Dull hipsters in broad daylight – why I’m done with today’s dance music

I dropped out of university to pursue a career as a rave promoter. Raves now aren’t worth promoting

19 March 2016

9:00 AM

19 March 2016

9:00 AM

At 19, I dropped out of university to pursue a career as a rave promoter. I went into business with a schoolfriend. We rose through the ranks of party promotion, founded a record label, and started an annual dance music festival. After more than ten years, though, we’ve regretfully decided to close down. And here’s why: young people these days just don’t know how to rave. They are too safe and boring.

Rave, like all youth movements, was meant to be about freedom, rebellion and pissing off your parents. Generations before us had alienated their elders with the help of Elvis or the Sex Pistols. Ravers aimed to start a revolution by dancing all night under the influence of their drug of choice: ecstasy.

The late 1980s and early 1990s were the heyday of commercial rave promotion. In true Thatcherite spirit, quick-witted entrepreneurs worked within and around the law to swiftly organise and publicise parties to entertain tens of thousands of people at imaginative locations. Promoters such as Paul Staines, later known as the libertarian-conservative blogger Guido Fawkes, dazzled the kids and kept most of the home counties awake with vast outdoor events.

That generation is now middle-aged. Instead we have hipsters — a subculture so spineless that it had to borrow its name from its parents. Hipsters are an uptight bunch. They like dance music, but they lack the sense of abandon that made raving so much fun.

Regulatory pressure means that most raves in this country are held in city parks in the afternoon, and wrap up around 10 p.m., which is when a proper rave should start. A grey sky and a light drizzle is considered an acceptable ambience. An agent recently told me that DJs and punters much prefer these hours because they don’t like staying up late.

Last weekend, in a last stand for youthful rebellion in this country, we put on our final event, and it went on until 10 a.m., as any good rave should. We received complaints that there was not enough activity during the daytime. The kids wanted an early night.

Another obstacle is that nightclubs and dance festivals are now ticketed through the same tiresome mechanism as trains and budget airlines. ‘Early birds’ benefit from a discount, so raving is planned months in advance. Gone is the spontaneity of shambling to the party on the spur of the moment.

Organised and particular, hipsters know to detest big business. Instead, they fetishise the authenticity of an independent operator. Yet they expect a level of service that can only be delivered by a multinational corporation. I recently had a telephone conversation with a fully grown adult who was in tears because I couldn’t guarantee that there would be an after-hours shuttle service from the local railway station to my show. ‘But how are we going to get there? It’s going to be the middle of the night and the taxi is £40?’ (You’re going to a three-day rave, darling — it’s the getting home you want to worry about.)

For a long time, we have arranged for a team of kids to help us hang drapes before the rave started. We paid them in free tickets. In previous years, the difficulty was keeping the kids sober long enough that they could still climb a stepladder. This year, I received an email from their co-ordinator asking if we could supply any vegan meals. Also, he added, ‘Any way we can get free Wi-Fi in the chalets… one of the volunteers has some coursework to send?’ Times have changed.

Hipsters drink less and look after them-selves. While I’m thankful that their puritan-ical leanings reduce what we call ‘welfare provision’, I cannot help but think they’re missing the point.

Perhaps the most depressing trend of all is the introduction of the ‘safe space’ policy. In a step borrowed from the earnest world of the university student union, the budding young promoter’s first task is to debate, draft and publish detailed rules to demonstrate that everyone at the party will be properly supported, represented and instructed. It’s the opposite of fun.

Once, the rave was supposed to feel like a distinctly unsafe space, even if the danger was illusory. There were no rules — that’s why we enjoyed it. Staying up all night in a disorienting and vaguely threatening environment, surrounded by questionable people, loud music and a battery of strobe and laser lighting. Staggering around in the dark being sick all over your new trainers. That was the point.

Under the hipsters’ watch, dance music has become tedious and diluted. A monstrous cabal of overpaid circuit DJs titillating a precious and unimaginative bunch of wimpy pseudo-hedonists at a carefully designed ‘safe space’. In broad daylight. If that’s your idea of raving, you can keep it. I’m out.

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  • Embo

    I blame the parents

    • HolgerDansk

      Unfortunately we are the parents…:-(

  • montalybert

    I stopped as soon as the 3 wheel all terrain pushchairs started arriving

  • paulthorgan

    Welcome to the ‘elf ‘n’ safety society.

    Everyone these days wants to dance in safety. Only then will they feel they can dance if they want to, even if they leave their friends behind…

  • TheJustCity

    Perhaps it’s because the hipsters aren’t all that much into you and your cyber c rap. I’ll say this for the beardies, they at least affect to value, if self-consciously, some concept of authenticity; in art as much as comestibles and tailoring. It is the rediscovery of such values that’s been key in the revival of an indie-folk and acoustic roots interest within popular culture.

    When electronic dance music ‘producers’ (prevailingly, DJs rather than musicians) began to fart into studio chairs and appropriate that sphere of activities which left actual musicians marginalised and undervalued, then we knew popular music was reaching its nadir. I think of it as the corporatisation of popular music by non-musical interests and dodgy ‘entrepreneurs’. One perspective, from that of black music’s decline, is that the 80s was the last decade before the musicians’ drug dealers were allowed into the studio and these, ennabled by new technology (samplers, drum machines, computers) and a fetishizing by studios and record companies of street-mutt gangsterism as a credible ‘urban art-form’ lead, ironically, to a degradation of genuine art and a sidelining of those with artistic talent.

    • horton

      whilst there is much interesting debate in and around this article, your “keep music live” yawnfest should inspire the most derision, especially as you also seem to be a massive racist. shut it.

    • Andrew Cole

      Agree with you so much in so many ways even though it actually was ‘bangin’ in the same way that a lot of pretentious crap from every decade since music was first recorded was memorable more for what it meant at that particular time than for the actual quality of the music itself.

      Stuff like the Stones Roses or the Beatles back when is not particularly stunning music in itself but because of what it represented when it was released.

      There was some truly ‘rubbish’ rave music. It would be laughed at now and young kids ‘don’t get it’ but that is because it was what it meant back then and in the environment you were in at that time that meant you could ‘get it’.

      The fact that you warble on about people saying it was good because they were drugged up is silly because in reality you could say that about every music from whence time began and how people who like a drink, or like something else might ‘feel the music’ more.

      A lot of the time it one of those moments where you play something to someone and explain how good it was and end up saying ‘you had to be there I guess’. Something that many parents say to their kids, that we will say to ours and what they will say to theirs.

  • the baracus

    Maybe you just grew up?

    • Father Todd Unctious

      Things move on. Almost half the Nightclubs in Britain have closed in the last decade.

      • sir_graphus

        I hope all the nightclubs I used to go to in the 80s have closed; they were awful, terrible music pumped to loud to think, expensive, tacky, unpleasant places to spend time, with doormen who liked people to grovel to be allowed entry; and every bloody university social event seemed to be held in one of them.

  • Vinnie


  • barbara thomas3

    Juliana . true that Esther `s blog is flabbergasting… last week I got themselves a Bugatti Veyron since getting a cheque for $7443 this-last/month and a little over ten k last-munth . it‘s by-far the most-comfortable work Ive ever had . I started this 6 months ago and pretty much straight away started to bring in more than $70, per hour . go to this website……….….http//EmployeeAppreciationDay.org/GetPaid/98$hourly


  • Bosun Higgs

    So….no product innovation.

  • D Cripps

    Could all this be connected to the fall in murder rates?;-)

    • Father Todd Unctious

      How many were murdered at nightclubs or raves?

  • whistler80

    Excellent piece, only thing you missed out is that the music hasn’t really changed since the early nineties, the young generation are just recycling the same sounds year after year, dance music has become more staid than heavy metal.

    • Andrew Cole

      I said that. this years dance is the same as 20 years ago trance.

  • polidorisghost

    Crikey, sounds like even I might survive one of these rave things.
    Mug of cocoa and a ginger snap on the house maybe, and tucked up in bed by ten.

    • Violin Sonata

      Do as I do and put a sneaky drop of rum in the cocoa whilst no one is looking 🙂
      And I recommend homemade cookies with the cocoa, just being helpful ;-D

      • polidorisghost

        It perks you up no end I’m sure.
        I will follow your example.

      • polidorisghost

        PS: I imagined you curling up with something a bit racier than a mug of cocoa – Ah well.

        • Violin Sonata

          Hey, a lady never reveals 🙂 I’ll be over the small pond during Easter and expecting lots
          of chocolate and some good books to read. This really is my favourite time of year ,
          the flowers start blooming ( including the bluebell wood nr me) and birds start being
          a pain .(Time for blogging less too.. it can drive you bonkers, all the egos with their
          festival of angst repeating themselves over and over again on some sites, not so much here, at least there is a choice of topics).
          Hope you have a good Easter and remembered to by Mrs P a very nice Easter egg
          ( Belgium or Swiss being the best, as well as German chocolate too).
          Btw as well as rum, remember to pick sloes during the autumn and marinate them
          they make a very good drink during winter 🙂

  • Ingmar Blessing

    “Staying up all night in a disorienting and vaguely threatening
    environment, surrounded by questionable people, loud music and a battery
    of strobe and laser lighting. Staggering around in the dark being sick
    all over your new trainers. That was the point.”

    If you want that these days you have to go to a backstreet mosque and apply for jihad. I read somewhere they even give their fighters drugs to dim their fear.

    • Michael Cormack

      Uneducated hate speech. Well done.

      • Ingmar Blessing

        Why? What part exactly?

        1. Backstreet mosques are known for being recruitment centers for jihad and even mainstream mosques have their fair share on that..

        2. A simple internet search for “drogen für dschihadisten” (or for you it probably is “drugs for jihadists”) will lead you to various articles about “Captagon” or its medical name “Fenetyllin” which is very popular in the Middle East as drug as (mainstream media) articles say. My idea it could be meth is based on the fact that it has been used as “Pervitin” in prior wars to increase the performance of soldiers. And since the recipe is known and the market is huge, why not use it again? It worked well until Stalingrad..

        Or do you mean the part in quotation marks? That’s because I took it from the article…

        So, where is it? The uneducated part? Where is the hate part?

        • Michael Cormack

          1. Seems irrelevant. The initial quote was about parties, drugs and music. How are you jumping to mosques? It doesn’t make any sense, other than to bash jihadi people and / or ravers / party people.

          Raves, however, are not known as recuiting grounds for jihad.

          2. Your idea that it could be meth was posited I feel to bring the derogatory asociation that goes with meth users, similar to zombies.

          I am aware that drugs have been used by many militias / armies / terrorists over the years.

          The meth part is pure conjecture.

          So, the uneducated part is making a link between two unrelated topics.

          The hate part is against ravers by putting them in the same basket as terrorists and meth heads.

          Clearly you are not actually uneducated.

          • Ingmar Blessing

            First: I like electronic music myself and when I was younger I’ve spent enough time on shady parties to know what the author is talking about. Am I hating myself now??

            Second: the author is reffering to exciting and illegal behaviour with a certain feeling of “revolting” against whatsoever as the attractive element of raves, which seems not to be the reason anymore why people attend at such parties and festivals. The circus went on, but where? The internet? Considering the analysis of young people wearing islamic dresses and sticking to (and dreaming of) the Sharia as a youth movement that involves a lot of rebellion against whatsoever it is not too far fetched in my opinon to link the two phenomenons.

            Both are (impart extreme) expressions of a lifestyle that significantly differs a lot from the mainstream and everyone is supposed to realize that. In both cases that criteria is met.

            Third: The mentioning of meth happenend for two reasons: One, it is known for being used in combat situations as well as to stay awake on parties that last till tuesday (have you ever been on one??) and Two, meth is a very big thing at the moment including the necessary infrastructure for the production and distribution everywhere and that includes the Levante.

            That means in conclusion:
            – Your cirticism of me expressing “hate” is therefore completely wrong and offers me an insight into your mindset that I don’t need: Instead of arguing you pathologize – that’s cheap!
            – I don’t put ravers into one basket with terrorists and meth heads, but I compare the ways of expression by young people who want to dissent with the common set of acceptable behavior. Yesterday it was rave, today it’s political religion, tomorrow it’s probably going to be reading books instead of plugging in the matrix.

          • Michael Cormack

            Dude, I can’t really be bothered to try to rebuff your arguments, so let’s just say that you win. Where can I find a backstreet mosque with the lasers, sounds banks and that? That sounds pretty good. Will I have to pay for my own drugs?

            Post Script
            I have not ever heard of Methamphetamine at a rave.
            Your conclusions are not drawn from the arguments that you present.
            You have literally just consumed a half hour of my life while I considered how to respond to this. And I blame myself for allowing that to happen.

          • Ingmar Blessing

            Well, dude, they will tell you where the lasers and the periodic drum sounds are. The place somewhere between Rakka and Mossul!

          • Jay Harper

            You should blame yourself.

          • Michael Cormack

            Thanks man, good to know I got something right.

          • Andrew Cole

            HE is either talking about a different generation and their idea of what a rave was/is or he means amphetamine aka speed/whizz. There was a lot of that about at a couple of quid a ‘wrap’. Normally the ‘wrap’ was the corner of a rave flyers nicely folded into a triangle. Easy to fit several into your wallet to give you a boost through the night.

