26th-28th June 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Normal, Circus Warp, DiY and Lazy House at Smeatharpe Free Festival, Devon

We stumbled across these great videos. Thanks a million to youtube user tonyeade who filmed (?) and uploaded it πŸ™‚ Mark (see comment below) reckons this was Spiral’s rig, but there comments on the youtube page which reckon Spiral’s had been confiscated and this was Bedlam and/or DiY. What do you lot reckon? We’re looking for a list of which other rigs were in attendance. It was in 1992, so no worries if it’s all a bit hazy πŸ˜‰

Amino Clang was there, and here’s his report:

I was staying with my Dad, his partner and her son (who is my age and an old friend of the family too) in Dorset when we heard that there was a festi just down the road in a tiny place called Smeatharpe so, totally unprepared and with no way of getting there, us kids set off to see how far we could get with nothing more than a thumb and a burning need to get there in our inventory.

We managed to get a lift quite easily, but unfortunately the driver wasn’t going far and he dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. Too far down the road to get home, too far away from the party to walk… and then it started to get dark.

Luckily, just as dread was setting in, a VW campervan stopped for us and when we got in the inhabitants said “You look like you’re going where we are going! Do you know where it is?”

We knew that it was at Smeatharpe air strip, but didn’t really know where that was so a phone call from a payphone, a look at the map and couple of wrong turns later we made it onto the site and said our goodbyes to our saviours before bouncing off into the throng.

I love that feeling you get when you finally find the party you have tried so hard to get to. The people looning about, the lights in the sky, maybe a glimpse of some local coppers, but always that unmistakeable boom-boom-boom of a sound system, or even better – that distant fairground sound of people talking mixed with a selection of sound systems churning out allsorts of sounds from all directions. It turns into a cacophony of chaotic noise that I suppose most people would find offensive, but I just love it. Just writing about it now is making me feel all cosy and comfortable, like somebody has draped a warm blanket over my shoulders. Aaaahhhh!

Anyway – I digress…

Back at the party we did a quick tour of the site and soon worked out that there was at least three or four sound systems, some louder than others, but all banging it out to a crowd of happy up-for-it people. There was also a whole lot of UV backdrops, a whole lot of vehicles (both β€˜omes and ravemobiles), a bouncy castle, one of those NASA gyroscope things, a TV showing movies, a bar in a double-decker bus, a t-shirt stall and the obligatory selection of dealers shouting “Hash for Cash!”, “Acid, Exctacy!”, “Speed, whiz”, “Mushies, trips!”, etc. (and there really was a bloke shouting “Hash for leather jacket!”).There was even a smallish campervan for sale. I swear you could buy absolutely anything at a free festi in ’92 if you looked hard enough.

Anyway – I digress…

We had been there a while and had not bumped into anybody we knew yet so we bought a “pill” off some girl and split it (the last of our money gone now). I don’t think it worked very well though because my memory of Smeatharpe is pretty vivid. Eventually we plucked up our courage and asked the MC at the biggest rig to get one of our friends to come to the decks so we could meet up with him. Unfortunately the mate in question was a bit worse for wares and thought they wanted him to play a set so he ran away instead!

We continued to wander about looking for somebody we knew – they had to be here somewhere – when suddenly… I noticed a car that I recognised from my hometown in Wales (where I lived with my Mum), and there leaning up against it was one of my friends from up there. I went over to say hello, but he looked a bit wobbly and was trying to lean on the car. It turns out that he had spilled a bottle of poppers on himself and was struggling to stay conscious. Anyway, he started to come round and told me that my oldest friend (it’s a long story, but we met before we were born and have been friends ever since) was in the van he had just fallen out of. This was excellent news of course and the three of us spent the rest of the night bouncing about the party together (there may have been some speed involved at some point?). Here are some of the things I remember:

1. I remember meeting a lovely couple of ravers on the bouncy castle and discussing the pro’s and con’s of going to see The Lawnmower Man in the cinema on acid.

2. I remember doing a bit of juggling with my glow-in-the-dark juggling balls in front of a sound system with a particularly large collection of UV backdrops and a UV light playing more ambient tunes than the other systems.

3. I remember one system was almost all treble while another system was almost all bass.

4. I remember sitting on top of a BIG van/truck type traveller vehicle in the morning watching the ravers in front of the biggest system beneath us. If you squinted your eyes a little bit it looked like the crowd was moving in a steady circle around a point in the middle of the dance floor. This is kind of difficult to explain but it had us all really impressed at the time.

