22nd-29th May 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Warp, Circus Normal, Adrenalin and DiY at Castlemorton Common Free Festival, Worcestershire

October 5, 2012

I missed Castlemorton pbut 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 http://www.peterdibdin.com/ :

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:

http://www.webm8.co.uk/riddler/castlemorton.htm

A Flickr pool with some pics of Castlemorton:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/castlemorton/pool/

Commenter Jam Smoot told us about this mixtape:

http://ylow.blogspot.com/2009/09/sparks-martian-circus-warp-live.html

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:https://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/some-hardcore-mixes/ )

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)- http://www.loftsites.co.uk/old_school_rave/diaries/castlemorton_common.html

Here are a couple of Guardian articles about Castlemorton etc: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/jul/11/castlemorton-free-party-scene-spiral-tribe?showallcomments=true

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jul/12/90s-spiral-tribe-free-parties

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 October 1993: Bedlam and/or Advance Party at derelict hospital, Hammersmith, London

September 6, 2012

Thanks again to http://simonmathewson.blogspot.co.uk/ for the memories. Can anyone tell us which soundsystem this was for certain, and any other details about location? Thanks!

Diary entry:
Spiral Tribe – Hammersmith
and then…I don’t think so! Weird E’s that make you sick 6 hours later. Warm and tingly, empty head. Um…

The last free party I went to was in a disused (mental?) hospital in Hammersmith. The music was harder than ever; too fast to dance to and really distorted, with a barely decipherable Skallywag MCing over the top. The atmosphere was very edgy and the handful of people that were gathered round the sound system were kind of moshing. A running battle was taking place across the inside of the derelict building. Fired up on ketamine and Special Brew, the Bedlam crew were lobbing glass bottles across the room. On the opposite side some other ravers were smashing the bottles with dustbin lids held like shields, shards of glass were raining down across those that were brave enough to be on the dance floor.

7th March 1992, Bedlam Free Party in Hayes, Middlesex

September 4, 2012

UPDATE 05/09/12: More memories from the not-so dusty brain archives of http://simonmathewson.blogspot.co.uk/ Thanks!

From his diary:

So off my head rushing mulushing couldn’t stay in warehouse too much mental. People shouting at each other in time with the music – went in car – crowded to the brim – couldn’t skin up shaking so much. Back to Ben’s – watched Life on Earth DNA. Jake played music that bounced around the room.

We were parked outside the warehouse in my gold Mini Metro. There were about seven or eight people squeezed into the car in various states of drugged up-ness. A jar of mushrooms in honey was being passed around; Orbital was blasting out of the car stereo. I was in the driver’s seat desperately trying to skin up but rushing so much my eyes and mind couldn’t focus. The skins were all wrong, my hands were all wrong, and tobacco and hash were spilling everywhere. I began to feel claustrophobic and somewhat detached from the rest of the group. I stumbled out of the car and into the warehouse and I soon realised the party was really full on and I should have stayed within the relative safety of the car but by now the music from the sound system was drawing me in. I remember hearing Urban Shakedown’s “Do It Now”, and thinking that everyone in the party was shouting at each other in time with the music.

When morning came we could properly see where we were: a large warehouse surrounded by smaller derelict buildings. Cars were randomly parked everywhere. People perched precariously on top of tumble down buildings dancing to Ravesignal III’s “Horsepower”. Some ravers’ were trying to jump start a car. We should have helped them but with my acid raddled vision I believed they were all dribbling, long lines of spittle dripping off their chins. At the time Siobhan and I thought this was the funniest thing we’d ever seen.

At some point on Sunday afternoon we went back to Ben’s flat and Jake played music that bounced around the room as we watched a David Attenborough program on telly about DNA.

Anything to add? 🙂

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 http://www.peterdibdin.com/

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 http://simonmathewson.blogspot.co.uk/ 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?

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:  https://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/dj-die-circus-warp-mix-from-1992-help-us-find-it/


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