For some, true rave died in the UK with the 1994 "Rave Act"... But with the reclaiming of urban spaces, maybe it is back?
Although the term rave conjures images of the late 80’s acid house and techno movements in the UK, it actually takes its true root in London’s wild bohemian parties of the late 50’s. Later adopted by mid 60’s psychedelia outfits, forgotten and then eventually redefined by electronic music.
But what is rave as we know it? And what truly defines it?
Depending on who you ask, you’re probably going to get a different answer, but maybe as hip hop has it’s key components of break dancing (or b-boying), graffiti, mcing and djing, we can find a similar set of identifying attributes?
Or even the “deal breaker” that sets aside the function of a rave from its more formal concert or club event relatives?
Looking at the romanticized vision of rave, we have to consider the function of location. Following the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, for many the true identity of rave died. So what changed?..
The rave act as it became known brought in by the early 90’s Tory government in th UK tightened the noose on would be rave promoters and said the following in sections 63, 64, and 65:
“A 'rave' is defined as a gathering of 100 plus people, at which amplified music is played which is likely to cause serious distress to the local community, in the open air and at night. These sections give the police the power to order people to leave the land if they're believed to be:
Preparing to hold a rave (two or more people)
Waiting for a rave to start (10 or more)
Actually attending a rave (10 or more)
EmphasizedIgnoring this direction, or returning to the land within the next week, are both offences, liable to 3 months' imprisonment and/or a £2,500 fine. Section 65 lets any uniformed constable who believes a person is on their way to a rave within a 5-mile radius to stop them and direct them away from the area - failure to comply can lead to a maximum fine of £1000.”
The effect of the act was to drive the raves into the more regulated existing night clubs… And up until now, that is where they have stayed. But the tide is turning. Not a full 180 degrees to the days of illegality, but a happy medium maybe.
Coincidentally in another time of economic turndown, urban spaces are again being reclaimed, re-appropriated and redefined as places of performance and creativity. Most of note is Broken & Uneven’s Hydra series… Over 2 series of 7 events, reclaiming an East London warehouse for what promises to be nothing short of groundbreaking. Bringing together modern dance music’s taste makers the first series of events includes the likes of Ostgut Ton, A Bunch Of Cuts in Association with Organic, Dial Records, Deviation, Innervisions and Permanent Vacation… It’s hard to argue with isn’t it?
In a time where the hopes and dreams of a generation have been down trodden by a ruling elite, economic plight and a lack of cohesive direction, underground dance music has once again shaken free of the homogenous main stream.
You can find all the info HERE.
See you on the dance floor!