5. I remember seeing some traveller kids ragging about the place on bikes being naughty and taking the piss out of the ravers when the sun came up.

Eventually we found some of our friends from Dorset too and the morning panned out very nicely – chilling out in the sun smoking temple balls with a big bunch of friends at a huge party that showed no signs of slowing down. What more could you ask for?

Time passes and we started to get hungry and tired so we decided that it would be a good idea to say our goodbyes and try to get home. We started the long walk towards the nearest town with our thumb out hoping that somebody would be leaving at the same time. We did get picked up… by a crazed scally driving a stolen car! When he saw the police (who had parked up nearby) he sped up and told us he would let us out as soon as he got away from the police. We smiled politely, thanked him for the lift (and thanked god that we were still alive) and continued to walk through country lanes trying to find a sign of civilisation. God knows how we did it, but we did manage to get home eventually.

So we’re sitting back at home chilling out, smoking more temple balls, resting up and feeding up, watching a bit of telly and getting ready for a good sleep after last night’s adventures, when the parents come in from work (they ran a restaurant) with one of the staff from the restaurant, totally pissed up and raring to go off to “The Rave” to see the sites and embarrass their kids. The guy who worked in the restaurant was sober so we all piled into the car and off we went – once more unto the breach…

By the time we got there is was dark again and there weren’t quite as many people, but the party was still going strong. The parents managed to find themselves some pills and got well and truly! I don’t know if you have ever done a pill (a good ’92 pill) when you are already pissed up, but it knocks you for six, and knock them for six it did.

The resounding memory for me is watching my Dad fall over shouting “Yeah Baby!”, but there are other memories from night two at Smeatharpe Free Festival…

1. I remember that Spiral Tribe had set up a sound system that I had not noticed on the first night and I was having a bit of a dance when this bloke comes over (clearly rushing himself) and started dancing around me saying “Rush, rush, rush, rush…). Well it worked – I really started to come up on the pill we had split (this one worked) and then we spiralled off to investigate the rest of the party again.

2. I remember walking about the site between sound systems and noticing that the music from each system was mixing perfectly with the next. Just as one would fade out, the next would fade in and the tunes were always perfectly beat-matched. Probably my imagination, but pretty cool nonetheless!

3. I remember trying to find our parents’ car and going right up to it and looking in the window and everything, but still not recognising it. We soon realised that we had been looking at the right car when we were ready to go and the driver walked right up to the car we had been looking at and unlocked it!

Time passed, and it all got a bit too much for The Olds so we went home with smiles on our faces and warmth in our hearts.

But the story of Smeatharpe does not finish there either…

TEN YEARS later I was living in Exeter with my girlfriend when I got a phone call from another friend who told me to switch on the local news. There it was again – Smeatharpe Free Festival had returned and it was only down the road again!

We immediately jumped in the car, met up with our friends and headed up to the party (thank fuck for the local press). We had to park a little way from the site because the police (with some help from the local farmer) had blocked every road up to it (not like in the old days!), but we managed to find a way through a hedge, into some fields, dart across the main road past the police and run onto the site with our heads down and our hearts racing.

This blog is all about free parties from 1990 – ’94 so I will just give a brief account of this night:

1. There were more sound systems, but less people at Smeatharpe 2002. This seems to be a bit of a theme for modern Free Festivals – the sound system has become the ultimate party accessory.

2. The musical spectrum was wider at Smeatharpe 2002. There was a house system, a selection of techno systems, a selection of DnB systems, a cocktail bar playing disco and there was even a ska/punk band playing live on a makeshift stage stuck between two pretty big sound systems.

3. Some moron almost ran us over in their white van at Smeatharpe 2002. This same van had been caught on film as they rammed their way through a gate past a local news reporter to get onto the site (clever boys!)

4. The atmosphere was still havin’ it and happy at Smeatharpe 2002, but I gotta say it – they don’t do β€˜em like they used to.

5. I was older and wiser at Smeatharpe 2002. We drove there and back in a comfortable car, no need to hitch, no need to search for the site (although there was the obligatory stop to get out of the car and listen out for the bass line echoing across the valley), no parents to look after and we met up with our friends before getting on site.

6. The press were not impressed with Smeatharpe 2002. They reported that the site had been left in appalling condition with loads of burned out cars and rubbish left lying about everywhere, not to mention all the raver poo creating an environmental health hazard. Funnily enough I had taken my girlfriend up to see the site of Smeatharpe Free Festival ’92 only a week or so earlier and the air strip had been used as a stock car racing track for quite some time – it was covered in burned out cars, tyres and oil tins and it was an absolute shite-heap. The worst footage the press could get was of the burned out white van left by those same dickheads who had tried to run us over at the party. The shot panned across the wasteland of the air strip to see other burned out cars, burned out tires and a nice neat pile of bin bags that had been left by the ravers who generally like to leave a site cleaner than they found it.

Also, someone I don’t know, but probably unknowingly danced right next to at a few parties πŸ™‚ sent me this report on the 1992 Smeatharpe Free Festival… Thanks mharridge!!

After missing Castlemorton because ‘I didn’t think it would be that big and another would come along and I’d already said I’d work..’I was determined to make it to my first free festival. I’d leaked the secret to a couple of mates from the next town (Leamington) who seemed keen and also would help supply the main ingredient. So, off the 5 of us set sometime Friday evening after making various ‘doctor calls’ around town. We arrived on site at Smeatharpe airfield, Devon, to a police prescence who happily waved us through. Not that I had a sweat on mind with the whole cars stash tucked under the carpet in my footwell of my mate’s Cavalier.

It was dark when we arrived so I don’t remember much other than all night merry making but i do remember watching aeroplanes soaring high above in the clear blue morning sky.

It turns out that one of our friends from Leamington had taken a funny turn and was asking to be taken back home.. After a quick pow-wow we decided it would be ok and we set off on the 2/3 hour drive. After dropping our 3 friends off in Leamington we spent the rest of the day hanging around the pub and telling our mates about where we’d been.

It happened that an older crowd were headed down that evening so being as we knew where the site was we asked if we could tag along. This time I jumped in my mates camper van and again after a variety of pitstops we were off. Again arriving in the pitch black and after getting lost among country lanes we eventually found the site again. A couple of us had scored some acid and I’d bought some more speed. I wasnt an E convert by this time and was sticking to amphetamines and acid. However, how I’d wished I had bought an E as I spent most of the night in a jittery state inside my mates van – though it was fun.

The morning soon came around and drawing back the curtains of the camper van we saw an increasing ring of black uniforms – oh dear :/ The police cordon got tighter and tighter so we moved the van nearer to the last remaining system playing. This was my first experience of Spiral Tribe. Picture the scene – mid Sunday afternoon in blazing summer sunshine, people dancing on top of vehicles to twisted acid techno, lots of dust around – or maybe thats just me. Not sure I’ll ever be able to forget that.

More on this party from Dougie, who left us this comment on our ‘about’ page:

I remember going to a festi near Honiton on an old air field, I seem to remember Spiral Tribe were there but cannot seem to find anything out about it. Does any body out there know any more about it. It was big and chaotic and i think there was a mini riot when babylon tried to shut it down.


35 Responses to “26th-28th June 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Normal, Circus Warp, DiY and Lazy House at Smeatharpe Free Festival, Devon”

  1. Hip replacement Says:

    From what Aztec says on the Fantazia site seems like it might have been 6th Sept. Yes was a cracking party, if a little hazy.

    freepartyperson says: Thanks! However I think Aztek was talking about a party in 1991, and the one I’m on about was in ’92 (he mentions the later party further down the page). I know Smeatharpe airfield’s been used a few other times too. The pages you referred to can be found here: http://www.fantazia.org.uk/DJs/djaztek.htm

  2. Riddler ov Cheltenham Says:

    Absolute wicked memories!!! 1989-1993 will never be bettered,unfortunately.If anyone remembers,Smeatharpe airfield,June ’92,was the ‘alternative free site’ for Glastonbury ‘cos Michael Eavis turned his back,& nose up, on the travellers & Peace Convoy & refused them a free site for the first time, in favour of commercialisation & greed. Nuff said!!!

    • Matt and Paula Says:

      Thats right, we had been in convoy for a few weeks trying to get to Glastunbury. Ended up on a carpark in Street near pilton. Coppers surrounding us all the time. it got quite intense and alittle twisted on there, to many drugs, to much sun, when we tried to leave the site we were nearly lynched by other travellers for deserting. We eventually got escorted to Smeathorpe airfield which pissed of the Devon police somewhat. Was a fantastic gathering and well worth the hassle, rainbow acid tabs and mdma caps. mmm

  3. Andrew Hamaton Says:

    Mate, it almost brings tears to the eyes to see your comment. Those years were the best of my life so far, sometimes I wonder whether it actually happened. I’ve always said Smeatharpe was the king even above Castlemorton. What a loved up vibe, and the culimination of Spiral, and if I remember rightly Circus Warp and Circus normal was wicked with the hardcore siren going off in the morning!! I ended up conforming but it will always be in my heart with hope that I’ll meet many more people like you and that the future holds more times that make memories like that!!

