Britain’s Channel 4 is broadcasting a rave TV special commemorating the 20th anniversary of legendary free festival Castlemorton. Unlikely candidates Grandmaster Flash and Annie Mac will be performing DJ sets on the six hour show, which press reports said will be broadcast without commercial breaks on August 24.
“2012 is the perfect summer for this television event. Not only does it mark 20 years since the ultimate free rave at Castlemorton, the weather has been rubbish and money is tight,” commissioning editor Tabitha Jackson pointed out.
“All you have to worry about is making sure you have enough friends and big speakers,” she suggested. (Clash magazine: http://bit.ly/LRByHq )
The original unlicensed rave took place in May 1992, attracting up to 40,000 free party fans drawn by sound systems including Spiral Tribe, Bedlam and DIY as well as the perfect spring weather which lasted throughout the entire week long party.
Writing about the rave as it began, EDM journalist Simon Reynolds predicted ‘during the next five days of its existence, Castlemorton will inspire questions in Parliament, make the front page of every newspaper in England and incite nationwide panic about the whereabouts of the next destination on the crusty itinerary’, a prophecy that came exactly to pass.
Soon afterwards police charged 13 members of Spiral Tribe with serious conspiracy offences and though they were subsequently acquitted, the government subsequently introduced the Criminal Justice Act in 1994 which outlawed repetitive beats and allowed police to impose 5 mile exclusion zones wherever they liked.
Speaking about Castlemorton to the Daily Express, free party reveller ‘Richard’ summed up the reasons why raves were so demonized succinctly.
"There is nothing wrong with what we are doing. We are here to have fun in the sun. We chose to live this way and reject the hassles associated with a conventional way of life,” he pointed out.
“People generally have it in for us because of our lifestyle. I think many envy us because of our freedom,” he suggested.
Henry Cullen, who two years later reinvented himself to become acid techno’s greatest producer D.A.V.E the Drummer, performed there with Back To the Planet, and chatting to Skrufff two years ago, said he regarded the rave as seminal.
“Castlemorton paved the way for the entire rave scene, it proved that people loved the music and that we could all work together,” said Henry.
“It also made it obvious that raving was a political force as proven by how the authorities reacted so violently in later years the laws they introduced to control social gatherings.”
Jonty Skrufff : http://listn.to/JontySkrufff
Jonty Skrufff and Fidelity Kastrow present Germany Calling
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