Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

24th-26th August 1991: Street Level Free Party in Cassington, Oxfordshire

May 25, 2017

Update: Darren sent us his account of the night, thanks Darren! 🙂

Freepartypeople: Heard about this a looong time ago but didn’t attend it myself. Allegedly went on for 3 days and was still running on the Monday, hence the dates at the top of this post (Saturday 24th to Monday 26th).

Were you there? What was it like? Please leave a message in the comments.

Found some great photos on this page: Thanks to the original uploader, they’re great shots.

We also found a drawing of the party, which is a first for this site 🙂
The same Flickr user also uploaded a newspaper cutting about the party:
Thanks whoever you are! I thought I’d link to your page rather than just nicking the image, ‘cos that’s not nice, I like what you’re written as well.

And here’s an Easygroove and DiY tape from the event. I listened to it a while back and I remember there’s a funny bit where he gets on the mic and starts complaining about a lack of Special Brew ;P It was a bit tricky to find, but we finally tracked it down on a Polish website!

Also available on Youtube, but I don’t know whether this is the complete set or not:


23rd November 1991: Free Party at Staravia factory, Ascot, Berkshire

June 22, 2011

NB This post refers to the first party at this site. For the second party, the week after, please read this post:

We’d heard about this before, but thanks again to Snufkin for filling us in on some of the details:

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.

We held a party the previous week, had no tent, but the factory site was a big concrete pad with rows of pine trees down both sides, so we borrowed (?) some scaffolding and tarps and strung up a makeshift marquee. We had no rig either, the one we usually used wasn’t available, but we phoned a number from the classified adds in Sounds and managed to book 6k of brand new Peavey Turbosound. The owners were bikers who had never seen anything like us, but fair play, they were up for it. The party rocked, for a few days and Easygroove played. In  the morning he asked if we would host his birthday bash. Sure we said, if we ain’t evicted. We had been partying and being moved on for a few months by then. We were all quite surprised to still be there on Friday.

Here’s a map:

Any memories from this one, anyone?

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?

31st December 1991-2nd January 1992 New Year’s Eve: Spiral Tribe and Circus Normal at The Roundhouse, Camden, London

June 22, 2011

Here’s a quote from Steve Spiral:

The round house we never had a generator… Had to hotwire, FACT, I was there when it was done… not saying I did It.

Thanks to Snufkin for this comment:

I was at the Roundhouse gig on New Years Eve too. At the time it was derelict and owned by the Metropolitan police. the entrance was blocked with several hundred tonnes of rubble, totally filling the access road. Didn’t stop the Normals drving the rig and genny in on a six six-wheel-drive Militant that used to belong to Moscow State Circus, strainght over the top. Another crazy night. Next night wasn’t so great, after the security had done too much coke and gone to sleep and every mugger in London moved in.

From the Spiral Tribe Wikipedia page ( ):

The power was stolen from a light socket owned by British Rail at the back of the building and the system went off at 6:30 in the morning when they turned the lights off. Someone then found an alternative power source.

There are also some lovely pics and a flyer from this party over at:

Again, we heard about it at the time but didn’t attend. Remember hearing rumours about muggers, but also about what an amazing venue it was. Were you there? What was it like? Got any photos or flyers? Also, there seems to have been a Christmas Eve party (also Spiral). Anyone know about this? We’ll create another post for it.

24th-27th May 1991: Sweat and DiY at Avon Free Festival, Sodbury Common, Chipping Sodbury, Avon

December 23, 2009

UPDATE: Steve just sent us this clipping:


There are some black and white pics on this excellent site:

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: (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:

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.

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