  4. Bottrop Says:

    Agreed 89-93 banging!

    Did the free raves 90-96, 91 and 92 being the golden years, went to a couple of okay ones in France and Berlin in 93. But it was well ovber by 94 really… (imo!)

    Personally I thought Smeatrharpe was the best rave of summer 92 (did Lechlade, Castlemorton, Roundhouse, Otterbourne/Romsey, Park Royal etc – every weekend basically!) Fuck it was wicked!

    The main rig @ smeatharpe was Bedlam. Some dj played the best set Ive ever heard on bedlam rig sunday morning about 6am – 10am and every single person was dancing! Played a mix of stuff from I’m Coming Hardcore (by M.A.N.I.C) to Dub War to Energy Flash.

    Sun was up, everyone was on it and it was brilliant. (best 4 houts of my life?…maybe…)

    I have been told since that the dj in question was LTJ Bukem.




  5. Anonymous Says:

    Great party indeed, like other i did the lot that summer….woo hoo, and what a summer.

    I car remember catching up with loads of friends at smethorpe getting hammered and chilling on a bouncy casle….lol and the day was soooo hot and feck all shade..Also nowhere to crap and some dirty fecker crapped a nasty coiler near my car…..lol what happened to shit with a shovel hey!!!!!!!!!!

    I can remember the set that botttrop mentions, I think just…well maybe..

    superb stuff

  6. Dewayne Ashton Says:

    This was bloody brilliant, we’d already been to Glastonbury and tried to gain entry to no avail… We had already been following the Spirals, Bedlam and a few other sytems around and heard it was going off at the airfield so we headed down there and what an interdimentional loved up time we had, I partied to my hearts content and then some…. This along with many other parties at the time where the defining time of my life and even tho I’ve now settled back into reality, the way these parties changed me will be with me for as long as I live and still continue to inspire me when I look back on them… I wish I had a time machine and if I ever get one you’re all welcome to come take a trip back to the light ages with me ❀

    Respect to all original ravers in da house….

    Peace x

  7. b beveridge Says:

    thanks people just wondering all those that knew justin beveridge send me pics cheers

  8. langalang Says:

    I remember this one got mashed one the way there and we all passed out in the convoy near Glastenbury and when we were awoken by some police the convay was gone funny old time but these days where the best times of my life ….. (remember awakening on a bus covered head to toe in mud I was found on the side of the runway trying to get through a square on the fence that was the second day and after necking 2g of fet I swaped for Acid but it was K that was the last time I did K lol) but the times where great how I long for the days to be repeated….

  9. Hippyvancrustie Says:

    Yup it was at the same time as Glastonbollox, all those who could’nt get in there went on to Smeatharpe, we managed to wangle our way into glastonwhatsit in our bus but got booted out for selling unmensionables, smeatharpe was very hot and very loud, good fun………….

  10. Norman Says:

    Does anyone remember Castlemorton 1998 I think memories gone I Can’t think why.D I Y sound system wicked party till Sunday Till Liverpool lads came.Lots of good Free Parties In the Warp Tent

  11. mark Says:

    Amino… if you were talking to those ‘lovely ravers’ early on the sunday morning theres a chance it could have been me. I remember about 3/4 of us going for a mooch about 8?am on the sunday and having a nice chat with a couple of peeps near the bouncy castle. Its rather hazy now but it could have been us.. πŸ™‚

  12. Clang Says:

    Nice one Mark πŸ˜€

    Nice to hear from you again. Was The Lawnmower Man good then?

  13. mark Says:

    errr well for 92 i guess it was ok πŸ™‚ i def. remember banging on about it and definitely remember talking to a couple of peeps next to the bouncy castle. One of my mates (robin) was bouncing about on it with a couple of ladies while me and a couple of mates talked to who may have been you(?) Had a bit of a weird one at smeatharpe to be honest.. had a laugh but didnt do much dancing tho.. ah memories! bring it back….. πŸ˜›

  14. Mighty Mark Says:

    Smeatharpe was definitely the same weekend as Glastonbury… so June 26-28. I’m pretty sure that Lazy House and some of DiY were in attendance too.

  15. DAN Says:


  16. cris Says:

    Thanks for all the articles on the free festivals scene, from the early 90’s to mid 90’s. It was really fascinating to see, and read what it was like back in the golden era as lot you call it πŸ˜‰ when wearing colourful clothing, baggy pance and sneakers was in fashion and cool.Of course some of the 90’s rave value’s still go around today but it’s a different atmosphere. I’m not saying it as a bad thing but it’s still good that the rave scene is still going strong in england even though it’s under the criminal justice bill law.And that the music has evolved a bit and that the dj’s pay homage to the golden era by playing it in the morning when the sun has gone up.Anyway thanks for the read it was brilliant

    Ta πŸ™‚

  17. richard Says:

    looking for spider chris

  18. Kym Overy Says:

    Omg!!! Best, wildest festie i ever did πŸ™‚
    Saw so many people I knew there, totally randomly as I only travelled down with a few.
    Gotta forward this link on to my sis who also has great memories of this party (if fuzzy ones).
    Keepin it alive in spirit,
    (now of MΓ©xico)

  19. BobH Says:

    Nice one Kym. I remember driving all the awy from the midlands on a C90 moped sprayed reg/gold/green. Lesbian dopeheads on mopeds down one side with a flashing road light on the top box. Stoned to the bone all the way down to Glastonbury town on my own at 45mph. Met mates in Glasto town and tried to blag it into the festival to no avail as it was the first year there was no free entry.

    The mates managed to get lifts from various crustys and we ended up in a massive convoy which the police tried to split up. I drove round a few road blocks and got the busses to turn around and re-join the convoy. Got a bit violent in places with the police and a small minority of travellers to blame. Don’t drink special brew while driving lads.

    If I remember rightly there were a couple of guys on bikes filming. One upper class type on a BMW who got his camera nicked by a traveller then rode up and down the convoy threatening to bust heads. The other guy looked more hells Angel on a loud ‘crosser. I gave him the ‘V’ sign as I went past and he then came past me later on the back wheel! I was told that I was on telly but never saw it.

    I also remember putting some bricks in my top box so we could put them round a fire. Trying to donut the bike with eight bricks in the top box was a stupid idea. Went round five times with the front wheel in the air and managed to save it – got a round of applause.

    Anyone remember MOPED MAN?

  20. mark harridge Says:

    Hi mate, We were parked up at that system on sunday lunchtime as im pretty certain it was the last one standing. I understood it to be Spiral Tribe but im not too sure…. As far as i know there werentany ‘house’ systems there although again i might be wrong.

  21. David Says:

    Hy,I left a comment about Smeatharpe 1992 yesterday too,but may have left it in the wrong place.Just to say I remember I was at some friends in the village of Churchinford near to the Party Location & my friend’s mother got us to make a sign with an arrow,’Smeatharpe This Way”‘basically .I was about 10,my friend younger.We went and stood with the sign outside the village Post Office,although we had to turn it upside down,so the arrow was pointing the right way,in an effort to help a large convoy of vehicles,some with sound systems and,I recall,people “riding the top”,on their way smoothly towards the old second world war air base.5 roads converge at the village center.I was staying that night(I don’t know the exact date)in a caravan on some land at a nearby place called Brooms Lane ; I awoke the next morning to the mysterious sound of the beats,booming their ‘sonic projections’,through the early morning mists

  22. noah Says:

    i remember the big smeatharpe parties ………but does anyone remember the smaller st up maybe 300 people…..just spiral tribe…….red and blacks flying around……most of the good pills coming out of a caravan?
    what a night………a very nice rave!

  23. mook Says:

    Stumbled on this and it brought back memories i can tell u! Police/helicopters/a broken down truck/stashing your drugs between the slices of a loaf of bread and then forgetting where u had put them! good place though!who could forget the mighty spirals/amazin e’s and a knowledge that u were actually having the most amazing experience in ur life so far! So many friendly faces that were also there from Castlemorton/Lechlade. We got there late Friday night and hadnt slept since Thursday night. Necked a load of acid and fuckin lost the plot big time-this freaked me out as we had a sheet and had been doing it all summer like smarties! Ended up in somebodys tent sat afternoon with a broken vodka bottle convinced that everyone was gonna hurt me! M8s were getting bored by this time and were so embarressed that they went and spiked with with valium to know me out! Best thing they ever did as woke up on Sunday morn and i could hear a wicked beat in the distance. Stumbled to find out where it was coming from and saw the most amazing sight i will never forget-every single person was dancing! Loads of em! Music was amazing and bumped into a friend i thought i would never see again- Cree if read this get in touch and let me know ur ok please- After saturday being like a bad dream, was determined not to have a bad time so when in rome, kill me! The sunshine! Anyone fortunate enuff to nab some of the clear caps that were there? Best e i have ever had! Anyone else see the police in the morning arresting people going for a piss, especially girls!
    Were RDF there? I distinctly remember seeing a band there but was too fugged up to see who it was? Also, me and my m8 Harriet-if ur there call me as its been too long!- watched that bouncy castle transform and change colour for hours!

