Castlemorton: How a field in rural Worcestershire changed the free party scene forever… [May 1992]
On Friday 22 May 1992, 26 years ago today, the Castlemorton Common Festival kicked off, running pretty much non-stop for six days before eventually being shut down.
It also gave rise to this somewhat amusing interview for ITN Central News:
The gathering, the biggest the UK had seen at the time, welcomed soundsystems from crews including Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, DiY, Adrenalin and Circus Warp, for an event that arguably changed the face of the free party scene – within months, legislation prohibiting similar parties was drawn up and inserted into the Criminal Justice Bill, which was introduced in 1994.
Not that the rave scene was finished, of course. As The Face’s Sheryl Garratt put it in her 1998 book, Adventures in Wonderland, “The tabloids portrayed the Castlemorton flare-up as a problem caused by dirty, dole-scrounging travellers, rather than clubbers up for a party.
“In the summer of 1992, The Sun, in its new incarnation as the ravers’ best friend, covered a Fantazia rave for well over 25,000 people in glowingly positive terms.”
[Kudos to Spiff Monk and discodelinquent for the YouTube uploads, and also to the Free Party People blog for their excellent write up here]