Archive for the ‘Castlemorton’ Category

22nd-29th May 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Techno Travellers, Circus Warp, Circus Normal, Adrenalin and DiY at Castlemorton Common Free Festival, Worcestershire

October 5, 2012

UPDATE 1.3.2018:

Interesting query from Hardcore Bob in the comments: the Techno Travellers (who we’ve now added to the headline) had their rig in the blue and red marquee, so where were Circuses Warp and Normal, and Bedlam? Let us know in the comments 🙂

I missed Castlemorton but 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!

UPDATE 5.10.2012:

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:

Mr Arm (you know who you are!) let us scan a load of newspaper cuttings from his scrapbook. Big up! :

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:

Here are a couple of videos, the first one’s been online for ages, the second one’s newer and includes some footage taken near the spiral rig-

Thanks youtuber Yangow for the first vid, and thanks youtuber hemustbemad for uploading the second (he credits his friend Matt with filming).

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 :

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: )

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)-

Here are a couple of Guardian articles about Castlemorton etc:

This lucky lucky person was there too:

dr_box wrote:

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.


Some old school mixes and tracks

February 27, 2009

These are all newish mixes using top tunes from the era this website covers. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

This last one is on Tim Acid’s blog. he’s posted here before and his blog’s always got lots of good stuff on it.

Thanks a million to Ben for hooking me up with the DJ Producer oldskool mix, really enjoying it right now! Tracklist for this is out there somewhere. It’s apparently an Ableton mix and he’s sort of chopped up and layered all sorts of oldskool niceness together in a big hardcore rave flavoured sandwich. Yum.

Here it is:

Other mixes can be found by following the ‘mp3’ and ‘mixtape’ links on the right. If any of the links die please let me know and I’ll re-upload them ASAP.

At the time we used to say ‘hardcore you know the score’. We didn’t even really consider it a style of music, especially as you’d hear loads of different styles in one night and in one DJ’s set (you’d also hear a lot of influences/genres/styles in the space of one tune, which I guess is what hardcore is, by my definition anyway 😉 )

At Spirals parties techno started to play a larger part after a while. However,  I can remember hearing all sorts of styles on their rig, partly ‘cos they let ‘other’ DJ’s  on (e.g. chancers who just turned up with a record bag and said ‘can I play?’- for example an unknown but very good DJ from Dorset did this at Castlemorton), and partly because they weren’t (as lots of people seem to think) a finite entity with exactly (marketingspeak here I think!) 23 members. Bedlam were quite generous at letting guest DJ’s play, maybe even more than Spirals, I’m not 100% certain. If anyone can shed any light on this I’d be pleased to hear from you. I guess you’ve got to let other people on if you’re running a party for such extended periods of time 😛

In my rather faulty memory banks I can only connect a handful of specific tunes with a handful of specific parties. For instance at the Spirals do in Rhayader I remember Aphex Twin’s ‘Digeridoo’ and Urban Shakedown’s Some Justice’:

A commenter, Ben, had this to say on the subject of the tune above:  I cannot hear ‘Some Justice’ without thinking of Castlemorton. At some point on the Sunday night I walked a mile or so away from site in the pitch-dark to, ahem, clear my head a little as the Screaming Buddha’s had made everything a little too *intense*. After half an hour or so of just lying on my back staring at the stars the Ce-Ce Rogers vocal sample drifted lovingly through the air towards me, inspiring me to drag myself off of the floor, and back to the party.

Another contributor to this page clearly remembers Epitome of Hype’s ‘Ladies With An Attitude playing in the Circus Warp tent at Castlemorton. At the time he thought it was a DJ being clever with Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ (which the track samples) but since then he’s realised it was this:

At Happy Days Free Festival in Kerry I remember hearing DJ Aztek playing Brother From Another Planet’s ‘Planet Earth’.

Happy listening!

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