  24. Keef HeadGames Says:

    God – why cant life always be so much fun…Im still alive and have re-formed the Band….Hope to see some old mates and make new ones at future events…Is a real shame ‘Spider” Circus Normal has left us and gone to a new world – RIP….

  25. Fisher.bristol Says:

    I just remember losing my sanity by Smeatharpe wkend…for me the best that summer…6am set with ribbs on the mic was amazin..everyone I could see was having it.good times.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    it was a long drive to Glastonbury and we were to turn back? we headed toward Taunton dean services where we were told the party was in Smeatharpe so following about 50 cars we headed that way???? when arriving we were told by the police that there was nothing to see and that there was only dirty travellers and no sound systems……but we could feel the bass and we knew something was in the place……and our instincts where in fact correct!! The police directed us to turn back on ourselves and a friend (who was driving and who had just passed his test three weeks before) turned very sharply put the car on two wheels and drove for about 10 foot ( bearing in mind we were just coming up from the shit we scored in taunton). It was probably the best week-end free party i’ve been to. We had Β£7.50 each give or take….we got a lift to Tauton and walked to Witheridge home of Camille who’s friend (the flamboyant Chris) came to take us Smeatharpe…..we’d walked across about an acre of field and past through almost a miniture Glastonbury and upon arriving at the party scored U.F.O blotters and proceeded to walk back through the different sound systems which all warranted stopping at, we had managed to buy about 15 acid tabs which my girlfriend had never taken before (wasn’t my fault two were stuck together). While trying to work out what had happened to the tab (not knowing my ‘then’ girlfriend had unwittingly taken two)…a traveller accidently smashed into me and gave me a massive thick lip which on acid became very much an issue thinking my lip was a ridiculous size that looked offensive not helped by the fact my mate enjoyed for a while telling me “it was fukin huge mate” upon coming up proper, the camps divided me and Cam went one way Siobh’ Camille and Chris went the other way…we didn’t see each other for 18 hours and finally congregatted at EVA Circus Warp sound system or Lazy House on the Sunday around 4’o clock, cant remember which sound system but familiar faces all around wicked way to round off the most random week-end ever…….and flamboyant chris….. came out!!

  27. Anonymous Says:

    To all free party people, peace, luvrush to the max.
    The best, crazy times.
    Just a kid, smaetharpe was the best, wish I could go back, for one night only.

  28. watermouse Says:

    another smeatharpe vid

  29. Dreadluck Says:

    Smeatharpe for us started off in Devizes, Wiltshire. There was supposed to be a local party and 100’s of cars turned up in Devizes marketplace. Great atomosphere, middle of a town, car stereos banging, people dancing, locals bemused, everyone smiling! Then the shout went up and everyone jumped into cars and set off and that special feeling came over you as you searched for the party. Unfortunately the police had got there first and got told to move on or get busted. Off to the nearest phone box, make some calls and then the long drive to Smeatharpe. Arrived just as the sun was coming up, happy daze!

  30. lezzmidlifebiker Says:

    Les IsideOutLaws (Bedlam 88-92). was there every weekend from deserted Unigate factory to Castle Morton, from deserted factories to long weekends in the countryside . And then came the criminal justice bill 1992. We went from Underground to Overground having a good time had become illegal.

  31. Sandiesparkles Says:

    Smeatharpe was my best free rave ever. I remember the long slow convoy in down a wooded road. An old lady came out of her house with a shot gun hanging over her arm, clearly really freaked out by all the freaks cued up outside.
    The weekend was the usual haze, but I remember it was really sunny, the drugs were great along with the atmosphere. Im pretty sure Bedlam were there, but couldn’t vouch for anyone else. We left Sunday and as I remember it there was no hassles with the police although they were hanging around there edges of the airfield.
    It didn’t get better than this. I think it was the beginning of the end for free raves.
    I still have a few photos, although the people on them might not appreciate me outing them.

  32. daniel clayfield Says:

    one of the best party’s I ever went to ….even bought quite a lot of the sound system that was playing hardcore on down one end many years later which I still have to this day. this also played at lechlade ,castle Morton and many other manly diy set ups of the time ,
    the good old days!

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