The Return of the local Rave

Remember, Remember the fifth of November; or do you, I mean really? Or do you just watch the pretty colours of fireworks in the air? Throw away bygone connotations of restoring a Catholic monarch to the throne, I always consider the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 principally as a plan to blow up the House of Parliament, that’s enough for me to ponder if its failure is something, I should celebrate at all.


So, The Gazette reports “an illegal rave which saw hundreds of people descend on a village near Devizes caused traffic chaos and left a huge clean up job of debris including needles, cannisters and balloons used for taking nitrous oxide,” on Thursday, when it estimated 500 revellers turned up at Pear Tree Hill, near Great Cheverell, Saturday night.

I always read such news articles with one eye squinting, knowing full well my youth, filled with personal involvement in such matters, recognised similar bulletins as complete hearsay and gossip-spreading scare stories, far beyond the realities of the actual events. The early nineties, the era of countless raves and mass illegal gatherings in the UK came to its apex when 40,000 ravers descended on Castlemorton Common near Malvern, in the May of 1992. So, let’s get the scale of Saturday night in perspective shall we, with its estimated 500 bods? That would’ve been deemed a “garden party” to ravers in the nineties.


“Two men were arrested on drug and theft charge,” the Gazette continues, failing to compare this with an evening in a city, where I’d wager police would consider it a quiet night.

On with the next line, “A farmer who rents the land from the MOD said: There were cars all over the place blocking the lane. At one point an ambulance tried to go up but couldn’t get through. The mess that has been left is dreadful. There are needles and cannisters obviously used for taking drugs.” Let me just read a smidgen between these lines, it’s a farmer, the poor bloke has just had 500 kids arrive in his field to party, and you expect him to report an unbiased opinion, you expect him not to embroider to get his point across and release his frustration?

I fully sympathise with this farmer, and anyone this gathering may have affected, as I would’ve done back in the days when I was a teenage dirtbag on the hunt for escapism and adventure. I’d also like to state that a massive quantity of respect was then given, back in days of yore, for the land we partied on, and the even the neighbours. Contrary to popular belief, we would tidy up party sites, we would take care not to offend residents, and we would least attempt to communicate with police and allow access to emergency services. We were not savage; just bored kids celebrating our youth.


We weren’t even politically motivated, until the government endeavoured to stamp it out. But what they tried to stop only spread the fashion further afield, across Europe. Now, though, has it returned to bite them in the arse; very few in the age group defined in the Gazette’s report would’ve been raving in 1991?

I quiver pondering how true this report is, but if it is and if a mess is being left, abandoned rubbish and general acts of social vandalism are being carried out under this banner of “rave”, I ask the hedonists in attendance, if we are to see a return to the nineties rave scene, please read up on it, see how it was done back then; yeah, it was anarchistic but we respected the land and others, our only mission was to party, not wreak havoc.

Organisers, take bin bags, encourage people to be considerate, don’t play the disorder card as it’ll only enrage them and they’ll try halting the party, then it turns nasty, which I know is far from your original intention, and a horrifying situation for partygoers to be in.

Sgt Pete Foster said: “We were initially alerted to this incident by officers patrolling the area, as opposed to a call from members of the public. By this time, in excess of 100 vehicles and 400 people were at the scene for what was clearly a pre-planned event, therefore it would have required significant police resources to disperse the crowd, diverting those officers away from a number of serious incidents across the county.”

“A risk assessment was carried out which determined there was a low immediate impact on the local community and a decision was therefore taken not to move the crowd on and instead, monitor the situation throughout the night. Two people were subsequently arrested.”

“We understand the inconvenience and negative impact this incident has had on those living nearby and we would encourage landowners to ensure their land is secure to help prevent incidents of this nature taking place in future.” This was precisely the attitude of police prior to the Criminal Justice Act, which allowed us a chance to go raving. For some I understand it may not be the correct approach, that acts such as these should be curbed, and if it grows then I’m certain it will, just as before. I’d like to congratulate the police for the right attitude. For if you resist, the matter will blossom out of control.

Yet, who is to be surprised when, just as before, the government are financially crippling young people, tyrannising the poorest and slashing resources with economic depression, like cuts to services, raising stealth taxes and budgets targeting the underprivileged? Is it any wonder popular revolt and acts of anarchy will rise under times of such pressures? Find me a historical example when rebellion didn’t occur under similar circumstances, I dare you.

If the Government wants to control this before it gets out of hand, I’d suggest it ceases its oppressive insolence, reasons we rejected society was because we felt we were ignored, this should be measured. Build a positive reputation, a bond between officials and the youth, and for crying out loud, listen to them, it is their future. Remember, Remember the fifth of November.


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One thought on “The Return of the local Rave”

  1. As a Devizes resident, ex-raver and political philosopher, I like this measured and well reasoned take on the subject. Not sure the cops were tolerant before the CJA (I saw indiscriminate baton waggling and numerous decks ‘fall over’) but agree, calm, level headed assessment of harm over totalitarian responses win the day for everyone.


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