Police trying to stop ravers entering the party,

New Years Eve – Sunrise plan an end of the decade party and for the first time print the venue on the flyer. With only hours to go until the start time the Land Owner gives in to Police pressure and calls it off. The back up venue in Norfolk is the injucted 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.

UK Rave History Timeline 1990

January 27th – “Freedom To Party” campaign marches in London against the “Increased Penalties” bill. 8,000 people gather in Trafalger Square to hear speeches from the main promotors and some DJs. Amplified music is banned by the Police. Debbie Malone sings “Rescue Me” accapella. MC Chalky White is arrested as Police bring the demo to a close.

Later that night a warehouse in Radlett is cracked by Weekend World. They are joined by Sunrise, Genesis and Biology for a free party organised in just a few hours. Police road block the convoys and running battles between the Police and ravers trying to get into the building result in it being allowed to continue until 9am.

James Perkins teams up with Chris Griffin to hold some nights in Cheltenham called Cage

Blackburn’s illegal warehouse scene continues to grow with the Revenge and Hardcore Uproar parties.

February 24th – Tommy Smith and Tony Creft’s run of Blackburn raves ends in a warehouse at Nelson, Nr Burnley. 200 riot Police raid the party while there are over 10,000 people inside. A few legal nights then follow at Malfoy’s nightclub before this too is shut down.

March 17th – Chris Griffin holds the first Perception at the Brunel Centre, Bristol.

June 9th – Brave New World, nr Blackburn

Amnesia House are joined by Mickey Lynas (Bambam’s brother) and they start to hold nights at the Coventry Sports Connection.

June 22nd-24th – At the Glastonbury festival travellers start hooking up with inner city sounds systems like DiY. A new scene evolves with travelling sound systems at illegal free festivals. Spiral Tribe & Circus Warp are born. Again a loop hole in the law is exploited. As these are free festivals the ‘Pay Party Unit’ has no powers. It’s now ‘mass trespass’ or ‘breach of the peace’ both difficult to enforce when there are so many people.

July – Increased Penalties Bill is passed. Penalty for organising an illegal event is raised to £20,000 and 6 months imprisonment.

Introspective at Longton Leisurebowl.

Sindrome, started by Martin Redmond and DJ Bod becomes the first weekly Saturday night at Shelleys, Longton, Stoke-on-trent. The club up to this point has been ‘the local sharon & tracey meat market’. Along side the other residents Unknown DJ and Steve Warner guests on the following weeks include Derrick May , Ritchie Hawtin, Colin Dale, Jam MC’s, Neil Macey, Dave Angel and Tony Ross.

After Amnesia House “One Step Beyond” at the Sports Connection a young man from Leicester dies. This is the Matthew in Friends of Matthew – Out There. have a listen to at the end of the Keith Suckling set from the following party (‘Sky Blue’)

July 21st – 836 ravers are arrested & detained at the Love Decade party held at Gildersome in Yorkshire. This remains one of the biggest mass arrests in British history. Only 8 are actually charged with anything! Read out post about Love Decade Leeds and the aftermath

Police attempt to shut down the Hacienda after last summer’s death. After a lengthy court case the Hacienda stays open but has lost its original atmosphere as “Madchester”‘s gangsters take over the drug scene.

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

August 23rd – Amnesia House hold “Sky Blue” their last party at the Sports Connection, Coventry.

Pandemonium are joined by Mark Chamberlain as the public face for dealing with Councils and the Police. They do 3 sell out events in a Sports Centre in Maidly

Alex Patterson (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 wierd mix of film music and animal noises! Ambient music is born.

Delight at Shelleys in Stoke-on-Trent with resident DJ, the then virtually unknown Sasha. Shelleys rocks to Sasha’s blend of techno and rushing pianos every Friday (after it closes so do Knutsford & Hilton Park motorway service stations!).

October – Spiral Tribe (Mark & Alex Harrison, Debbie Giffith & Simon Feeney) hold their first squat party, Detension, at an abandoned school house in London. They take the name (or so the story goes) from a spiral shaped fossil Mark had found.

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

September 1st – Pirate radio station Kiss becomes Britains first legal dance radio station.

November 24th – 284 Ravers arested as the Police raid the Mad Hatters Tea Party in Burnley, Lancashire

UK Rave History Timeline 1991

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

February – Saturdays at Shelleys becomes the new home of Amnesia House with Daz Willot as resident.

April – Time & Underground hold their last party at the Rag Market, Birmingham

April 19th – James Perkins and Gideon hold a party at the Eclipse in Coventry. The line up includes Sasha, Carl Cox, Jumping Jack Frost, SS, Ellis Dee and a PA from The Scientist. Fantazia is born.