          • Vixen

            Just because YOU never heard of crystal meth at a rave doesn’t mean it was never there. I lost 5 hrs at a rave in an abandoned textiles factory in hangar lane after being passed a line that I was later told was crystal meth…

          • Andrew Cole

            You’ve missed the boat on so many levels. Shady partys? This was about people enjoying each other’s company and you try and start to talk about islam.

            What has rave ever had to do with religion? As a culture it was just about enjoying yourself and enjoying the world and everyone that lived in it. It was about love and togetherness with no intention of making people see our way.

            Everybody had their own way and that was great. There was no need for tolerance because there was no ‘official’ way to be or a stated aim.

            Quite simple really. ENJOY YOURSELF

          • Ingmar Blessing

            My intention was not to dis Islam in this case but to compare youth movements that entail the desire of being different to the mainstream.

            What is wrong with that? I still don’t see my hate crime..

            Since Hipsters are dull (I believe we have a consensus about that) and nerds are still doing the nerdy stuff in the Internet there is not too much new on the front of youth movements that come with the smell of “different”. But, there is something on the other side of town where young people have the intention to experience “love and togetherness with no intention of making people see our way.” which in this case is expressed through the glasses of the Koranic teachings.

            From the perspective of those young devoted Muslims there is nothing wrong with Islam. In fact they see it as the only real way to “Quite simple really. ENJOY YOURSELF” in this world (and the next one).

            Maybe your and Michael Cormacks perspective is a bit racisty since you immediately connect Islam with something bad in difference to the – I assume – only true way of expressing love, which would be on a rave. But that is wrong. The hadsch, the spiritual ceremonies, the study – apparently that can give people a lot, too.

            The extrem(ist) end is the fight for their desired land. For us it’s terror, for them it’s a freedom fight. For eternal love and justice…

            The real difference between raves/ electronic parties and contemporary Islam is that the first was more of an anarchist thing, whereas what the second has in mind is something authoritarian. But imo that does not disqualify it for “youth movement”.

          • Andrew Cole

            Rave as a ‘youth movement’ was not a desire of being different to the mainstream. Nobody cared what the mainstream was. No-one was thinking about what things meant. It was there it happened we did it. No thinking about whether it would piss this person or that person off or if it was the in thing to do or not or if it was mainstream of offstream.

            It was there at the time, it felt good and we enjoyed it without worrying about anything inconsequential stuff like ‘pissing parents off’ let alone this desire to be different.

            This desire to be different is completely alien because everybody at raves was different. You had the clubber, the indie kids, the rockers, the metalheads, the goths. Everybody just got on and had a good time and ‘differences’ were not even on the radar.

          • Ingmar Blessing

            That was a nice answer, thx.

            I guess it’s a bit of a cultural difference since I’m not familiar with how things were centered in Britain.

            My perspective is based on how it evolved in Germany which includes the probably unique situation in Eastern Berlin shortly after the wall came down (with a lot of abandoned factory buildings). I wasn’t too much involved and a bit too young back then but what I remember is that from the mid90s onwards there was a lot of desire to preserve the occupied areas as a hedonistic free space since the authorities started to set roots. The Loveparade for example was kind of an organized public group-message to everyone.

          • Andrew Cole

            I think it was entirely a different thing. Yes there was an electro movement in Europe and the UK but most of the ‘real’ rave dance scene was pretty much UK artists. There was some european stuff but not much.

            Couple this with the Manchester Indie scene which came out at same time and it was pretty much like another poster in this thread says about the response to the Mandela announcement being “booo, put the music back on”.

            That was pretty much the sentiment. The scene on its own whether on drugs or not, whatever your musical preference was purely about shutting the world out for just one night. A sleeping pill to forget the dreary grubby eighties scene

            I guess it was just pure coincidence that those 2 scenes came together at that same time, mixed styles and for a brief moment the guitar tribe and the electronic tribe got on.

            Drugs were a huge part of course but not for everybody. Many people weren’t in it for the music at all. They weren’t drugged up. They just enjoyed the vibe against the dreary background of working class eighties Britain.

            Its funny you talk about the wall which I can see being a massive symbolisation of freedom for the people of the ‘Eastern Bloc’ but the abandoned factories were part of that dreary eighties Britain too.

          • Andrew Cole

            Indeed Raves were quite the opposite to how that poster has decided to interpret the article.

            There was no need for tolerance because it wasn’t the domain of the clubber, or dance fan, or metalhead or indie kid. Everybody was equal and just had a good time together. I bet many people think they were robbed at raves when the reality was they were too *****d to know much about things and which bush their wallets had fallen under.

        • killchen

          Perhaps the totally unnecessary mention of ‘jihad’/Islam?

  • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

    “Staying up all night in a disorienting and vaguely threatening environment, surrounded by questionable people, loud music and a battery
    of strobe and laser lighting. Staggering around in the dark being sick all over your new trainers. That was the point.”

    That was and is never the point but never mind.

    • Michael Cormack

      I remember the morning I woke to find someone had puked in my new trainers. I kind of disowned them. They sat there, just outside the kitchen door for a couple of months. No-one wanted to deal with it.

    • Andrew Cole

      But it was and has been for decades from those that were away with the Beatles, then speeding with the rockers and then getting hyper through the eighties.

      Most music revolutions have always meant that a lot of people were off their heads on something…………even if it was alcohol.

      • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

        The Beatles??? What about Mozart, my son watched him perform live once, how old does that make me?

  • Sinik

    I often regale my teenage sons with stories of my wilder days in my late teens and twenties. They’re reaction can best be summarised thus: “Wow, you were really childish right up until your late Twenties!”

    It seems to be the case that nowadays “rebelling against your parents” means being considerably more sensible than when I was young.

    • Rob74

      Telling your children anything about your coolness as a youth is a waste of breath.

    • Adrian Verne

      My dad, who I very much love and respect, is the perennial artist, a staunch socialist, uni dropout and a published author, who was a punk in the late 70s who went full on into rave culture 10 years later.

      I am thirty, I started a business, got married in my late twenties and live in a four-bedroom house in suburbia. I would consider myself centre-right politically, My younger brother is much the same, except he already has a kid.

      Our rebellion was to conform, get an average salary and find stability.

  • Rob74

    Raving was dangerous. It started with convoys from motorway service stations to warehouses with the police in contest and eventually moved on to clubs were dealers ran the roost. I preferred Revenge to Angels to be honest. We felt connected by our fight with the Police, but ultimately felt like victims of the drug gangs at the end.

    My step daughter has no understanding of what we had, even though she lives in a working class town. For her, there is no movement. It’s just petty crime and smoking weed while struggling to make her way to a career that is worth something.

  • Bosun Higgs

    At least we have Taylor Swift now.

    • Sneaksby ®


  • Diozakaerf

    And we’re lamenting this change why, exactly?
    Those who came before rebelled against society by undermining and rejecting the family unit and every other traditional value and institution, then they filled themselves with every drug imaginable at their illegal parties.

    The current generation is rebelling by believing in strong families, traditional values and being part of something bigger than themselves.

    So-called radical agitators may still be vocal, but their fight is won. Their value are the values of the Establishment, and they are the demographic catered to by media and government.

    The true rebels these days are the ones fighting for a return to traditional values and against globalist supranational governance.

    • Andrew Cole

      Yet they marry later, have children later and I guarantee that while polls say they don’t take as many drugs that they do, or probably don’t consider that they do…..until April that is when what was legal becomes illegal.

  • Henry Murray

    “This year, I received an email from their co-ordinator asking if we could supply any vegan meals. Also, he added, ‘Any way we can get free Wi-Fi in the chalets… one of the volunteers has some coursework to send?’”


    Only someone who doesn’t have to deal with sexual harassment would write something so ignorant on safe space

    Laughable article.

    • Ivan Ewan

      You poor dear darling snowflake.

    • Ben Jackson

      I take it the promoters in question are Bloc?

    • Jay Harper

      I hope this article didn’t trigger you.

      • Henry Murray


    • Bosun Higgs

      Do you have to deal with sexual harrassment?

    • Riot Nrrrd™

      Only someone who doesn’t have to deal with sexual harassment would write something so ignorant on safe space

      You ignore his point, back in the ’90s all the ravers were on E and girls were respected, not harassed.

      (They also wore cute adidas gear and overalls instead of walking around half-naked with just pasties on like Prostitots™, but I digress … )

      • Andrew Cole

        You all missed that he was taking the p*** and being sarcastic. We weren’t all on E and girls were respected still.

        • Riot Nrrrd™

          @Andrew Cole: I went to Raves in Los Angeles, where I can pretty much guarantee you, we *were* all on E 🙂

          • Andrew Cole

            Most were on E or speed or Charlie here as well but not all. Some people just get high on enjoyment.

  • Andy King

    This guy is a joke. As if Bloc is the epitome of rave culture – it’s a legal rave in Butlins. Throw an illegal squat party if you want to attract the right crowd, don’t charge people £140 to stay in a family holiday park and then complain that people are ‘too safe and boring’. Your event is too safe and boring and that’s why you’re attracting those sorts of people…

  • Aoife

    Very poor out of Bloc and totally unnecessary, be thankful you were given ten great years plus many more and don’t bemoan what is to come-you’ve clearly decided to get out of the game. I wouldn’t give you guys the steam of my piss after this.

    • HungryHorace

      Totally agree Aoife. I was at many a rave back in the nineties and the organisers were a bunch of money hungry cnuts! They really have an idea about themselves to this day. Nobody likes you now and didn’t then and I find it hard to lament the passing of a fad that depended entirely on me being off my head to enjoy it. I don’t take drugs any more and fortunately seem to have come out of that period reasonably intact, however lots of people weren’t so lucky.
      Just to add, Hipster are also twats, but that’s beside the point.

      • Andrew Cole

        Great post although I do lament that time. I think people were generally more interested in each other than today where ‘the only thing I’m interested in is me’ sort of culture prevails.

        There is definitely more of a snobbery amongst youth these days than back then where for while at least everybody was just getting mashed and enjoying things together no matter what their background or how they were dressed.

  • McFin

    So, just to recap… YOU put on a rave at Butlins one of the most family orientated private commercial enterprises in the UK? They search every car with dogs for drugs and remove all alcohol before your even allowed to enter? YOU then have a go at the ‘middle aged hipster’ who YOU invite to rave at your party… YOUR security walk around YOUR rave looking for drugs and YOUR security stop people from even being allowed to leave one venue and go to the next with a over priced pint in there hand.

    Mate, personally I’m glad your out the Rave game if your willing to take peoples money then have a go at them… So how’s the Bloc club in London coming along? Good start for promotion.

  • dy1232

    This is such bollocks I don’t know where to start.

    I really wish people would stop categorising a ‘class’ or strata of people they’re subconsciously intimidated by because they don’t really engage with them properly, or are now too old to understand.

    Things move on, and if you can’t understand it anymore or you miss out on where the fun is happening, you’ve soured.

  • richardjohn

    So essentially you booked Four Tet/Floating Points/Ben Klock/Nina Kraviz and were then surprised when Four Tet/Floating Points/Ben Klock/Nina Kraviz fans turned up?

  • easynow

    Should have booked Snoop Dogg instead

  • dy1232

    There’s not really such a thing as “rave” any more. The closest in comparison would be a free party in the West Country. Mostly jungle/jump up and psytrance (not most people’s thing)

    Dance and electronic has gone overground and has been becoming gradually commercialised (more popular, not necessarily any less good quality in its best forms) for ages, so I don’t know what you were expecting? All I can say is I have seen some chaotic scenes at festivals and other events at 4 or 5 am. Nothing has changed in that respect.

    Also, you put on an event in an enclosure, and you expect it to be chaotic or dangerous? Doesn’t make sense

    • Jay Harper

      A sensible post. I thank you.

    • Andrew Cole

      Gradually? It’s been commercialised and controlled by the establishment for over 2 decades.

      Radio 1 has been telling you what the next scene will be for decades because the establishment have decided what the next big underground thing will be.

  • Lord Summerisle

    “Instead we have hipsters — a subculture so spineless that it had to borrow its name from its parents.”

    Young people didn’t call themselves ‘hipsters’, older journalists came up with the term. Also ‘rave’ is a Fifties/Sixties term so it came from Eighties/Nineties kids parents generation too.

    • Sneaksby ®

      Who can forget ‘Raving On’ with Buddy Holly back in 58. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04E24MKU3yU

    • Sneaksby ®

      Just found this
      “rave (n.)

      “act of raving,” 1590s, from rave (v.). Meaning “temporary popular enthusiasm” is from 1902; that of “highly flattering review” is from 1926. Sense of “rowdy party” is from 1960; rave-up was British slang for “wild party” from 1940; specific modern sense of “mass party with loud, fast electronic music and often psychedelic drugs” is from 1989″


  • badboyfidem

    Let’s be honest George, you’re quitting because you are heavily in debt and made a huge loss on this year’s Bloc Weekender.

  • Can you go back to organising massive illegal raves in the countryside again, please. I missed it the first time around. And we’ve got another nasty Tory party in government again, so the time is ripe.

    “Young people today are a deep disappointment. And get off my lawn.”

