Archive for the ‘Flyers’ Category

23rd January 1993: Spiral Tribe Free Party at Brent Cross, London

September 3, 2012

UPDATE 04/09/12:

Here are some photos taken at and around this party by photographer Pete Dibdin:

Photos courtesy of Pete Dibdin whose work can be found at

UPDATE 13/08/12: 

23 January 1993
Spiral Tribe
Disused Depository, Brent Cross, London
Diary entry:
Fucking too fucking good the most violent aggressive unmusical music I ever heard, fast noteless, tuneless grinding noise. Gave Mark lift in Tom’s car. Mental building.

Not sure how we got to this party but when we arrived Tom asked me if I could go and pick up Mark from Spiral Tribe, who was still back at their squat on Uxbridge Road. Tom couldn’t because he was too out of it on ketamine already. I’d just taken some drugs, so it became a race against time driving across London before I came up. I picked up Mark, Sebastian and Emily, all clothed in black bomber jackets and combats with shaved heads. I felt a bit old skool Day-Glo in my orange jeans and tie-dye T-shirt.

The music that night was relentless pounding techno. And outside was the best collection of matt black traveller vehicles I’d ever seen.

Many thanks to for the write up. He promised more of the same. Looking forward to it 🙂

UPDATE 30/09/09: Thanks to an old friend’s generosity we now have this flyer:

Rumours from a source very close to Spiral Tribe at the time indicated that this never happened due to one of them doing a runner with the money and spending it on crack. So much for the ‘positive energy matrix’! The flyer below is for the free event that happened in its place:

Was anyone else there? Anything to add?


Virus, Jiba, U.N.Sound, Large Salad Disco soundsystems

November 4, 2010

If anyone has any photos, flyers etc, send them to us as email attachments (our address : freepartypeople (at) and we’ll upload them as soon as we can 🙂

See comments section below for accounts of parties by these crews (we never went to any 😦 ).

More pics from Eric- thanks!  (UPDATE 15.11.10):

ANOTHER UPDATE, 11.11.10: Jake sent us this lot. Thanks!

UPDATE 8.11.10: Here  are some pics Eric sent us (thanks!). There are more on the way I think 🙂

Here are some flyers we’ve had kicking around for a while. If anyone has any memories about these raves leave a comment 🙂

11th September 1992: DiY at Mind Body Soul & the Universe pay rave, near Bath

August 2, 2010

UPDATE 2/8/10: Just stumbled across Digs and Woosh’s set from this party: (more Mind Body Soul and the Universe tape rips here:

Here’s a long party report from an anonymous contributor:

Why the hell am I writing about a pay rave on a website that’s all about free parties and festies??? Well, it’s because, although I had a great time for some of the time (i.e. when we were in the DiY tent), this party had none of the atmosphere that makes free parties great, and I wanted to try and explain why.

The only time I ever went to a DiY do it wasn’t a free party, it was this Universe event where they ran a tent. It was quite a night, I remember dancing on the stage for a while, but I got so involved with the whole music/dancing/smiling thing that I hadn’t realised I was jogging the decks. Sorry! There were great psychedelic projections on the roof and wall of the tent, and the deep deep house music really drew me in for the first time, it made techno seem a bit grey and humourless, this was REAL FUN. Another good point for us was when we sat down by the edge of the DiY tent for a breather, and someone (er, girls, hopefully…) started massaging us through the tent. We never saw their faces but it was rather nice.

The other tents were less interesting. The second one, the house tent, which was empty, seemed to be playing remixes of Nirvana every time we went in.

Another tent had a row of people in chairs using ‘dream machine’ goggles. As we were passing, one of the guys using the goggles had a massive epileptic fit, pretty worrying.

The main tent was enormous, and condensed sweat was raining from the roof 😦 . There was a noticable lack of girls, and all the way to the back of the tent you could see legions of skinhead/tops off/gurning/bugeyed/macho/E-gannet blokes. I remember being a bit shocked at the sheer scale of it, why would people NEED to rave in such huge numbers? I just didn’t get it.

This party was my first pay rave and I really noticed the difference between this kind if party and a proper (free) one. A lot of the people there were unfriendly to say the least, unless of course they wanted to tell you how many E’s they’d had (usually more than three, for the record). Stingy too, a friend and I wandered round when it was getting light looking for Rizlas, but if anyone had any they certainly weren’t giving them to us. Tightwads :/ Of course there were stalls selling skins at loopy prices but sod that. And of course Rizlas were probably on the long list of things which got confiscated at the gate.

