UPDATE: Steve just sent us this clipping:
There are some black and white pics on this excellent site: http://www.loftsites.co.uk/old_school_rave/photos/free_rave_photos.html
And here’s a couple of colour photos:
DiY was there, but no idea about other soundsystems in attendance. This was a year before Castlemorton and there were apparently house systems there according to this page: http://www.oldskoolanthemz.com/forum/chillout-room/11812-good-old-days-acidic-warehousing-bygone-nights.html (it’s a great article which was apparently copied from the now-defunct DiY discs site).
For the first time the major festivals appeared not so much as hippy events but akin to the great orbital raves of 1988. Here, indeed, was the true spiritual heir to the Summer of Love. The commercial rave scene could no longer genuinely claim to represent love, unity or spiritual celebration. Chipping Sodbury, the eventual site of the Avon Free Festival of 1991, featured various house systems and was really the first free festival so explicit in it’s reveration of dance music. The antagonisms many travellers felt towards these foreign new sounds, also began to become apparent. Fair point, if you have to live on a site with a baby, five days of hugely amplified house is probably not ideal. However, it is undeniable that the influx of this culture breathed new life into an atrophying festival scene. The Avon Free in 1987, for example, had been without joy, a paean to negativity.
Alan ‘Tash’ Lodge had some unwelcome police attention there, the text below is from his page: http://tash.gn.apc.org/photo_degree_ntu.htm
In May 1991 at a small “free festival” near Chipping Sodbury in Avon, a major police operation was mounted and road blocks were set up. The police were attempting to search most of those attending for controlled drugs. This “blanket” activity was held by our counsel to be illegal, since the police must act on individual grounds to suspect any particular individual. The law says that they must not make judgements on colour, style, appearance etc.
This was, however, exactly what was occurring and I was asked by lawyers to go and photograph the circumstances for later use (slides 134 – 142). I have engaged in this activity many times and know police frequently object or are obstructive.
This occasion was no different and while photographing, was threatened with arrest. It was never clear exactly why, but it would have achieved getting me out of the way. I was also subjected to a search myself.
The story is described in a statement that I made to record an official complaint against the police.