    • Jason Murphy

      it won’t ever happen again like it did then – the only thing today has in common with then is the government – everything else has changed though.

  • easynow

    ‘Under the hipsters’ watch, dance music has become tedious and diluted.’

    Do wind it in. Under YOUR watch, YOUR festival had become a bloated shower of chinstroking tripe.

    No matter how important you feel Bloc is to dance music, the rest of us are doing fine without you, thanks.

  • Dan B

    the proper warehouse rave scene back in the day (big up Blackburn) looked sick, and I’m gutted not to have been around at the time to check it out… and I love that it had a rebellious and vaguely political ethos. but one old school promoter told me about a warehouse rave (i think) in Darwen… during the night the crew discovered that Nelson Mandela had been freed, in celebration they stopped the 1210s and grabbed the mic to announce that Mandela was free. Our dear old school promoter head was expecting an uplifting political and spiritual moment… but apparently 50% of the room simply booed and started chanting for the track to be put back on.

    putting a on a back-in-the-day rave is great, but there were naive, lofty ideals held by key organisers which – while admirable – weren’t common currency amongst the party faithful. i see todays ‘safe spaces’ discussions/efforts as in the same vain, perhaps a bit head in the clouds idealistic but i’m glad to see people still trying to rave the world into a better place, no matter how much others might think the efforts futile… plus no matter your opinion on creating ‘safe spaces’ on the dancefloor it’s certainly not a new thing for dance music culture – it doesn’t take a genius to trace the roots of this to the alternative/queer communities in New York, Chicago & Detroit that were key in this music & surrounding cultures evolution.

    the political battle the 80’s / 90’s kids did win was carving out a space for late night culture & dance music in our society, leading to proper clubs, late licenses and a reasonable amount of autonomy from the forces of law and order. that battle is pretty much won, and the kids of today have embraced it and made it their own… it can only be a good thing that they try to define it in their own way and improve it how they see fit with ‘safe spaces’ initiatives etc.

    sounds like our man here is a touch jaded, and unwilling to pass on the baton to the next generation who he disparagingly calls hipsters – something that if you’ve spent any time on dancefloors recently is far from a fair generalisation.

    older promo heads please take a step back, realise that if your gabbin on like this you just sound like Andrew Lincoln’s douchebag raver in Human Traffic. Fair play to you and all your efforts, career achievements over the years but if your gonna bow out do it gracefully and without flicking the V’s to the entire next generation

    • Jay Harper

      Safe spaces are just encouraging timidity and will produce a people with a constellation of profoundly unattractive culture-level traits: perpetual wimpiness, cowardice, self-doubt, etc. And now they’re needed for a night out? Like a creche for adults?

    • Jay Harper

      Safe space = a creche for grown up’s

    • Andrew Cole

      I agree with most of your post however safe spaces? Come on. Men and Women used to know how to look after themselves and often helped each other to do so without needing safe spaces.

      We had safe spaces………It was called home and we were quite welcome to find that safe space whenever we wanted.

  • Erin Hopkins

    I know for a fact that you threw out several volunteers before the festival started. You got them to work FOR FREE for two days, then you kicked them out because the security staff took issue with them for playing music. Nice ethos you’ve got. How many people do you unfairly dismiss without reason or warning, in order to avoid providing their food and accommodation for the rest of the weekend?

    • bubbletea

      Unfortunately you clearly don’t actually know the true story of what happened and why they were kicked off site. You’d be a lot less sympathetic towards them if you did

  • bunty man

    Not sure what pisses me off more – the way you’ve tarnished all ‘young people’ with the same brush and completely alienated a lot of loyal fans, or the complete hypocrisy in all the things you’re whining about. Mention all this talk of hipsters, but with past bookings like Thom Yorke, Salt n’ Pepa, Snoop Dogg and the like, you’re obviously trying to reach out certain demographics that go beyond old school ravers. And now you’re building a “super club”…. bore off!

  • xnation

    Book a dry, stand about, hipster beard stroke line up and what do you expect?

  • xnation

    You don’t seem to get this problem at Bangface and Boomtown…..

  • bunty man

    Agree with you on safe spaces though…. what’s all that about? Miss the days when you could molest people with sweet abandon.

    • oldoddjobs

      You’re against safe spaces? You want people to be raped.

      • bunty man

        was being sarcastic

        • oldoddjobs


  • Maddie

    Hi George. Some of the kids you hired (as volunteers) to hang drapes at Bloc this year were kicked out, without warning, before the beginning of the festival, because Butlins security staff objected to them playing music in their chalet. If you’re so desperate for people to have a good time, could you make sure it’s actually possible for people to do that at the events you organise? And could you make sure that your staff support those kids, rather than doing absolutely nothing in response to unreasonable Butlins staff who apparently didn’t realise they were hosting a music festival? Much appreciated, thanks.

    • bubbletea

      Unfortunately you clearly don’t actually know the true story of what happened and why they were kicked off site. You’d be a lot less sympathetic towards them if you did.

      • Maddie

        Interested to hear more. Could you elaborate?

        • bubbletea

          They were playing loud music until 5am before the festival had even begun, in an area that was for workers, some of whom were doing 16 hour days and had a very long weekend ahead of them in crucial roles. They were asked repeatedly to turn the music down/off and refused, eventually trying to barricade the doors. Hardly little angels.

          • Maddie

            Thanks for expanding on this. I agree, not “little angels” – but my point is exactly that this article bemoans a lack of rebellious, freespirited behaviour, like playing music too loud and too late – when that behaviour is being punished by the author’s own festival.

            This is a separate point, but from the accounts I have heard of this incident, an entire chalet was evicted, including volunteers who had not been part of the group refusing to turn off the music (and had in fact gone to bed part way through the night). They were not given the opportunity to appeal the decision, and neither had there been any warning the night before that repeated refusal to turn the music down would result in their eviction – in which case I’m sure some of the members of the chalet would have attempted to shut their roommates’ party down.

          • Erin Hopkins

            What does ‘little angels’ have to do with anything? The fact remains you were happy to take two days free work from volunteers, but when there was an issue you didn’t try to deal with it in a fair way and instead ejected all of them without warning.

          • bubbletea

            I did nothing of the sort. I’m relaying information.

          • Satu

            “They were playing loud music until 5am before the festival had even begun, in an area that was for workers, some of whom were doing 16 hour days and had a very long weekend ahead”

            F*cking hipster.

  • jameshead

    Whinge whinge whinge. So rich for this article to come from the guy behind Bloc – one of the safest, most boring festivals I’ve ever been to. He puts on events in a commercial space, fills the line up with super trendy minimal and house, has a TV channel in the chalets playing art house documentaries and expects to draw a crowd of hedonistic punk ravers? What a tool. Good luck with your flouce. Rave doesn’t need you anyway. We’ve still got Bangface and that’s fun whatever hour you happen to be awake which is usual every single one.