We also noticed (as I’ve already mentioned) that everyone was going well overboard with their intake. My raving buddy saw a guy’s eyes turning red due to overdoing poppers.

[Update: My raving companion that night remembers things a little differently: ” Nobody’s eyes turned red, that was black, I saw that. Two E’d up crew cut northerners had a bottle of poppers clamped to each nostril and were huffing vigorously until their eyes turned black. But could have been an active imagination, a lot of these things are I guess.

Also remember someone eating speed at the chill out area and then throwing up everywhere, near us as well. We moved on.

Apart from that I remember going on one of those horrible rides, it was half fairground really.”]

I also saw someone freebasing (which I’d never seen before). There was a weird vibe at this party and the other two or three big pay raves I went to- it was as if everyone had been locked into a fenced compound and told to neck as many pills etc as possible before the party ended. With free parties and free festivals there was a more relaxed atmosphere i.e. ‘Let’s go and chill in the car/van/tent for a while, then we can come back and fucking have it 🙂 ‘

Another downer was the fact that there were clearly gangs out hassling and hustling and generally being rude boys which contributed to the feeling of being a bit on edge.

The way the party ended was pretty top though. I can’t remember the details but it went something like this: in the main tent, maybe half an hour before the party was due to end, the music suddenly stopped, and the stage, which I was right in front of, suddenly swarmed with policemen. One of them grabbed a mic and started explaining (to a loud chorus of ‘booooo’) that the party was going to finish early. The crowd’s mood became even more menacing but suddenly the cop with the microphone turned round and told us that actually the party could go on for an extra half hour. The music started up again and the cops tore their hats off and started going for it like the rest of us. They’d been actors all along. Everyone went mental (in a good way this time).

Universe had a good reputation as organisers back then, and a lot of the things I’m complaining about weren’t really their fault. Fair play to Universe for booking DiY to play at this, I had a wonderful time for some of the time at this party, and also at some of the Tribal Gatherings and Big Love, but for me personally nothing was ever going to top a really wicked free party 🙂

13th July 1991: DiY Free Party at Morton Lighthouse, Birkenhead, Merseyside

April 4, 2010

Here’s a flyer:

And a video-

Haven’t seen many videos of this era of free parties, which is sad, but the ones I have seen, like this one, are great! Credit for this one goes to youtube user robberbyker (who I suspect is one of the original Gaye Bykers On Acid, whose music soundtracks the video).

There are some mixes doing the rounds too, or at least there were, but I haven’t managed to locate them. Can anyone help???

Apparently this was the second party at this venue, the first one was some time in 1990, anyone know when/how many/which sound systems in attendance? Photos from the first do here: and here:

Here’s a quote from Jane Bussmann’s wonderful book ‘Once in a lifetime’- I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s about ‘The Crazy Days of Acid House and Afterwards’ as it says on the cover, and is full of stuff to make you reminisce, chuckle, and occasionally think “what the fuck!”….

And here’s what the book looks like, if you see it, buy it!

So, who was there? Got any memories? Doesn’t matter how hazy, just post a comment….

10th April 1993 (Easter): Spiral Tribe free party in Uxbridge, London

March 8, 2008

freepartypeople says:

Flyer from my collection above. Here’s yet another report from Amino Clang, who’s now overtaken yours truly in terms of the amount of memories he’s contributed to the site 🙂 Thanks again old friend. And for anyone else who’s got anything to contribute, please feel free, I’ll publish pretty much everything you write (as long as it’s about free parties from 91-94 in the UK)…

Not long after the New Year’s party in Uxbridge, there was another party in the same area billed as “Spiral Tribe’s last party in the UK”. It was to happen on Easter weekend and it was going to be a killer party.It was – this party had a profound effect on my being, my psyche, my understanding of raves and of Spiral Tribe. Allow me to elaborate…

When we found this party it was fuckin’ massive (I think there were three big rooms with three big sound systems, lots of freaky projections, lights, backdrops etc and shit-loads of ravers. The main room had two HUGE pyramids of speakers covered up with camo netting and banging it out at full tilt from the minute we got there until the minute we left (and then some).

This party was particularly interesting for me because I had two groups of raver mates – one group from Dorset (where my Dad lives) and another group from Wales (where I grew up and lived with my Mum) – but there were members of both groups of friends at this party. One of my mates from Wales gave me some free acid (always the best kind!) and as I was starting to come up a group of my mates from Dorset bumped into me (quite literally because of the “Super-K” they had all just done). One of them was lying on the floor in a bit of a pickle and because I was the only one who was not Ketamized, he was left with me. I got him to lie down a bit more comfortably and put his head on my lap and in an attempt to keep him calm I gave him a gentle head massage.

