Archive for the ‘Circus Warp’ 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.



Tommy B Circus Warp mixtape- “If There’s A Cure For This”

August 2, 2012

Thanks a million to Mr or Mrs Anonymous for helping us to find this 🙂 Link is in the comments below.

See this thread for other Circus Warp mixes:

30th November-3rd December 1991: Spiral Tribe and Circus Warp Free Party at Staravia Factory, Ascot, Berkshire

June 22, 2011

NB This post refers to the second party at this site, for the earlier do, please read this post:

More from Snufkin:

That Ascot party was awesome. Last day of November 1991 and it was cold, minus ten at least I’d say. We had been living there ten days or so, on the site of a demolished jet engine factory called Staravia. The site had been used for storing  pea gravel so there were mounds of the stuff everywhere and huge ruts frozen solid.

… Easygroove turned up with the whole Circus Warp crew and added their tent onto our shambles. Spirals turned up later and they had to stay out in the cold. I remember walking away from the party at one point, tripping my tits off I turned back to look. There were 5000 people raving in a bodged together tent and the heat of their bodies formed a fog around the tend, which pulsed and throbbed with the lights. As I watched, the fog sat up on its haunches, like something ethereal out of ghostbusters, smiled a snaggletooth smile at me, winked and then settled back down again, curling itself around the party contentedly. No, really!

I can’t remember how long we partied for, maybe til tuesday, it got pretty twisted by the end. I had the burner going in my trailer all the way through and the site was big enough that it was possible to sleep now and then, but I don’t remember too much sleeping..

Here’s a map:

Thanks again for the nice long comment Snufkin. Does anyone else remember this at all? Any photos?

21st-23rd June 1991: Circus Warp at Summer Solstice Free Festival at Peasedown St. John, Somerset

June 12, 2011

Does anyone else know anything about this party? Matt and Paula reckon it was the solstice weekend, which seems to make sense. The dates we’ve put in the post title are Friday to Sunday, anyone know if that’s correct?

Shout going out to watermouse who alerted us to this video, thanks! And an even bigger shout out to dj jenjen (aka mis-chief) who shot the video 😀

2nd May 1992: Circus Warp, Spirals etc. at Lechlade festival, Gloucestershire

May 13, 2011

Hello Graudian readers! Thanks for visiting, but thanks to a mistake on this page, this isn’t the page you’re looking for! Click here for the Castlemorton Common free festival page. Cheers!

Here’s a report from someone who wishes to remain anonymous:

A disused quarry in Gloucestershire was the venue for this 8,000/10,000/15,000-strong free technofesty blowout. Who counts the numbers anyway ;P If it was based on the number of cars it would be an underestimate- 4 people per car was the absolute minimum those days. Police estimates are always ALWAYS under (for obvious reasons), especially at ‘oppositional’ events e.g. free unlicensed 3-day festivals, reclaim the streets etc. demonstrations.

This pic of Lechlade featured in an article in Select magazine:

An excerpt from Atomic Robot Man’s rave diary:

Missed Castlemorton due to leaving my brain at Lechlade. A long drive up. I think we got the location of the party from the news reports:

When we arrived we had a jittery moment because the police stopped our car on the way in. FFFFFFffffUUUUUCCCCkkkkk! Oh no, it’s OK, they’re just telling us where to park, politely. A few metres away a dealer was standing in the middle of the road bellowing “Rhubarb and Custards! Callies!”

I think the big white tent in the pics above was DiY’s but I don’t remember there being a rig in there at this do.

This blue and orange marquee in the pic above was Circus Warp’s. I also remember a load of far out UV stuff dangling from the roof of their tent, including bicycle wheels. Also a mad max robot and some red/orange speakers too:

A fantastic atmosphere but there was a little friction between the hippies and the ravers- heard a few expensively dressed ravers getting harangued by the crusties: “OOOOOooooh dress to IMPRESS!”. Oh yeah, and someone laughed at my hat. I deserved it for sure 😉

Other sights and sounds:

Flinching at the sheer excessive volume of the beat coming from the Spiral system in the blazing sunlight on Sunday morning, when we felt particularly fragile.

A brew crew/keta/acid/whatever casualty rolling around on the ground trying to scratch the tattoo off his arm.

A bunch of well-spoken but off-their-tits Oxford medical students who came and sat in our car, and jabbered with us for either 3 minutes or three hours.

A misty and gentle sunrise over one of the huge trout ponds (which, incidentally, contained huge trout).

Seeing some poor fucker who’d overdone it being carted away.

Finding a lost crusty puppy.

Taking photos of ourselves and the next week wondering what the nice girl in Boots thought was wrong with our faces in the pictures.
The aftermath:

It was even mentioned in the Commons:

Sir David Mitchell (Hampshire, North-West) :

I noticed that on the spring bank holiday about 30,000 people attended a pop festival at Lechlade in Gloucestershire, and if more itinerants and hippies come to my constituency in the pre-solstice period, the noise disturbance, the petty crime and the filth that they will leave behind will cause my constituents great anxiety.


On 21 June, the summer solstice arrives and large numbers of hippies, itinerants and new-age travellers can be expected. Some of my constituents call them by names that cannot be expressed in parliamentary language.

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