    • Jay Harper

      Use of the word ‘trendy’ disqualifies you.

      • Andrew Cole

        We used trendy back in the eighties and nineties. fits in well with the era the article ‘pretends’ to be part of.

        • Jay Harper

          Ah yes, context. Very clever of jameshead.

          • Andrew Cole

            We did tend to use it disparagingly though. Good things were cool, sweet, sound. Trendy was normally a dismissive thing.

      • Lesmond-Nyjacks

        No it doesn’t Jay, you Tool.

        • Jay Harper

          Bless your cotton socks mate.

          • Lesmond-Nyjacks

            I’m not your mate Jay, you bell end.

          • Jay Harper

            Oh dear, just as well there’s some distance between us as we have this disagreement, as I’m sure you would be a formidable opponent in real life. Phew, lucky me.

          • Lesmond-Nyjacks

            You are still a bell end Jay.

          • Jay Harper

            Watch out world, there’s a new intellectual in town.

          • Lesmond-Nyjacks

            Watch out!
            There’s a Bell End about,
            His name is Jay,
            He’s completly Gay!

            See Jay, you Bell End, I am also a poet!

          • Jay Harper

            You must be 15, it’s the only explanation.

          • Jay Harper

            Haha, a poet as well as a simpleton.

      • stupocalypse

        More edge than U2.

  • Alpina88

    I didn’t even know raves still existed tbh. When I was at uni (8 years ago) we dressed up as ravers in an ironic, “isn’t this so retro” kind of way. It’s all about the indie/rock gigs nowadays. Plenty of drug taking at those, don’t you worry (not that that’s a good thing. If the music is decent you don’t need to be off your face to enjoy it). All fads come and go, so the decline of raves is probably less to do with hipsters and more down to that kind of music not being popular with kids anymore. Also, not all young people are hipsters and the ones that are don’t listen to house/techno/whatever it is that’s played at raves anyway. They’re into their indie rock/folk bands.

    • Jay Harper

      You sound ancient. Bless.

      • Alpina88

        Er, I’m in my 20s. It’s the ageing pillheads going on about how everything was so much better in the 80s that sound ancient.

    • GB2016

      Sounds like you haven’t left the house since uni, a whole 8 years ago.

      • Alpina88

        Well seeing as I’ve travelled around Europe and been to a fair few gigs (with actual music rather than a guy pressing buttons on a board) I’d say I have left the house a good few times.

    • PatchW

      congratulations on your ignorance.

      • Alpina88

        Go on then, educate me smartarse.

        • PatchW

          bit late for that, uni was 8 years ago!

    • Andrew Cole

      Rave wasn’t just about the dance music. The Indie rock was part of rave culture. It was a crossover. The Hacienda and Madchester were crossovers. Oakenfold doing Happy Mondays ‘pills n thrill and bellyaches. The Stones Roses and Fools gold.

      It was a dance meets rock meets have a laugh time. Something that today’s youth will not grasp because they have returned to tribal tastes where they define the music rigidly into sections as you have with ‘Its all about the Indie/Rock gigs nowadays’

      It was all about the Indie/Rock gigs back then but they were part of the whole thing. There was a much much better and bigger Indie Rock scene at that time as well.

      I would go out to see a band and then after go dancing all night. Sometimes I’d go watch a blues band live in a pub and the next morning get home after partying to godknowswhoitwassoundedgoodseeyanext time.

      • Alpina88

        So it was essentially a festival? It’s just that when you say ‘rave’ most people think of dance music. Young people do still enjoy a variety of music. Festivals usually have a mic of dance, rock, pop etc.

        • Andrew Cole

          Sort of I suppose. You went to a rave, just like you went to a dance or a disco or a concert. The music was essentially a niche of dance music “fast pulsating beats” as the politicians liked to label it but was not limited to that. The Manchester Indie scene grew up alongside the ‘rave’ scene in the Hacienda. Bands like the Stones Roses and Happy Mondays used the same kind of underlying rythmical drum lines. It was rock dance music.

          Fools Gold was often played at Raves back then and not the one you hear these days with the electronic dance beat mixed into it.

          The difference though is that festivals are still basically 10 gigs in the same place. It is still tribal because if you’re into dance you go to the dance stage/tent. If you are into Rock you go to where rock bands are playing. People are still separate.

          Raves were more like one stage with one music but all the demographics enjoying the event no matter if they liked the genre of music or not.

  • easynow

    Should have booked Snoop Dogg instead.

    There are other, conspicuous events that use the same holiday camp format as Bloc did, yet don’t attract the kinds of people you clearly lament. They still manage to be fun, chaotic, ‘dangerous’ etc. Maybe you were just running a crap festival, and doing it badly?

    Get in the f’n sea.

  • DraculaAd72

    Let’s not forget that when rave music was dangerous, edgy and subversive back in the early 90s, your Conservative government did everything in their power to stamp it out, even going so far as to talk about banning music with repetitive beats. Ravers protested and fought with the police and the government over the right to gather together and dance. By the time you, Mr Hull, got to the party, dance music had long since been assimilated into society, and completely lost its edge. DJs are now getting knighthoods and Ministry of Sound are bringing out fitness DVDs. All because of those Thatcherite rave promoters you clearly idolise

    • oldoddjobs

      Yeah rave was really edgy and subversive, man

      • DraculaAd72

        Well it’s obvious you’ve only ever experienced the Calvin Harris/David Guetta happy meal trance scene, and never heard of Spiral Tribe, Castlemorton or the Criminal Justice Bill. Look them up

  • Preston Logan

    “Gone is the spontaneity of shambling to the party on the spur of the moment.” – Says the guy who created a pre-planned, organised festival that requires pre-booking tickets. Right on brother!!

    • ggnell

      Exactly! What an unbelievable hypocrite

  • Sean Spindrift

    I find this article
    rather sad, it’s author appearing jaded, blind to how diverse dance
    music really is and perhaps lacking in imagination. My first thought
    was – “poor sod, you went to the wrong parties, should have gone to

    I’ve only heard in
    passing about Bloc,but doing a dance party at Butlins is perhaps akin
    to a Northern Soul all dayer/all nighter at Caister back in the 80’s
    but even then a good stomp to Edwin Starr’s “Time” was just as
    much fun in a field at night with your mates than it was in the dance

    The wish to party all
    night until we fall over the day after is still here so people need
    to open their eyes a bit more and see what’s on offer before they
    make sweeping statements about the failings of youth dance culture.

    There are many events
    out there that are truly diverse and give a better cross section of
    dance music than what I’ve seen from from Bloc, so look for Boomtown,
    Bearded Theory, Triplicity and Noisily Festivals to name but a few.

