Long Live The Free Party UK Scene

Call it whatever you want but the free party scene is alive and kicking in the UK. There are various free parties and illegal raves but the term free party means that the party and rave is ‘free’ from the legal restrictions of the legal club and rave scene.

Free does not mean it costs nothing however any earnings are free from income tax, something the Thatcher government did not like way back in the late 1980s when the free party scene really took a hold.

Way back then they were known as acid house parties and warehouse raves mainly because they played a dance music which was predominately acid house and often set in disused warehouses.

Today these parties still play a mixture of acid techno and the newer harder music known  as hardstyle. These raves are often known as freetekno parties if they have one main sound system but if they do have more than one system resulting in a mini festival feel they then become known as teknivals.

Most free parties do not charge to enter but they do like to have a donation to cover costs and let’s be honest, a lot of donations means they can still make some pocket money. :-)

The term free party is used more over here in the UK and Europe than the USA, they prefer to use the freetekno party term. Such a shame that no can use the traditional spelling of Techno… I am a purists :-)

The newer version of the warehouse rave where the free party is held in a secret indoor address has become known as a squat party and gets the name because the event organiser has squatted in the property for the purpose of the party.

Just like the old days of the acid house parties and warehouse raves the address of the party is not released until the day of the event and you obtain the address from the party organiser either by text message, mobile phone or social media.

After the second summer of love back in 1988 the British government wanted to crack down on illegal raves and free parties because they were annoyed that they had little control at that point. Parties could have up to 4000 people attending with the M25 Orbital ring road staging events which would see around 25,000 party goers going to many different events most weekends.

The crack down came and new laws were passed so that anyone caught holding a party could be fined £20,000 and face a possible six months prison sentence. A sex offender could get less punishment than that!

25 years on after the acid house brought with it the illegal rave and free party scene the scene is still live and growing. Below is a tune from Kutski and Audiofreq which includes a newsreport about an illegal rave that happened in London.

As a middle aged man all I can say is long live the illegal ravers and the free party spirit! :-)

Illegal Hardstyle Party – UK News Report

For more information about the free party history then please visit Wikipedia here Free Party

The Growing Return Of The Illegal Raves and Free Raves Scene

The UK is having a resurgence of free raves and illegal raves at the moment. The two may be different but in truth they are generally both one and the same thing.

It is possible that some nice and passionate rave promoter offers a free rave in an establishment like a club by hiring it out and inviting people to his ‘free rave’ but that is rare. The free rave movement spreading across the UK is a powerful movement of the youth who gather in barns, woodlands and farmers fields making these free raves actually illegal raves.

These parties are in the spirit of the large illegal raves that started here in the UK when house and acid house hit our shores. Big illegal raves and parties were happening across the UK but mainly happening around the M25 know as the Orbital circular.(Incidentally this is where techno pioneers and early illegal rave goers Orbital got their name from)

People would gather at service stations waiting to get directions to the secret illegal rave by calling numbers that were found at the bottom of the flyers or they would listen to the pirate radio stations giving out more details.

The police would try and clamp down on these illegal warehouse parties and began to arrest people if they were in the vicinity and looked like ravers before they were anywhere near the event. At times they were accused of being heavy handed as if they were fighting a terrorist organisation threatening to destroy the UK and not just a group of young people wanting to gather in abandoned buildings and fields to dance the night away listening to dance music with other like-minded people.

The UK Government headed in the 1980s by the late Margret Thatcher used the use of illegal drugs as the reason to try and clamp down on these parties to ‘protect’ the youngsters from themselves yet it would seem that they were more concerned at the amount of money the illegal rave promoters and DJs as well as the dealers were making and none of it was finding itself going to the treasury in the form of TAX.

The truth is the Tory Government which encourages entrepreneurialism didn’t like it when the young were successful without paying TAX.

In 1994 the Tory Government led by John Major wanted to crack down so severely that they introduce the Criminal Justice Bill reforms including a whole section, Part V,which covered collective trespass and nuisance on land and included sections against illegal raves.

free raves and illegal raves 2

It included the infamous and legendary  “repetitive beats” clause  meaning any form of music that had a repetitive beat which was playing in a public space where several people were gathered listening and dancing could be classed as an ‘illegal rave’ and shut down with arrests made and charges pressed.

Technically a family enjoying a picnic while listening to a radio could fall under that ruling, it was down to the Police’s discretion  whether you were a rave or not.

Illegal raves died down as many of the promoters took the raves inside hiring out club venues or going through the whole licensing process to hold a large outdoor event. The raving and clubbing scene changed in the UK but there were still a few illegal party groups throwing raves around the UK.

Organisations like Spiral Tribe preferred the outdoor and unlicensed feel of the illegal raves and free raves. Some had political ideology as they were commune living based groups and believed that people can and should police themselves and that their friends and members were fully capable of enjoying a rave without the Government and Police involvement, very similar to the original ideology of Anarchy where the people self-govern.

free raves and illegal raves

In 2014 the UK illegal rave scene has grown and has been growing over several years now with illegal raves happening regularly over several counties like Lincolnshire. There are regular reports of illegal raves and parties happening in and around Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

I do not know if there is a ticket cost to these events or if they are free raves but what I do know is that they are happening more and more. It is hard to believe that these events are actually outlawed when you consider the frequency that they are happening.

