From the superb History Is Made at Night Blog

January 1997, Scotland: Fusion close down operations in Grampian after police threaten the licence of any venues allowing them to put on events

January 1997, London: Club UK in south London loses its licence. The club had appealed against the council withdrawing its licence, but this was upheld by a magistrates court.

February 1997, Holland: Police confiscate vans containing tripods, sound systems and banners to prevent a Reclaim the Streets party outside the Amsterdam motor show. After police baton charge the crowd, there is free food, music and dancing with a huge bonfire in a market square [Earth First Action Update, March 1997]

February 1997, London: Battersea police licencing section announce they are to oppose the renewal of the public entertainments licence for the club Adrenalin Village, up for renewal by Wandsworth Council.

February 1997, Leicester: Hardcore club Die Hard raided by 50 police

April 1997, London: A man dies from a heart attack and 8 people are arrested when riot police raid a squat party in Putney.

April 1997, Luton: The Exodus collective win the right to appeal against eviction from their site by the Department of Transport

April 1997, London: Linford Film Studios in Battersea, south London loses its licence

May 1997, London: Southwark Council refuse licence to Urban Free Festival (formerly held in Fordham Park, New Cross), after earlier given permission for it to take place in Peckham in July
May 1997, Wales: Police use helicopters and road blocks to stop free party at a disused quarry in North Wales, seizing the T.W.A.T. sound system and dispersing a 4 mile convoy of party cars to the English border (despite this two parties go ahead later)

May 1997, Brighton: Police action prevents parties at three venues in Brighton, but one goes ahead on a travellers site at Braepool on the outskirts of town. A Noise Abatement notice is served, and the Council begins legal action to evict the site [Big Issue, 4.8.97]

May 1997, Hull: 300 party at Hull Reclaim the Streets, with sand pits and dancing for three hours (no arrests)

June 1997, Bristol: Police make 22 arrests at Bristol Reclaim the Streets and confiscate the Desert Storm sound system

July 1997, USA: The Stonewall Inn in New York is once again under threat, scrutinised by the city’s Social Club Task Force because of concerns about noise levels and ‘illegal dancing” [Pink Paper, 8/8/97]

August 1997, Wales: Two people on their way to set up an open air party in Deiniolen, North Wales are stopped and strip searched by police, who set up road blocks to prevent the party going ahead.

August 1997, London: Local councillor calls for the Dog Star pub/club in Brixton to be closed

August 1997, Surrey: Hundreds of people turn up at a free party in old chalk pits in the Mole Valley in Surrey by the time police turned up the next morning to serve a notice under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act most people had gone home [Guilfin, September 1997]

August 1997, Portsmouth: Police with dogs and video surveillance teams ring a common in Portsmouth and search people trying to attend the Smokey Bears Picnic; council byelaws banning music on the common are enforced and 10 people are arrested [Guilfin, September 1997]

Summer 1997, Surrey: Police close down a free party in a forest near Guildford put on by Timber sound system.

October 1997, Wales: 24 police raid a party in a private house in North Wales and impound the sound system. The Country Landowners Association have set up a Rave Watch scheme in the local area encouraging local farmers to tip off the police about possible parties

November 1997, Greece: police violently raid the ACID trance club in Thessaloniki.

November 1997, Norfolk: Police bust squat party at Thelveton Hall, an unoccupied country house in Norfolk, seizing the Brighton-based Innerfield Sound System and carry out intimate body searches. The house belongs to Sir Rupert Mann, but had been empty for seven years.

November 1997, Oxford: Police use a helicopter and horses in an effort to stop Oxford Reclaim the Streets party. Despite the seizure of the solar powered sound system, and the Rinky Dinky Sound System being escorted out of the city, 400 people party in the road [Peace News, December 1997]

December 1997, Scotland: Street party halts traffic for 1.5 hours outside the Faslane nuclear submarine base . Several people injured by Ministry of Defence police.

December 1997, Wales: 22 arrests in raid on Hippo Club, Cardiff.

December 1997, Israel: Trance outfit Juno Reactor are deported from the country, where they were due to be playing at a 5000 capacity rave, prompting the launch of a Freedom to Party organisation. “Indoor parties are usually legal, as opposed to outdoor parties which are usually not. But even so, many of the indoor parties are constantly being raided by the police” (Dream Creation July 1997)

December 1997, Brighton: 27 people arrested as police try and close down New Year’s Eve squat party in Brighton; people throw bottles at police.



1996 was the peak of the UK house boom. Dance music was all over the charts, “super” clubs established brand names that still live on today, and the three main dance music magazines were at the peak of their circulations. A visit to any local Ritzy type club would prove the point,our music had gone mainstream.
Was this a good thing? To us it appeared to be the beginning of the end in hindsight. Just as had happened to hardcore in 1992 the scene just couldn’t support the audience. Too many people cashed in at the same time and naturally quality control went out the window.
It was fun to be there though
Random 1996 things –



From the superb History is Made at Night Blog



100 police raid Hollywoods club in Romford, Essex.

Local council take out injunction against four members of the Exodus Collective in Luton, forbidding them to hold free parties


200 police in riot gear raid the Coliseum nightclub near Stockton-on-Tees, arresting 35 people


Police raid a party at the A.R.T.L.A.B. in Preston with an Environmental Health Officer who removes equipment under noise pollution regulations [Dream Creation, 1996]

Police set up road blocks to search people going to Lost in Paradise at Fantasy Island, Skegness. 11 arrests.


Mounted police move in at the end of a Leeds Reclaim the Streets party; 12 people arrested

Tribal Gathering festival, Britain’s largest dance event, cancelled after authorities in Oxfordshire refuse it a licence following police objections – despite a successful event last year, months of preparation, and advance ticket sales of 25,000.


The Tunnel and Limelight clubs in New York are raided and closed down, and the owners charged.


10 people arrested at Reclaim the Streets party in Birmingham on.17 August. On the same day there is a five hour RTS party in Bath. The following week, 80 people are arrested as police mobilise to stop a Brighton Reclaim the Streets party.


95 police raid the Living Room club, the Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead. 250 clubbers are evacuated and 18 arrested.

100 police stage a drugs raid on I Spy, a gay night at Leeds club Nato. 19 people arrested. Police clear the club with people being met on the streets by at least 25 vans of police [Mixmag, Nov 1996]


Police raid on Love Muscle gay club at the Fridge, Brixton, London.

Reclaim the Streets Halloween Party in Oxford- over a thousand people dance on the road and on bus shelters with music from Virus Sound System, Desert Storm, Rinky Dink and some bagpipers. Police escort sound systems out of Oxford as they attempt to set up an after party-party. There is also an RTS party in Cambridge.

Reclaim the Streets party in Manchester with free music and free food. No arrests, but one van is impounded


100 police raid Jubilee pub in Camden, north London and arrest 23 people


Adrenalin Village, London fined for opening beyond their 2 am limit [South London Press, 13.12.96]