Archive for the ‘Photos’ 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:

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.


16th May 1992: Bedlam and Spiral Tribe in Rhayader, Black Mountains

May 16, 2011

This pic of DJ Ed Case, which appeared in Select magazine, was taken at Rhayader:

Here’s an extract from Atomic Robot Man rave diaries:

And here’s a party report from an anonymous contributor. Thanks, whoever you are!

It was a beautiful location, but there was 12 hours of driving and loads of calls to the hotline before we even had proper directions, let alone arrived! We were listening to Levitation, The Cardiacs and Butthole Surfers to keep us awake. Out of the darkness on a Welsh mountain road in the arse end of the arse end of nowhere a shape loomed towards us, and the driver braked sharply. It was just a paralytic local on his way back from a pub spilling off his antiquated bicycle and headfirst onto the tarmac. We were worried, and asked if he was OK. He clambered back on, grunted, and cycled off into the gloom.

Eventually we had to give up, and had a couple of hours of very uncomfortable sleep in a layby in the car (3 of us in a mini metro, a gearstick poking me in the ribs).

In the morning we were aching, but the weather was beautiful and we’d already decided that if we couldn’t find the party we’d take our pills and go for a walk. We finally got proper directions at 7 am or thereabouts. After driving through some deep valleys carpeted with thick forests, we stopped the car for my friend to get out for a pee. Two minutes later she came rushing back -‘I can hear it! I can hear it!’, after hours of uncertainty and confusion we arrived at the party at 8 or 9 am. A seemingly purpose-built dancefloor (actually a ruined building- part of a disused leadmine) on the side of a slate mountain with a waterfall over to the right (just out of the picture). There was a river running past to the left of the picture.

When we arrived we realised we needed something for ‘breakfast’. We started with Love Hearts and followed these up with some Special K.

Tired after the journey we spent a stupid amount of time in the car. This often happened back then, you’d travelled MILES with your friends to be in this special place and then, fuck it, let’s just stay in our mobile chill out room.

We were listening to Special K (an old house tape) in the car, and I remember attracting one or two curious stares because of this. Even then, things were quite polarised- you liked house OR techno. We liked both, which confused people.

A pair of beautiful girls knocked on the car window. They were tripping enormously and pointing to a piece of sheet music and gibbering at us through the window.

Sometimes, in certain states of mind, time seems to fuck up and start looping. At one stage there were about 5 of us sat in this tiny mini metro, so fucked that all we could do was sigh. This was all that could be heard for a while: ‘Ffffffffffff. Pshhhhhhhh. Phoooooooo! Ffffffffffff. Pshhhhhhhh. Phoooooooo!’
This was what passed for conversation in the old days. Then there was a new sound ‘Ffffffffffff. Pshhhhhhhh. Phoooooooo! Fwap. OW! Ffffffffffff. Pshhhhhhhh. Phoooooooo! Fwap. OW!’ The girl sat in the middle of the back seat was brushing her hair. Every time she brushed it, the brush twatted her neighbour in the head. It was a while before she realised and stopped.

We spent some time chilling out in/by the river.While we were sitting relaxing by the river, my mate, our driver for the weekend, heard the start of Aphex Twin’s ‘Didgeridoo’ and, without warning,sprinted back to the sound system.

Then, and this was something to do with the K, I had a very strong urge to climb the mountain (or at least get to the waterfall). I could feel, and this sounds weird, I’m sure, an invisible thread pulling me upwards. The mountainside was covered in loose slate and so it would have been a bit hairy even if you were straight. God knows how I managed it, but I reached the height of the waterfall. However, I’d gone slightly off course and the waterfall was now too far away for me to reach. I looked down. Mistake. I realised that if I wanted to get through this in one piece I would have to continue going upwards. I reached the top and noticed a gentler slope (you can see this to the right of the first picture) to take me back to where the party was. On my way down I walked into a field full of sheep. I could see a farmer in a Range Rover in a field below me, and I didn’t want him to see me so I sat on the ground and kept still for a couple of minutes. That was when I realised that the field I was sitting on was covered in clover and there seemed to be millions of bees everywhere. I carried on staying very still for quite some time. The farmer had left and the bees weren’t attacking me so I carried on down the slope. I reached the main road and had to walk a little way back to the party. I passed a lone Welsh country copper and gave him a cheery ‘hello’. Arriving back at the party I saw my friends, who had last seen me disappear up a mountain a couple of hours previously. They’d been worried, and I was oblivious to this.

On the way home one of the fluffed up casualties co-piloting the car insisted the vehicle be stopped and they be let out immediately so they could leap into a field and hug a lamb. I think the lamb ran away.

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 🙂

7th–9th August 1991– Spiral Tribe and Sweat soundsystems at Torpedo Town Festival at Bramshot Common, Hampshire

October 25, 2009

Updated- some of the Youtube links were broken.

We try and keep an eye out for broken links/deleted video/mixes etc but please let us know if anything seems wonky or missing 🙂

Please note: this covers the 1991 festival, here are links to the 1990 and 1992 festivals of the same name.

Here are (possibly different versions of) the tunes Tim Acid and Dunk mentioned hearing at this party (see comments):

And here’s something one commenter just mentioned:

Here’s a picture and some quotes from Andy Brown’s wonderful but hard to find book ‘Rave: The Spiritual Dimension’. If anyone else has anything to add about this, please send it in 🙂

In 1991, the festival was 5 miles further north along the A3 and the turnout was even higher at a cool 12,000… Torpedo Town 1991 mushroomed into existence on a Friday night, grew at a phenomenal rate for all of Saturday, sustained itself through Sunday and then, on account of an M.O.D. injunction, had completely disappeared by Tuesday, except of course for the burned out wreck of a coach which looked like a crashed spaceship. The land itself was I think a M.O.D. common, mainly scrub trees and grass with broken, disused tarmac roads. When we first arrived on the Friday night things were a bit quiet so we took it easy. We parked up in a lane thing and pitched our tents right near. To start off with there were hardly any tents but things didn’t stay that way for long. As more people arrived, a right of way formed through our piece or real estate. What had been a hardly used path through the ferns when we arrived, was now one of the main routes for ravers collecting firewood from the forest. What had happened was that the quiet suburbs which were quite near to the dancefloors had turned into prime sites. Anyway, we had a good spot so we weren’t bothered. At its peak, the city had streets, all heaving with bright eyed happy people, so many that sometimes the paths were so completely rammed with bodies that you couldn’t move at all. This festival really was a city and it even had its own booming economy. I don’t think I need to say what were the main commodities but just as in any established city, you could buy anything you wanted from food to clothes- even a haircut. I was so happy, I cannot stress that too much, really, really, really good times. The totally awesome atmosphere generated at these festivals can be overwhelming… It no exaggeration that once experienced, these festivals can change your life.

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