Peace, Love, Unity, Respect!
Rave origins started in the US during the 70s disco era. A DJ programed drum rhythms whilst playing disco tracks over the top, using club goers as his guinea pigs who seemed to like this new sound, he thus created house music. As with most things, the gay scene ran with it first and eventually the straight scene took notice, then it was quickly adopted by the UK. Acid House music was created by experimenting with synthesizers on house music creating a harder sound. Jungle, Drum-n-Bass, Trance, Progressive Trance, Hard Trance, Happy House, Hard House, and Happy Hardcore all sprang out of this. Early raves were called acid house parties, in which thousands of people would gather almost spontaneously to dance until dawn. The media dubbed it the ‘Second Summer of Love’ in 1988-89 as the rave ethos went hand in hand with the peaceful love and hedonism of the hippies in the 60s. It was said that crime was greatly reduced on the street as all the usual football hooligans were out raving and taking loved up party drug Ecstacy.This initial enthusiasm for the scene by the media would turn sour though.
The rave scene goes hand in hand with the police. Lots of media coverage showing thousands of young people gathered together en masse meant the police came down on them hard. The police cited the use of drugs like MDMA and Ecstasy as evidence of the collapsing moral standards. Bills were hurriedly passed through parliament to outlaw large gatherings, keeping public order and the status quo. Many radio stations wouldn’t play rave music. The high profile death of ecstasy user Leah Betts further compounded fear in the media. 8000 Ravers responded by marching for their ‘Freedom to Party’ in London.
Typically ravers in late 80s early 90s wore bright fluoro colours, baby doll dresses, cartoon characters T shirts, belly tops, glow sticks, lollipops, pigtails and dummies regaining a kind of lost innocence, having a good time, forgetting your worries and escaping reality.