Times have changed from the late 1980s of the acid house scene, the music might still be a variation of acid techno with lots of repetitive beats and acid squelches, albeit a lot faster, but the organising of these events are now often done by using social media networks, websites and messenger services like SMS text, WhatsApp and BBM.

Acid House Music: Ten Of The Best Tracks

Ok yes before you get debating whether these are the ten best acid house tunes around let me say that this is not the top ten list of acid house tracks, they are not even my favourite ten they are simply ten of my favourite acid tracks.

You see when I started to compile this list I would find that some of the tunes I wanted in this list were not on YouTube so I couldn’t share them. As yet I was unable to find a copy of Acid Rout by Phuture which is a storming acid house classic. I guess I need to dig out my old acid house records and start uploading many of the classics from the Acid House Legends myself.

Also when I start to think of other tunes I realise how great they are and that they should be in the top ten, which means that there are far too many tunes to be in a top ten so this is simply a list of ten of the best. You get me?

So here are ten of the best original acid house tunes of the 1980s. Enjoy

Acid House Music: Ten Of The Best Tracks

Got The Bug – Pierre’s Phuture Pfantasy Club

The Twilight Zone – Party Boy

Have A Nice Day – S’Express

Back to the old skool with this excellent Acid House inspired T Shirt.
Get yours now. I insist, I really do. Go on! What is stopping you? :-)

Predator- Charm

Downfall – Armando

Mix It Up – Acid Fingers

Jack To The Sound Of The Underground (acid mix) –  Hithouse

OlD sKoOl RaVeRs UnItE Tshirts
OlD sKoOl RaVeRs UnItE Tshirts by Andiroo
Browse other t-shirt designs made on zazzle.co.uk

Acid Over (Exclusive FFRR Mix) – Tyree

Get Real (SINISTER MIX) – Paul Rutherford

This Is Acid (S&T mix) – Maurice

As I say, there are many more excellent tunes around and I intend to bring you them in the Phuture… :-) Did you see what I did there?  Long live the acid house. Aciiieeeed

Acid House Legend Josh Wink Live at Balaton Sound Festival Hungary

I found this excellent mix while surfing YouTube the other day, from legendary Chicago Acid House Legend Josh Wink, this is a live set recoded from the Balaton Sound Festival in Hungary October 2011. Two years old and I only just heard it.

The mix starts with the awesome Fast Eddie acid baseline which sounds to have be sampled, re made into another awesome track. But keep listening for the acid lines around 16 minutes in, simply squealchtastic my friends.  Enjoy

The Universal Big Bang Was Born From Acid House Music!!

Acid House Music Mix 1988 Bad Boy Bill Chicago Legend

Bad Boy Bill Mix 1988 – Freestyle House - Acid House"acid house"

While I sat writing at work I found this awesome classic mix from one of Chi Towns legendary house music pioneers. This is a recording taken from the now non existent radio station WBMX. Bad Boy Bill here mixing up some pure old school house tunes with some classic Acid House tracks. At a pretty fast and funky speed for 1988 this mix is exciting and I wish it was in high quality so it could be enjoyed better.

This is proper old school Chicago house and I just know you will love this! Enjoy folks.

Bad Boy Bill began his DJ career in 1985 working alongside Mike ‘Hitman’ Milson and Julian ‘Jumpin’ Perez of the famouse WBMX DJ team known as the Hot Mix 5. His popularity grew when he began to DJ at parties in and around Chicago and its suburbs. He came close to winning the DMC Mixing championships several times. Bad Boy Bill recorded Bill’s Bangin’ The Box mix series which has become one of the best selling series in dance music history with five volumes. There was also an offshoot of this series titled Bangin in London released in 2000.

 

Acid House classic mix Armando from WBMX radio Chicago

This is a classic and very rare mix from the late and legendary Acid House Godfather "acid house" Armando on the legendary Chicago radio station WBMX. I found this while at work on Soundcloud. This is so good it needed to be shared.

I wished I lived in Chicago at this time, however I might have missed out on a lot of the classic British Acid House music and the stuff coming out of Europe but I only had the Jeff Young Big Beat Show on Radio 1to get my fix of quality Acid and Techno in 1988. To be listening to this stuff mixed like it is from the legends of Acid House regularly must have been awesome!

I also only found out this week that the legend Armando who is responsible for several of my favourite Acid House tunes died of Leukaemia in 1997! So I share this awesome mix in his memory and say Rest In Peace Armando. Your music entertained and inspired my mind for years!

Daft Punk Alive 2007 (Full Live Set)

While working I came across this little gem, you can’t beat a bit of Daft Punk, this is the live recording from 2007, it is hard to believe it is 5 years ago! But when you hear the classics from the Homework album then remember that was around 15 years ago then I start to feel old!

I know you are going to enjoy this, crank up your speakers and dance!!