After a while I started to get a bit worried, but I was happy that he was still breathing so I asked somebody if they knew how long Ketamine lasts. They didn’t, so I went back to my mate lying on the floor. After another minute or so he woke up and asked where he was and what was going on so I tried to explain but by now I was starting trip a bit harder so I think I just said something really useful like “Spirals innit! You’re in a warehouse, a party, just look – it’s wicked innit!”.

Luckily I saw one of my friends from Wales who knew a little bit about K and he just got my spannered mate to stand up and walk out of the warehouse. After a few more minutes he properly came round and said that he had a full-on re-birth experience, took some more drugs and bounced off back into the party with a big fat smile on his face.

That’s when things start to get a bit hazy so let me bullet point some key points from the morning…

1. I remember doing some juggling, but becoming totally distracted by another guy who was doing some amazing juggling (I was also a pretty good juggler and I was well impressed by his mad skills).

2. I remember walking into the main room and feeling something tugging at my trousers – it was a stranger who recognised me from the NYE Party in Uxbridge only a few months earlier. I sat with him for a minute as we exchanged disjointed bullshit about “Spirals in Uxbridge again eh! Two great parties in a row, still fuckin’ avinnit” etc.

3. I remember sitting at the back of the main room quite late in the morning watching the basslines wash over the room and crash up against me as Spiral Tribe Sound System started a live set. At least I think this is what was happening – I remember seeing them set up loads of keyboards and drum machines and asking another mate (the one who gave me the acid, who later went off around Europe with the Spirals and took his brother with him) what they were up to but he was no wiser than me. It all looked very serious though.

freepartypeople says:

Another flyer from my collection. The one below (front and back) is a postcard, rather sturdier than the floppy photocopies I’d picked up for Spiral raves before. That’s because they now had a record deal with Big Life and were  due to launch the Sirius 23 EP three days after this party. Apparently the money from the deal was invested wisely (for at least one event it was spent on renting a ‘sacrificial’ soundsystem).

4. I remember sitting at the back of the room watching the party go on, watching the people fall over, feeling the bass and I got to thinking (just like most Spiral Tribers have at some point I’m sure) that there must be more to these events. It could be political, it could be religious. They could be some sort of cult or some sort of terrorists. It was a bit worrying really but I will come back to this a little later (at the first party in Nantyr Picnic Area), but for now I think it is enough to say that I became convinced that there was something significant happening here and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

5. I remember sitting in a car later again in the morning and watching a group of coppers turn up (I decided to sit a bit further down in the car). I saw the gates to the warehouse being closed and I saw a crusty hippy type with more dreds than brain cells left (not meant to be an insult, just an observation) being dragged off by the coppers and I remember feeling so sorry for that poor bloke. He looked like he was having a lovely time until those fucks dragged him off to (no doubt) take a beating and spend his comedown in a cell in police custody.

Eventually the friends who I came with (the K-hole surfer from Dorset) said they were ready to leave and the driver was straight enough to drive. I was not convinced (I certainly wasn’t straight enough!), but he seemed quite determined and so off we went.

This was the first time I realised that my friends from Wales actually already knew some of my friends from Dorset and that they had met up totally independently of me, but totally dependent on Spiral Tribe (the network grows stronger). In fact the links run much deeper, but I won’t get into that here.

Epilogue: Nantyr Picnic area spring ‘93

I have put this party alongside the Spiral parties in Uxbridge because they really blend into each other in my mind.

Nantyr Picnic Area is a beautiful spot where we used to put on parties up in the hills of North Wales and it will always have a special place in my heart because of this party (and lots of others). This was the first party that I went to that had been organised by my friends and I probably knew everybody there. In fact, it was the first party that I took my Mum to, there were lots of the same people who were at the last Spiral party in Uxbridge and although I’m not going to go into all the details of this party here believe me when I say that it was a significant turning point for me.

During the proceedings I had an epiphany moment. While at the last Spiral Party in Uxbridge I was starting to become convinced that there was something more to these parties, at this party I came to the firm conclusion that actually, people just love to meet up with their friends, get fucked and have a dance. People have done it for thousands of years and they will always have a need to do it. It doesn’t need to be a political statement (but it has been), it doesn’t need to be a religious experience (but it has been), it doesn’t even need to be anything else or anything more special than just a party with people getting wasted and dancing with their friends under the stars. What could be more natural than that?

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