Archive for the ‘Gloucestershire’ Category

9th May 1992: Spiral Tribe Free Party on Selsey Common, Stroud, Gloucestershire

March 17, 2012

UPDATE 18.3.11: Most commenters are saying this was pre-Castlemorton,and we just noticed a reference to Lechlade (misspelled as Lechale) being the previous weekend in this newspaper article, so we’ve changed the title. If anyone can confirm the date, please let us know in the comments! Thanks 🙂

Eric sent us this clipping from the paper. Nice one 🙂

A mate of ours remembers that the police turned up at some point to try and shut it down, realised it was too big to stop, and buggered off again 🙂 …

Here’s some more memories:

a guy pulled a gun on someone and spiral stopped the music and said that it wasn’t on, so get the fuck out of here.. all the ravers boo’d the gun guy until he had no choice but to leave.

music back on, party continued.

it was a pretty crazy party all told. getting there was quite a mission as well, climbing up that hill. I think the soundsystem caught fire at the beginning, or some wires did anyway. and then eventually it all kicked off. great place to see the sunrise as well.

edit: also pretty funny to see people walking their dogs in the morning. what must they have thought!

Does anyone have an exact date for this? Or any more detailed memories?

Anyone who’s looking for the 1991 event should go here:


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.

21st September 1991: Free Party at Great Mills warehouse, Pitchcombe, Stroud, Gloucestershire

March 27, 2010

A comment from Jamie pointed to the fact that there’s nothing here on the 1991 event in Stroud. This is what he said:

a truely epic warehouse free party in Stroud Sept 21st 1991 when 8000 ravers crashed into town and rocked the old Great mills

DJ Tone was there, and his comment can be seen below. He also sent us newspaper cuttings from the party, thanks Tony!

Here’s a transcript of the article:

Convoy of cars thwart police efforts to halt event at warehouse

Thousands rave it up at illegal party

Thousands of young people drove up to 300 miles in convoys to a disused South Cotswold warehouse for what was described as the last of the summer raves.

By 1am yesterday morning they had thwarted police efforts to halt an illegal pay party despite reports that one was being organised.

The sheer speed with which locations can be chosen and sound systems set up by rave organizers meant that by the time police learned of the location at the Salmon Sheds industrial estate, at Pitchcombe, the warehouse and surrounding area were crowded.

As people danced to booming noise inside the warehouse, a separate public address system kept hundreds of others dancing in the car park after the party started.


Police set up roadblocks to check all vehicles travelling towards the Stroud area and turned away hundreds of late arrivals.

Gloucestershire police superintendent Ken Mahon, based at Stroud, said “We got there quickly but by the time we arrived it was already going on. It was a question of containment.”

Hospitals, fire and ambulance crews in the county were put on stand-by for injuries.

“We had in excess of 20 complaints from the public, about noise and the large numbers of vehicles driving around the area,” said Supt. Mahon.

Sixty-six people were arrested and a number of items including drugs and a sound system were seized.

Police officers drafted in from across the county but let it continue until its close at 7pm last night.

Many of those attending defended the rave, saying they were simply enjoying themselves.

Helen Thornton, 21, travelled from Milton Keynes in a convoy of 50 cars.

“We knew there was a rave somewhere near Oxford. That was it, and everybody found their own way down here.” she said.

And 24-year-old Steve Adams, from Cheltenhman said: “The attraction is there are no rules or boundaries.”

There was a follow-up article the following spring with the following headline:


Anything to add anyone?

By the way, we’ve found two references to parties in Stroud, this one, and one in April 1992. And we’ve seen things about Selsey Common in Stroud, as well as Stroud Common, and warehouse parties too, so it’s all a bit confusing , can anyone help? We believe the party in 1992 was the Spiral Tribe where someone got on the mic to confront a mugger. The page on that event is here:

Anything in anybody’s memory banks?

%d bloggers like this: