John Digweed on the politics of all-night raves... [February 1991]

Having established a name for himself with dusk till dawn parties in his home town of Hastings, up and coming DJ John Digweed penned a ‘state of the nation’ article for Jocks magazine (now known as DJ Mag) in early 1991 on how things were progressing on the all-night party front.

Lest we forget, this was one year on from the Freedom to Party protests in Trafalgar Square in early 1990, which sought to combat Graham Bright’s Increase of Penalties Bill, or Acid House Bill as it became known. The bill was introduced later that year and stipulated that anyone organising illegal dance parties could face up to six months in prison and a £20,000 fine.

As Digweed told the magazine, “You won’t find many councils or police granting extensions for late licences unless you have got a flawless track record of well organised and trouble-free events.

“The Storm! corporation [of which Digweed was a part] recently had their last all-night licence refused by the council after a resident complained. After feeling this decision was unfair, they took the council to court and won, due to the fact that the previous events had gone trouble free, with no complaints to or from the police.”

As the article reveals, Digweed is optimistic about the future of the all-night market, saying that it is “encouraging” that all-night events and venues are “setting a good example for the future, with more entertainment in one night than most clubs put on in a month. The trouble, as with any new fad, is unless the parties are kept fresh and excising the novelty will wear off.

“As for the legal parties in general, they only started last year, and haven’t reached their full potential yet, so I can’t wait to see what will happen this summer. All night is all right!”

Ah, the innocence of youth. Within a couple of years of this article, Digweed was carving out a reputation as one of the top DJs on the circuit, alongside another new face, Sasha.

For free party organisers meanwhile, they had the Criminal Justice Bill to look forward to…

This article is also worth a read for Digweed’s appraisal of the top all-night dance promoters… bonus points for any readers who were at any of these 🙂

[Article taken from Jocks magazine, February 1991. Photo of John Digweed by Peter Chapperino, Wikimedia Commons]

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