What Was It Like To DJ A British Rave In 1989?

We love watching old videos of early dance music technology in action – so this video from 1989’s Dance Energy in Ipswitch is an incredible time machine of wonders. The DJ has moved from the man-behind-the-scenes to the front-and-center party conductor in the last 30 years – watch and enjoy:

Raving in the 1980s

Based on a comment left by legendary techno/house DJ Frankie Bones, this was a rave called Dance Energy 89:

This was Dance Energy 89 on September 23, 1989. I believe I played straight after Paul followed by Evil Eddie Richards & Fabio. But here is the words from Tin Tin who organized it:

“It’s from Dance 89 back, 26 years ago and probably the most mental party I ever tried to organise (and I put on a few). We were supposed to do it in Southark Park in London as a fund raiser for the Marchioness boat disaster where friends were lost. The mayor took on police pressure and cancelled permission that week. We hunted for a venue and on the night were moved on by police twice before finally getting into this aircraft hanger early Sunday. Around 15,000 people still following instructions at 5am causing road chaos. Who knows how many would have come if it started on time, or in London.. I didn’t even make it to my own party as in the London office directing operations, manning phones etc. Meant I didn’t get charged with ‘Conspiracy to Cause a Public Nuisance’ like my panther Jeremy Taylor did though! Crazy days and good to see so many enjoying being taken back…”

It’s interesting to see how much DJing has absolutely absorbed a completely different role in modern clubs and festivals – no longer just an automated jukebox in the corner, hiding in the back – but now a spotlit focus of attention for everyone to stare at. It does seem like being out-of-the way might be nice and easier to concentrate, but it seems a lot more difficult to read a crowd if you’re only able to see a little bit of it.

Video via our friends at PulseRadio

Anyone out there experience acid house raves or the DJ world in the 80s? Share your stories in the comments!

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