8th November 1992: Sketch at Upfront £5 rave, near Axminster, Devon

Here’s a report from an anonymous raving reporter:

‘Upfront’, a £5 party in two marquees at a farm near Axminster in Devon. Everyone who’d driven from West Dorset  for the chance to go to a free party was a bit pissed off when they realised it wasn’t the free-for-all we were used to. After a bit of a haggle, we convinced the guy on the gate to let one of our posse have a stroll round to see if it was any good. Ten minutes later our spy came back with good news- it was kicking. Those of us who could afford £5 walked in through the gate, and those who couldn’t crawled through some muddy ditches and over some barbed wire fences.

One very tall, reasonably long marquee contained a hefty stomper of a main rig, great lighting, and a stall selling rave accessories. There was also a burger van, and another, smaller marquee (tacked onto the side of the big one), containing a smaller, housier rig (Sketchy Crew, I believe), and a makeshift bar.

We were later to find out that ‘proper’, i.e. legal pay parties, at 5 to 6 times the price of this party, offered a lot less value in terms of both facilities and atmosphere. Another bonus was a big firework display at the peak of the night’s festivities, which caused a lot of ooh-ing and aah-ing. There was also a decent sized bonfire, so that ‘chilling out’ didn’t mean getting freezing cold.

One downer was the fact that everyone seemed to leave so abruptly in the morning- not like a free event, when everyone loiters for hours or even days.

One last thing, one of our friends loved winding people up when they were completely out of it, and on this occasion, she saw fit to endlessly harangue this one particular guy, telling him there were sheep wandering around on the roof of the marquee. It worked. He was very confused indeed.

There’s a nice post about Sketch on the Go Bang Brighton blog.

Some more random memories just came back, one was that I think I remember Slipmatt played there, and the other is that there was some kind of crustyfight which involved earbiting. Nice.

We’ve separated this out from the ‘general’ Lazy House post (which can be found here: https://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/lazy-house/ ) , here are some of the comments that relate to this particular party:

tinkerbelle
corinne@cmps.uk.com | 88.105.81.9

The party you descride in Aminster ‘Upfront’ party sounds like a party i went to and helped with. From what I recall it was a guy called Jason’s birthday party. He worked for an Electrics company in Exeter and was going out with a friend Gemma in Ashburton at the time.
It was a pay party, £5 about right………
I remeber it was a blast.
Although I used to go to Exmouth in ye olde days I never atually made it to one of the Lazy house Parties. I did know Simon though.
Took my first pill in Exmouth, what fun…………

From Lazy House, 2008/04/23 at 11:27 AM

Frim
fimstonkg@hotmail.co.uk | 79.71.206.60

The upfront party in Axminster was Jason warren’s birthday party Tinkerbelle. I can remember Max having his own stage to dance on was well funny P say hi to Gemma if you see her I aint seen her in years, not since she split up with Jason.

From Lazy House, 2008/05/23 at 12:11 AM

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2 Responses to “8th November 1992: Sketch at Upfront £5 rave, near Axminster, Devon”

  1. adam prater Says:

    i went to this rave well worth a fiver i just loved the unexpectiveness of those weekend free parties lazy house circus warp mayhem etc the whole adventure and experiance mix that with good pills and afresh youthful mind i am so glad i was in that scene and didnt miss it easygroove spinning great choonzs in the morning but it did end all of a sudden it was a preety good marque two of them a couple a weeks later it was jamie williams all weekend mini festival at pinhay lyme regis that was the best free one of the lot for atmosphere music and location they dont do um like they used to. the old bill would never let it happen anyway.the up-front party near axminster was just another example of the d.i.y ethic ravers had in those days it was all about the music even though it did cost me a fiver!

  2. Lazy House sound system « UK Free Parties and Free Festivals 1990-1994 Says:

    […] UPDATE: Some dates that I do have a record of: 10/10/92 near Exeter, 8/5/93. Also an event on 8/11/92 called Upfront, where there were two marquees, one of which contained the Sketchy Crew sound system, full freepartypeople report here. […]

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