We Call It Acid – The Best 90s Rave Footage

I said it before and I’ll say it again, dance while the record spins.

In an era where the uncertainty of clubs nights and venues hangs in the balance, it might be worth taking a look back at a simpler time. A time when the venue of an event was given out 2 hours before it began, a time when a sound system was made up from every amp, subwoofer and speaker available and a time when mobile phones were just an inconceivable concept that didn’t plague every individual on the dance floor.

(It may have been because the dance floor was actually in a farmers warehouse in an isolated part of Thetford forest and the location of the venue had to be kept secret because the whole event could be jeopardised by the presence of police. But still…)

…we’re talking about acid house raves.

Ravers on the dance floor at The Trip @ Astoria, London 1988

The very concept of an acid house rave unified a love for music, a love for dancing and a collective of people that came to one location for a sole purpose, to party.

The movement was spurred on by what was known in the media as ‘The Second Summer of Love‘ and saw people from all over the UK meet at secret locations to celebrate music and party on into the early, early hours.

Acts such as D Mob, Altern 8, SL2, LFO and 2 Bad Mice championed a sound that united people up and down the country and thankfully, there’s proof.

Across the internet, there are videos detailing events in Essex, Sussex, Suffolk and London. It’s certainly an eye opener into what directed modern music culture.

We’re kicking off with an event in Suffolk, 1989. The rave was Dance 89 and was based at Raydon Airfield. It featured Fabio, Little Louis Vega, Judge Jules, Bomb The Bass and Inner City on the line up. Easily over 2000 people in attendance.

Some more footage from the event.  Track: Frankie Knuckles – Your Love


With multiple lorry’s inside the warehouse holding speakers, amps and booze, it created the perfect platform to get above the crowd and dance. Check out these guys and girls in their shell suits. I don’t think we’ll see many of them on ASOS marketplace anytime soon.

Oh yes, oh yes, here we can see the legend that is Carl Cox. Performing at Amnesia in 1991, a very young looking Mr Cox moves effortlessly through 90s rave anthems.

Now home to the likes of SW4 and Calling Festival, Clapham Common was previously the stomping ground to multiple outdoor acid house events. Featuring the likes of D Mob and Grooverider, Biology was a standout event from the era.

A collection of footage from various different raves between 1989 – 92.

A New Years Eve party in Wembley featuring interviews with DJ Slipmatt and DJ Vibes, courtesy of Strictly Underground.

The media also had some interesting perspectives on acid house rave’s at the time…


But although it might be great to fantasise the fact that every party finishes on a high, you sometimes have to be brought back down to earth with the crushing realisation that the morning after can be an absolute nightmare…(some say that they’re still dancing to this day)


With parties like Elrow and Abode taking place on a regular basis throughout the year, it’s practically mythical to hear about illegal acid house parties occurring on a regular basis in 2016. Companies can now fund parties that host thousands of people, legally, in venues that are fitted with dedicated sound systems, toilets and bars. However, it may not be in the too distant future that we see another phase of underground warehouse parties cultivating across every abandoned field up and down the country.

The acid house smiley may soon be the face of dance music once again. 

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