April 27th – First of the Forest Hill free partys held near Oxford

May 8th – Second Forest Hill free party (the Easygroove tape)

May 22nd – After filming the video for “Move any Mountain” The Shamen’s Will Sinnott drowns off the coast off Gomera, Canary Islands

June – Shelleys is allowed to keep its licence after Longton Police object on grounds of “serious overcrowding”

July – DJ Welly takes up residency at The Pleasuredome, Farnworth, near Manchester. Within three weeks the usually quiet club is transformed and full to capacity week in week out.

June 20-25th – Longstock free festival. Spiral Tribe join the fesitval with their now mobile sound system.

July 26-29th – Happy Daze free festival nr Bala, Wales. Circus Warp & Spiral Tribe on site.

August 2nd – ESP do a joint event with Weekend World near Northhampton. This outdoor event is licenced for 7,000 making it the largest legal rave (so far!).

August 2-5th – Camelford free festival. Spiral Tribe, Circus Warp & DiY on site? MC Scallywag and DJ Aztek join Spiral Tribe. The following week they move their vehicles to the Stoney Cross travellers site. A move which un-nerves a lot of the travelling community due to the violent Police confrontation seen there in the eighties.

August 28-31th – White Godess free free festival. (sound systems?)

August 30th – free party organisers, Paul Shurrey and Rob Vega (Brainstorm) put on their first legal event in Bath. Rave legend Universe is born.

September – Quest is born at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Sept 14th – Altern-8 turn up outside Shelleys with a sounds system on the back of a lorry as people are leaving at closing time. They manage to play 5 numbers to a crowd of 1000+ in the car park before the Police arrive. Some footage from this was used in the video for Activ-8. Listen to audio here..

December 6th – ESP hold an event at Denby Leisure Centre (later to be known as The Sanctuary) calling it Dreamscape.
A 27min video download is available from the GammaFunkula website.

New Years Eve – Fantazia at Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Raindance-Big Bad Head at Melton Mowbury.

UK Rave History Timeline 1992

January 29th – Pandemonium start their weekly friday nights at J-Jays, Willenhall, Wolverhampton.

Fridays at Shelleys is took over by Entropy, with Amnesia House on Saturdays.

March – Kinetic take over residency at the Leisure Bowl, Stoke-on-Trent. Club Kintetic is born.

February 28th – The Pleasuredome in Farnworth is closed after the Police find the bar staff are dealing drugs.

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 … “.

April 20th – Spiral Tribe hold a party in a disused Warehouse in Acton,West London. Police turn up in full riot gear. People baricade all the exits and the Police use a JCB and sledge hammers to demolish a wall. Eventually storming the building beating people and making them lie face down on the floor. Over 100 people are injured. During the mayhem an ITV reported turns up but it so freaked out by what he sees that he leaves immediatly. Spiral Tribes convoy is escorted out of london under the watch of a Police helicopter.

April 25th – After losing The Pleasuredome, DJ Welly and crew (Nigel the promoter, Jamie Scahill, Ken Grogan & John Waddiker) move their night to Bowlers, Traford Park, Manchester. Life @ Bowlers is born.

May 1-4th – Beltane free festival, Lechlade, Spiral Tribe and Bedlam on site. 10,000+ people.

May 15th – Fantazia hold “Summertime” at Matchams Park Stadium, Bournmouth. Gideon allows 16,000 tickets into circulation when the license is only for 8,000. All tickets are sold and the resulting 15 miles of blocked M1 motorway is shown on the News at 10. Fantazia are unable to use this venue again due to this.

May 22nd – DiY & other systems attempt a free party at the Avon Free Festival, Chipping Sodbury near Bristol. Police hear of their plans and move all the travellers on and they end up at Castle Morton in the Malvern Hills. Various Sound Systems including Bedlam (first on the site), Circus Warp, Adrenaline & Spiral Tribe are already there. 1,000’s of people turn up after seeing the party on the BBC’s Six O’clock News. Police estimate that on the Saturday night there are 40 to 50 thousand people there. “You wonder at what stage it becomes reasonable to call in the Army, because theres an occupying force up there on the common” – local resident on the News

June – Giddeon is sacked from Fantazia due to the Summertime ticket fiasco and some serious money issues arising from tape sales. He starts Chapter III promotions and Obsession is born at ‘The Park’, Wormlow, Herefordshire

June – Exodus hold their first free party in the Luton area.

June 27th – Amnesia House hold “The Book 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 15,000 ravers as witness’ and Grooverider as the best man.

June 29th – Universe put on the first (and only?) legal outdoor rave in Wales, Adventures On A Pleasure Planet. Click here for photos.

July 25th – Fantazia hold “One Step Beyond/Castle Donnington”. Licenced for 25,000, the totally outdoor stage is made to look like a castle with a huge dragon in the middle of the crowd. Click here for photos.

