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HarderFaster DJs >> Jason Kinetic >> Column

Column by Jason Kinetic
Submitted 13-Aug-06 (5736 views)
 
The resurgence of the free party?
by jkh - former vice editor of the clubbing section for the london student magazine...

Freak Freak Freak Freak Freak Freak Freak Freak

saturday night:
A- £15 entry, drinks@£3:50 a pop, whatever floats your boat at whatever you're paying for it, and a taxi ride home after that nasty kebab and avoiding that messy pool of drunkards spilling out from the dive next door thrashing out the rnb to the elizabeth duke masses...

OR

B- Free entry, as much booze as you can carry, whatever floats your boat at whatever you're paying for it, a free ride home from a fellow happy raver and some scenic country views to match...and definitely no bling bling attitude...

is it any wonder that the free party of days of old appears to be re-emerging???

a fair degree of media attention (most notably from the guardian newspaper - as in this article : [url]http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1827406,00.html[url] ) has been focused on the resurrection of the free party over the course of the last year, with reports of regular, small, free parties taking place, undetected by the authorities.
Earlier this year one party in north Cornwall was attended by more than 5,000 revellers - not exactly small even by godskitchen global gathering standards.

So is the rave scene going back to its roots or is this simply nostalgic reminiscence of days gone by?
To those who attend these surprisingly regular events nostalgia may account for a minor proportion of their enthusiasm. But the most significant appeal seems to come from the fact that these 'revellers', as the authorities would no doubt brand them, wish to escape from the confinements of prescribed club-culture.

Whilst the 'legal' uk rave scene has sufficed for the past few years, it would appear that the willowing flame of the free party is being re-ignited by people of all ages, across the UK.

Whether or not one approves of such illegal gatherings, the fact is they are taking place on what is effectively a weekly basis.
There are even rumours spreading at present of a grand-scale rave taking place around the august bank holiday of this year, comparable in size and nature to the infamous Castlemorton rave of 1992, when between 20,000 and 30,000 people converged between the malvern hills for over a week of hedonistic havin-it large happiness.

It was Castlemorton which led to John Major's government introducing 'The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994', which empowered police to call a halt to any "gathering on land in the open air ... at which amplified music is played during the night".

The Criminal Justice Bill, as it is commonly referred to, effectively put a stop to the care-free, hazey days of the rave. Inevitably the bill gave seed to a simmering discontent, amplified by acts such as 'the streets' in their lyrics "and to the government i stick my middle finger up with regards to the criminal justice bill".

So why after all these years should a scene which, as far as most people are aware, has long been dead and buried seem to be making a resurgence?
Arguably an increasing distrust of government policy and politicians' conduct (iraq, afghanistan, id cards, the prescott affair, the scandal surrounding tessa jowel and her husband's 'relationship' with silvio berlusconi to name but a few examples) may have given seed to an increasing disregard for the law.

Closer to home, the government's new and unprovoked attack upon our very own legal club scene was exemplified by the police raid on 'the fridge' in brixton on april 15th 2006. This effectively put an end to the planned 'polysexual' event there almost before it had even begun, leaving hundreds of clubbers not only downhearted and shortchanged but also subject to the harrowing ordeal of police interrogation and searches. The indefinite closure of the 'Dance Academy' in Plymouth ruled by court order acts as another example, and an online petition ([url]http://www.savedanceacademy.com[url] to save the club from permanent closure serves to underline the dismay of the clubbing community at this attack upon our culture.

By alienating those who have been content to frequent legal venues
the government has inadvertantly heightened the appeal of the free party. The raver must surely ask if they are paying to be made to feel like a criminal in a supposedly legal venue, why not just feel like one at a free party?

In the early days of rave culture it was the music that mattered, and the people you met - preferably uncompromised by police intervention. Nowadays the same ethics are relevant for going raving at a legal venue - so is there really a great difference now?
Comments:

From: dj_kinetic on 13th Aug 2006 06:05.31
enjoy!this took a fair old while when my head probably wasnt suited to the task!

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