    I must admit that I do
    find it sad that the British music and entertainment industries find
    it easier to sit on their laurels instead of showing support to all
    forms of music, regardless of what they feel is commercially viable,
    then perhaps music festivals and events nationwide could get better
    help and support from local councils and cities instead of our clubs
    and pubs being turned into high rise flats for the wealthy.

  • Li Gri

    God forbid you’d have an aule vegan meal. Although I can understand why a college dropout wouldn’t be bothered about his unwaged staff being able to submit their coursework.

    • glokd

      Haha, how precious.

  • Sneaksby ®

    Bloc has always had a reputation as being the festival for people that don’t really like dance music. Kind of one up from V-Fest. I am surprised to see you bemoaning the lack of risk taking at events now though, considering you subjected thousands of people to this colossal f*ck up in 2016

    • Clémentine Pellegrino

      I did not know that. I absolutely loved the various acts I saw and I know the people I went with did too. The point of bloc is to stay awake long enough to see enough acts !

    • gunnerbear

      “One up from V-Fest..” ….that’s cold…ice cold.

  • matt

    At least you’ve got the time to finish Uni now, file under ‘failed bankrupt rich kid promoter complaining’

    • Kandanada

      Well, at least he has had a nice time and met a few of his favourite artists.

  • Raoul Duke

    the iphone staring Boiler Room hipster crowd is fashionable atm however the underground is still there if you dig deep enough and if it’s not about then make it yourself imho

  • OskarMatzerath

    Man rants against young people. In The Spectator. Groundbreaking. Not ‘safe and boring’ at all.

  • Carnelian

    Is this person really complaining that kids aren’t as rock and roll as his generation? Why is this article even published. Every generation feels the same way.

    • Clémentine Pellegrino

      That’s exactly it… the only thing is G H seems to feel somewhat superior to his own generation..

  • dy1232

    That extract from the podcast is horrific

    Intellectualising music generally, especially this kind and putting it in “social context” is a magnet for bs and cringeworthy. I hope it’s all a hoax

  • Neil Saunders

    What is this rubbish doing in The Spectator?

  • andywartrol

    You just can’t exploit young people like you used too– what a shame!

  • Clamjouster

    Oldskool raves are still selling out weekend in weekend out. For us middle aged ravers it’s still 1992 and while we have money and our health we will keep the scene alive.

    Often youngsters turn up and get a taste of what the scene is really all about and they love it. Long may it continue /

    • Andrew Cole

      But this articles writer doesn’t do those sort of oldskool raves.

      • PatchW

        He used too though. Bloc isn’t his only foray into putting on parties. Him and Alex were responsible for a bunch of proper illegal parties back in the late 90’s/early00’s.

        • Andrew Cole

          late 90s/early00’s proves my point. That is a decade after those ‘oldskool’ raves.

          • PatchW

            > ‘oldskool’

            This alone tells me everything I need to know about you.

        • Olivia Burns

          Erm, no they were not doing stuff in the late 90’s.

          I know for a fact the 1st electronic event they went to was in 2001. Called Dedbeat. A weekender with a range of underground acts in a holiday camp. Sound familiar?

          (Oh and by the way, it had a ‘safe room’. And this was the reason his mum let him attend – I took the call).

  • Lee

    Need to milk a few more sassafras trees

  • Sporgohat

    This guy is in his early 30s, which means that in the late eighties and early nineties at the height of the rave scene he’s over romanticising, he’d probably have been in primary school. What is he talking about…

    • PatchW

      to be fair to him, he got squarepusher and radioactive man playing in Thetford forest when he was 18.

      • Sporgohat

        Squarepusher wasn’t a big draw back then and radioactiveman will dj at a kids party if you allow him and there’s some free beer

        • PatchW

          Missing the point there… He was putting on proper illegal-raves-in-a-forest/barn/field nearly 20 years ago. He is allowed to comment on the state of things today, he’s done his time in the trenches.

          • Sporgohat

            I fully understand the point I was making thanks. It was that this guy is saying that things aren’t like they used to be back in the late eighties and early nineties, basically times he never experienced himself because he was at primary school. What year was this rave your talking about? 2001? Were you even there?

          • stupocalypse

            Even if he was, it doesn’t lend credence to the nonsense being spouted now…

    • Andrew Cole

      Exactly he never experienced the era he is (or was) trying to recreate.

  • Whitey Naptime

    ‘young people these days’ etc. etc. etc. zzzzzzz

  • Hipsters are awful and all that but they’re hardly ‘the kids these days’ and never were kids to begin with.

  • Jhan Valerian

    Only platform who would give him time of the day to talk about rave scene is Spectator,says a lot really.

  • stupocalypse

    This is sub-Vice Magazine bollocks. Raving is in a bad place because of commercialization and government interference. Bloc isn’t relevant because it’s badly managed, and apparently run by a pretentious c*nt.

    • gunnerbear

      Run at Butlins…Butlins…hellfire…..what was the point….

  • ggnell

    What a whingey hypocrite. You created everything you are complaining about and then you blame us while taking our money.
    You put a techno festival on in Butlins – a carpeted family resort. How could there possibly be any abandon or rebellion? The security at YOUR poorly executed festival monitored every breath we took and searched us 5 times a night. The lack of atmosphere made me want to sleep instead of rave and the piss poor sound quality made me kick myself for giving you a penny.
    Take some responsibility for your own failure. Pathetic.

    • matthinc

      This is absolutely spot on.

  • TeddyOrwell

    This can be fixed. Just flood the people with LSD.

    • Andrew Cole

      Legal analogues have been available to all for a long time and very good they are too. (or were because they’ll be gone in April as well)

      • TeddyOrwell

        Yes, I know. I’ve tried a lot of them, and like some of them. But mostly, they just make me want acid or shrooms.

        • Andrew Cole

          There have been a couple that are as good as acid.

          • alexandros

            can you name them? there might be time to get some supplies because they are off the market.

          • David Finlayson

            1p-lsd if your in uk. Al-lad abroad I tink. Type that into Google and you be able to buy

          • alexandros


          • Andrew Cole

            The only legal one that is any good now is 1P-LSD. The other ones that were good were banned in previous legislation. The above will also be banned at the beginning of April.

          • alexandros

            I see, we need to be quick then

          • Flaming Heck

            Tell me more?

          • Andrew Cole

            AL-LAD was good but banned last year. 1P-LSD is very good and still legal until the blanket ban at the beginning of April.

    • Dave Cockayne

      E’s are good. Ebeneezer Goode.

