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Rave Is Back (apparently)!

Rave Is Back (apparently)!

Raves are back, according to the British mainstream press. But did they ever go away?

Word in the British press recently is that rave is back!

But word on the underground is that it never went away - with the dance community rather bemused by the new hysteria surrounding raving.

Anyone who knows dance music is aware that rave has happily existed off the police and mainstream radars for years in abandoned warehouses, mansions, fields and woods.

But it was thrust into the limelight again when riot cops used batons and CS gas to break up an illegal rave in a cornfield in Essex last month.

Lee Burridge

It's all a load of bollocks really

Davey G, rave organiser and DJ

"Illegal Raves Are Back"

The Guardian ran an article declaring "illegal raves are back", BBC Radio 5 Live rang DJmag asking us to comment on their lunchtime news, and then came the Evening Standard's scare-mongering lead article, on 31st August, entitled
'Ravers Seize £5m House'.

In it, the newspaper made embarrassingly inaccurate omissions about a fairly low-key squat party in London's Primose Hill.

The Standard didn't actually contact the organisers behind the squat event, but they spoke to DJmag.com.

"It's all a load of bollocks really," said Davey G, who DJed in the squat's house and breaks room He's been doing illegal raves almost every weekend since 1988.

"I think the press just make it up as they go along," said Davey.

"The Standard said there were needles, broken glass and rubbish everywhere, which is total bollocks.

We were tidying up after ourselves - as always."

Trumped Up

Raj Sharma, from DJ crew 3 Vinyl Monkeys, who organised the house room at the mansion, confirmed that the article had been trumped up.

"It said that we were charging guests £5 to come in and were making a fortune selling beer and drugs, but all of that is untrue.

There was an optional £5 donation on the door to assist with production costs, like security. We promote a safe environment."

So are raves back? "They never went away," reckoned JB, a veteran promoter of the London illegal rave scene for 15 years.

"They've always been there, but I think they are getting more popular because the big clubs are currently a bit shit.

Still, the current press attention is surprising."

More popular?

Nick Lousias, a DJ who recently helped organise a rave in Kent, confirmed that raves were getting more popular.

"I'm no expert - I've only helped organise one so far - but I think more and more clubbers are starting to get into raves because they're so much fun.

There are no hassles at illegal parties like bouncers, expensive drinks or door entry.

"The press attention is unwanted though, we only want to have a party," added Lousias.

With sensationalist news 'scoops' and police prepared to use riot gear, it seems the recent attention focused on raves has reached a new peak not seen since the early acid house days. Raves may not be back, but they are certainly back in the headlines.


The recent rave stories in the press seem to have sent a few people into tailspin. Here's just some of the faux pas…

Evening Standard

"Hundreds of screaming teenagers are turning up in droves and heavy metal and rock music has been blasting out day and night." (Kitty Massey, Primose Hill resident)

Come on love, everyone knows that raves have nothing to do with rock music. This party was psy-trance breaks and house, and Raj Sharma, one of the organisers, estimates the average age was around 27.

Evening Standard

"There are needles, cigarette butts, broken glass and rubbish everywhere." (Kitty Massey, Primose Hill resident)

DJ Davey G said: "What a load of bollocks. We always clean up after ourselves. And there were no junkies, just happy party people."

Evening Standard

"Raves are notoriously dangerous and can easily get out of control."(Anu Mohan, Primose Hill resident)

Only a clueless old codger would say that. The organisers had a £5 donation on the door to pay for security, actually.

The Guardian

"Illegal raves are back." [Alexis Petridis (The Guardian's rock critic)]

Ahem…they never actually went away, tossbag.