August 7-9th – Torpedo Town free festival, Spiral Tribe and Adrenaline on site.

4 members of Spiral Tribe are arrested as the ‘organisers’ of Castle Morton festival. Charges of ‘conspiracy to cause a public nuisance’ are eventually dropped as thousands of ravers & travellers up and down the country report themselves as witnesses making the processing of the case virtually impossible.

August 28th – Pandemonium’s “Here comes the sun” outdoor event, to be held near Shrewsbury is cancelled the day before (an official from the Council had measured the wrong fence and declared it wasnt high enough. It was announced on the Radio before Mark Chamberlain could correct the mistake (most likely this was a ploy to stop the rave). Rumours circulate that Vision (Chris Griffin), who are holding an event at Popham Airfield, near Winchester, would accept Pandemonium tickets (untrue). This leads to 1,000’s of people turning up there and the perimeter fences being torn down. Unofficially there were over 40,000 people there with the licence for 20,000.

Shelleys is closed down after reports of “drugs being openly on sale in the near by supermarket car park”.

September 11th – Universe are back in Bath with a massive outdoor event, Mind, Body & Soul. DJ Tanith & The Producer blow the roof off the main tent. Click here for pictures.

October 30th – Obsession hold their first big event,The 3rd Dimension, at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter.

December – First issues of Eternity Magazine given away free at various raves.

New Years Eve – Fantazia, Littlecotte House. “This massive spectacular all night party will be held indoors and will host 16,000 party goers” – the flyer

New Years Eve – Exodus hold their largest illegal free party to date. Over 10,000 people in a warehouse on Woodside industrial estate, Luton.

UK Rave History Timeline 1993

February 4th – Due to structural problems at JJays Pandemonium move their weekly night to The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham

March 19th – Dance Planet hold The Detonator at Birmingham’s Hummingbird. On the night the Hummingbird’s security let people in through a side door for back handers. Serious overcrowding leads to the death of two people and the loss of the Hummingbird’s entertainments licence.

April 23rd – Fantazia do their last true Hardcore event (2nd Brithday) at the Sanctuary, Milton Keynes. There’s talk of another event planned for 30,000 at Cricket St Thomas Park on the South coast but this doesn’t happen as Fantazia start their own line of clothing and a record label.

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.

Dreamscape plan a massive weekend long event (Woodstock 2) with probably the biggest flyer ever seen (A1 size!). The licence is granted but due to difficulies with a financier Murray has to cancel the event. The late cancelation loses ESP thousands.

May 14th – Obsession move to weekly club nights at the old cinema, Tan Bank Road, Wellington, Nr Telford.

June 25th – Dance Trance (Mickey Lynas ex Amnesia House) has his 1st Wedding aniversary at the Sanctuary.

July – After the sucess of last years Castle Morton festival, a bigger event is planned near the outskirts of Corby, Northamptonshire. It is to be called “The Mother”. Unknown to the organisers, someone puts posters up in the area publicising the event and giving Police access to the mobile phone lines. Sound systems manage to crack the site on Friday the 7th but by Saturday a major Police operation blocks off the whole area and the phone info lines go dead.

August 13th – Universe stage their Big Love event attracting 30,000. With 2 totally outdoor stages set back to back, Heaven (House) & Earth (Hardcore). Probably the last totally outdoor event. Sound restiction problems cause the levels to be turned right down half way through the Prodigys set. Mad P from Top Buzz threw the mic into crowd during their set as they refused to turn it up!

The Criminal Justice Bill is put to Parliment. 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


  1. The project bar was open in Ibiza 86 87 before the we used the name at ziggs in stretham so ffs get your facts right

  2. This is an awesome blog of events that happened that made history . The new generation need to read it who are into today’s dance music scene know yo history . Its amazing . I’m writing a piece on my clubbing days but I wasn’t old enough to go to the raves but it fascinates me so I cane across your blog . I used to collect rave tapes back in the day . Loved em . Cheers

  3. Full On ? Soundsystem a North London free party crew where the first Soundsystem on sight at Castlemorton and fired up and played the first record at the festival.They only had one deck till the rest of the rig was driven in by Mutoid Jay and Emma and there fire truck.Happy to send you photos of Full On ? Soundsystem firing up the first record to be played.They were there from the Wednesday along with afew other traveller vechiles.Full On ? Soundsystem did many party’s with Bedlam and the usual suspects.The Liberaters started their first gigs at Full On ? party’s.Sadly This north London free party crew have been written out of fables and folk lore of a amazing movement.

  4. I did Introspective with my mate Tess in Sept 1989?. At first we booked Shelleys but the manager cancelled . Then we found a old function suite called The Leisurebowl so we used that from 1989-92.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.