      • gunnerbear
      • TeddyOrwell

        Actually, I think that people getting away from LSD and just doing E instead is part of the problem. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve done E a lot. I’m not against E, as long as it is actual pure MDMA. But any scene were LSD is unavailable is just sad to me, because they are missing one of the essential ingredients.

  • Andrew Cole

    Rave ruined by Hipsters? There was no such thing as hipsters when Rave was ruined and if you entered 10 years ago to become a rave promoter then you missed the boat too.

    The problem is entirely the modern music system and how it now controls everything including ‘underground’ scenes. It is almost a dictatorial system.

    As for ‘done with today’s dance music’. Could that be because it is exactly the same as that mid nineties trance garbage that was what killed off rave in the first place? It is exactly the same sound, no difference, still the same attempts to put some ‘authentic’ & ‘old skool’ riffs in there to appease. Get a nice bit of repetitive chorus/reverb piano chords that was in every rave song in the late eighties.

    Stick some ragga accent in there.

    • GabbaGandalf

      dude , there still is some kickass music out there, try the labels 1080p or lobster theremin

      • Andrew Cole

        I was never into dance music. I was a metalhead that got into the Indie scene with the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Charlatans, Inspirals etc and loved the vibe of raves. The music was secondary. Was just a great atmosphere and communal thing 🙂

  • majestic whine

    Haha – gets into raves 20 years too late and then 10 years later (nearly 30 years after the Acid summer of love) complains that the kids just don’t know how to rave. It’s the equivalent of setting up a Skiffle Hop in the 1980’s and complaining that the kids don’t know how to jive and don’t drink milkshake or soda pop.

  • Paddy Lennon

    How can you have the cheek to say anything negative about other promoters in dance music when you can’t even organise a successful event yourself, you still owe me my ticket money from 2012 when you had to cancel your festival due to your unorganisation, your line ups were safe and boring, and so were your events…when you actually managed to pull them off, you bunch of old squares.

  • grimm

    This is one of those unintentionally funny articles you come accross from time to time. A middle aged, middle class twerp who fetishises “youth and rebellion” grumbling that the tame youth of today have no spirit.

    I wonder why so many comfortable middle class twerps have such a drooling admiration for the rebel. Is it because (as ever) a bit of superficial “rebellion” is an easy way to distinguish yourself from the common herd?

    Fretting over what is truly authentic in “underground” youth trends, subcultures etc is the pathetic behaviour of the chronically aimless. We have had all this rubbish in the past with writers complaining that the true revolutionary core of some piffling youth movement is being obscured by the fashion following sheep “who just don’t get it”.

  • Matt Binney

    Bangface is much more fun + Hipsters can’t handle it.

  • easynow

    tory w*nker

  • TruthBringer


  • Hurtdeer

    you got the crowd you catered for. if you want renegade fans, try booking the kind of artists they support instead.

  • Dormouse

    Bloc was always a pale imitation of dedbeat

    • Clémentine Pellegrino


    • Brett James

      Deadbeat was quality 🙂

  • jameshead

    Look at what was happening last year. It can be done. But clearly you weren’t up to the task. Maybe it’s best left to people who appreciate that rave is and always has been about the music. Not the hanging out in a warehouse with sketchy people being sick on your shoes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=156&v=g7nZRY_skTo

  • Charlotte Giraudot

    People with a vegan diet are hipsters and losers, so irrelevant ha..

  • Dormouse

    I like rice. Do you like rice?

  • Mushy

    Wow! Much butthurt!

  • Roger Wilco

    And when we got home, our dad would cut us in two w’ breadknife.

  • You mean the kind of raves you can make a huge pile of cash out of aren’t fun anymore? Important qualifier there. If it was really the raving you were interested in, you would find it.

  • Badger

    ‘Rave’ is a very broad term.

  • John Patterson

    An utterly biased and superficial look at the modern day rave scene, all the emphasis is placed on the external details of putting on a good party without any reference to the music. you get the feeling that it is the author not the modern punter who is missing the point, the timing and location of a party are secondary, tunes come first. Also if the author really gave a damn about the scene he would know that there are still insane, middle of nowhere parties going on all over the country. He will not be missed.

  • BetterAndBetter

    Is there any bad hipsters aren’t responsible for? Hipster hate is just bigotry.

    Yes the 90s captured a particular time in music history but it’s not hipsters fault that they ran out of new things to do with synths, sampler and drum machine (all soft-synths these days). I prefer 90s house and find modern house a bit to clean. It’s probably nostalgia, the same for you.

  • Matthew O’Malley

    I may agree with this article. But maybe the author should get the f*ck out of London and visit everywhere else in this country of 60 million and see for themselves that people still love to go out and get f*cked up but can’t afford to head to the Middle Class hipster hang outs that he’s apparently been frequenting.

  • I went to the author’s last event, it was Bloc last weekend. They had signs up by the bouncers that said “our staff enjoy their jobs – you won’t”. I think the rave promoting world is better off without a jaded Mr Hull.

  • Sean L

    Hipster originally referred to amoral black men who lived off their wits in New York in the 50s and 60s. Norman Mailer wrote an essay on the type and their influence called The White Negro. Why does it now refer to white men who are not chavs? Reminds me a bit of “RnB” which now refers to something quite different than it did in the age of hip. RnB then was black music that mainly whites listen to, like Mick Jagger; whereas the white market for what’s called RnB today is confined to chavs.

    • Andrew Cole

      It doesn’t mean white men that aren’t chavs. Black or white people who do the hip things that are thought of as unhip, often just because they are thought of as hip.

      It’s following a fashion which is supposed to be unfashionable. Fixie bikes. Cords. Beards.

      • Sean L

        Well I work in Shoreditch which is supposed to be fashionable and if anything’s fashionable there, it’s beards. I don’t know about bikes or cords. It’s beards and trousers worn at half mast, with or without turn-ups or socks, depending on whether they’re jeans, which are won turned up.

        • Andrew Cole

          Exactly. Hipsters follow ‘unfashionable’ fashion. Its silly. Its like all those people who proclaim they want to be an individual and refuse to follow fashion, then wear air wairs, black make-up and black clothes and thus look like everybody else that says they are being individual and looks the same. They are just following a different fashion. A different uniform.

          Hipsters tend to follow ‘fashionable retro’.

          • Sean L

            That makes more sense, as the original hipster, at least as defined by Norman Mailer, was supposed to be an existentialist: self-determining, authentic, not adopting the role expected of one by others in society, “the they”. Although he had bigger things in mind perhaps than supporting Southampton or wearing trousers with turn-ups, at least it bears some relation to the original sense of the term. Yes young people are always the most conformist, as you say, peer approval being an even greater force at that time of life.

        • Ava Banana

          They look like knobheads in other words.

      • Sean L

        What are these hip things that they do?

        • