We know there was a party at Crossways in Dorset on this date but do we know anything else about it? Nope. Help us fill in the gaps if you can!
Can anyone help us fill in more details about the parties put on by this free party crew from Dorset? Any dates or locations? Flyers or photos? Memories, however hazy? Let us know in the comments :)
Here’s a link to party reports on one of their dos: 29 May 1993: Frequency Oblivion at Batcombe Down picnic area, Dorset
They also put on a party on 24th October 1992. If you were there, visit this page and add your memories in the comments section: 24th October 1992: Frequency Oblivion at Crossways
A contributor sent us this:
I’ve been meaning to write a report on Frequency Oblivion’s free parties in Dorset. The parties were raw and outlaw. They were put on by DJ Diola and a few others whose names I can’t remember, from Dorchester. I first started attending when we realised we wouldn’t have to go all the way to London for an all night rave. These local heroes put on parties in the Dorchester area. I can remember attending a few but the only locations I can remember are Crossways, where I believe they put on a few parties, and a very muddy Batcombe Down. In some ways these parties were even more intense and intimate than the larger warehouse parties and festivals put on by the better-known sound systems, because we knew half of the people around us. Occasionally these dos were indoors, but mostly they were in forest clearings and picnic areas. They got busted at least once, but mysteriously got their rig returned in record time.
Here’s a report from simonmathewson.blogspot.co.uk :
Here’s a report from an anonymous commenter:
The weather was so awful I think we ended up spending most of the party squashed up in someone’s car, getting to know new people who had clambered into the boot! I’m still friends with one of them today, by the way. Ketamine had become quite popular, and the combination of a rainy, muddy, windswept picnic area, wobbly, up for it party people, and nosebleed techno added up to a pretty loopy party. I, too, remember seeing people dancing to Hawaiian steel guitar music on their knees in the mud as it was getting light, and exhortations (maybe on the mic) from someone trying to get us to dance rather than cower in our cars. It was always risky to bring your rig out so it must have been disappointing to have made the effort only to be rewarded with the site of load of cars parked up, still with their passengers inside. I blame the weather. And the K, to some extent, but in those days K was cheap and new and fun, and, had the weather been better there would have been heaps of us wobbling about on the dancefloor. There were parties, too, though, even early in the nineties, where people really had overdone it on K and were lying around semicomatose. Not really an up for it happening party crew! I have the same feelings about GBL/GHB abuse. Anyway, at this early stage, K was fun, and made you feel like a drunk, happy, chatty robot. I can’t remember anything alse apart from was a confusing ketamised visit to the loo (er, not a loo as such but a very steep slope covered with nettles). Happy days.
Update 21.10.12: Another diary extract from http://simonmathewson.blogspot.co.uk/
An anonymous contributor to the blog sent us this report:
Where to start? This was year zero for me in terms of parties, the first of which took place on February 22nd in a disused Unigate warehouse on a defunct industrial estate somewhere in West London.
We had originally intended to travel to a local party in the adjoining county, but as we were driving from meeting point to meeting point, we realised we were half-way to London anyway. Often, as the years progressed, this kind of mission ended in failure. But not this time.
We arrived, after a bit of fiddly driving, at a vast warehouse with large fires burning outside. This was situated on a large patch of rubbly wasteground adjoining the main road.
I remember remarking at the time that I felt like I was in a foreign country. There is nothing quite like realising that you have just entered a country within a country where no/new rules apply and the only goal is hedonism. The party seemed to be everlasting (although us lightweights chickened out by Sunday afternoon).
I can still remember the pit-of-the-stomach, wobbly legged euphoric feeling of entering that warehouse. We had to enter via a door in the upper part of the warehouse, and descend a staircase into the depths of the party, all the while getting a bird’s eye view of the deafening and blinding spectacle. There was an incredibly intense vibe. The place was full of people dancing. The music was very hard, the lighting minimal. My first proper party was everything my friends had told me to expect and more.
There was one point in the night where I looked around for one of my travelling companions and he appeared at my side, however, as I looked, I started seeing double, and then in triplicate, and then there was a whole row of him!
The music I remember being very hard, the lighting was very minimal.
We felt like we were living in the future- the experience seemed so magical, so unlike anything in our everyday lives.
DJ’s? Unknown. Hours spent dancing? Can’t remember (but probably a lot). Amount of fun had? Immeasurable.
I picked up this flyer at the party:
22nd-29th May 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Warp, Circus Normal, Adrenalin and DiY at Castlemorton Common Free Festival, WorcestershireOctober 5, 2012
I missed Castlemorton pbut I believe everyone who says it was wicked. Interesting that dr_box (see below) mentioned the police herding him onto the common, people often forget that the travellers and soundystems were pushed/chased there by the cops. By the way, if anyone has exact dates for this please let us know, we know it’s quoted as going on for 6 days, but we need some sort-of-facts! Thanks!
We came across three longish (slightly chewed) VHS videos of Castlemorton free festival recently. Thanks a million to youtuber discodelinquent (great name by the way!) for uploading them. Discodelinquent has also uploaded some footage from Sugarlump parties. We’ll probably do a post on Sugarlump sound system sooner or later… Meanwhile, enjoy these videos:
Here’s a quote about Castlemorton from ‘Adventures In Wonderland’ by Sheryl Garratt:
The following photo was captioned “Festivalgoers on Castlemorton Common yesterday, enjoying the sound of music in the Malvern Hills”.
The following photo was captioned “Common nuisance: The 20,000 hippies encamped at Castlemorton common yesterday”.
A classic headline:
Click on images for larger versions:
The following picture and article appeared with the headline: “Villagers threaten to burn out hippies -An illegal festival in the Malverns has driven people living near the site to breaking point”
Continuation of article above, click on image below for larger version:
The following article and photo appeared together:
Old friend Atomic Robot Man was there, and he sent us this page from his diary:
These great photos courtesy of Pete Dibdin whose work can be found at http://www.peterdibdin.com/ :
The photos below are from George McKay‘s book ‘Senseless Acts of Beauty’ and I believe they were taken by Alan ‘Tash’ Lodge (whose excellent website you can find in the links on the right hand side of our main page.
The Riddler (who has a great site, well worth a browse), has some pics of castlemorton here:
A Flickr pool with some pics of Castlemorton:
Commenter Jam Smoot told us about this mixtape:
A couple of contributors remembered some tunes they heard at Castlemorton and here are a couple of youtube links for them (see this post for details:http://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/some-hardcore-mixes/ )
Tim Aldiss’s site has his account of his trip to Castlemorton (his rave diaries are a good read, look at the other entries while you’re there)- http://www.loftsites.co.uk/old_school_rave/diaries/castlemorton_common.html
Here are a couple of Guardian articles about Castlemorton etc: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/jul/11/castlemorton-free-party-scene-spiral-tribe?showallcomments=true
This lucky lucky person was there too:
Castle Morton was an experience.. I’d been visiting a mates place in East London and he was coming over to mine in the depths of West Wales afterwards. we’d heard that there was a festi down near Bristol that weekend, so set off on the hunt along the M4. At one of the service stations along the M4 we got a lift from a Green godess fire engine that was loaded down with kit and Hippies, it was one of the vehicles spiral tribe was using to get to the festival. As we got close we found out that the festival might not be on, so set off on a hunt. the police herded us up to Castle Morton, by the time we got close there were several miles of trucks and busses full of people. At one point the line stopped and a guy with us got out and started counting vehicles as he walked towards the front. when the line started moving again, he waited for us to catch up. he’d counted over seven hundred vehicles, and he hadn’t reached the front of the line.
When we got there, the sun was setting and from the hills overlooking the site you could see the site starting to pulse with light and hear blasts of sound as things were set up. Travelling off all the way to the horizon there was a ribbon of headlights delivering more people to the festival.
Blinding weekend, my mate had his first E experience, Watched the police try and drive through the centre of the crowd. they got stopped in the middle, and a nameless longhair got passed over the crowd, and started selling Acid off the bonnet of the police car. after futilely attempting to get out of the car the plod ended up just laughing at the sheer balls of him.
Nighttime had more than its fair quota of low flying helicopters with spotlights. (although someone did take a potshot at them with a firework)
Last of the truly fun free festivals.