10 Oct 90s Rave Scene
90s Rave Scene
The late 80s and early 90s were the peak of the rave scene movement. With independent bands adopting a more dance sound and ethos, the baseline was funky and electronic dance beat which transcended to the popular music scene which was received by a wider audience. Such bands were The Stereo MC’s, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays to name just a few.
The weekends were spent finding the rave that all your mates were talking about whether it a field, house or locally in Jersey, “bunker parties”.
People would hire a sound system or use the DJ’s and advertise by word of mouth only, there were no mobile phones or social media, events were created by buzz alone.
Organisers would put on rave nights at local nightclubs. Most famously was a night put on in Camden town called “Clockwork Orange” which was since had a comeback of the back of 90s revival which is strong in today’s youth culture.
Locally in Jersey C.I. a popular rave scene event was Inn on the Park, it was so significant in our Islands rave movement people gather for reunions 25 years on.
Jacqui tells me this event was significant in the youth culture of the 90s and bringing the rave scene more mainstream with an underground element.
“It was a really exciting time to be in. Even in todays dance music it is rejuvenated from what was about then, acid house and the late 80s hip hop.”
Some of the House DJ pioneers of this time were Todd Terry, John Digweed, Underworld, Pete Heller, Frankie Knuckes, Sasha plus many more.
History of Rave Culture
In the late 1950s in London the term “Rave” was used to describe the “wild bohemian parties” of the Soho beatnik set. In 1958 Buddy Holly recorded the hit “Rave On,” citing the madness and frenzy of a feeling and the desire for it to never end.
The word “rave” was later used in the burgeoning mod youth culture of the early 1960s as the way to describe any wild party in general. People who were gregarious party animals were described as “ravers”. Pop musicians such as Steve Marriott of The Small Faces and Keith Moon of The Who were self-described “ravers”.
In the mid to late 1980s a wave of psychedelic and other electronic dance music, most notably acid house music, emerged from acid house parties in the mid-to-late 1980s in the Chicago area in the United States.
After Chicago acid house artists began experiencing overseas success, it quickly spread and caught on in the United Kingdom within the clubs, warehouses, and free-parties first in Manchester in the mid 1980s and then later London.
By the 1990s, genres such as acid house, house music, old school jungle, techno, and electronica were all being featured at raves, both large and small. There were mainstream events that attracted thousands of people (up to 25,000) instead of the 4,000 that came to earlier warehouse parties).
Acid House Music parties were first re-branded “rave parties” in the media, during the summer of 1989 by Neil Megson during a television interview, however, the ambience of the rave was not fully formed until 28 May 1991.
In the UK, in 1988–89, raves were similar to football matches in that they provided a setting for working-class unification, in a time with a union movement in decline and few jobs, and many of the attendees of raves were die-hard football fans.
In 1990 Rave came also underground in several cities as Berlin, Milan, Patras in basements, warehouses and forests.
British politicians responded with hostility to the emerging rave party trend. Politicians spoke out against raves and began to fine anyone who held unauthorised parties.
Police crackdowns on these often unauthorised parties drove the scene into the countryside. The word “rave” somehow caught on in the UK to describe common semi-spontaneous weekend parties occurring at various locations linked by the brand new M25 London Orbital motorway that ringed London and the Home Counties.
(It was this that gave the band Orbital their name.) These ranged from former warehouses and industrial sites, in London, to fields and country clubs in the countryside.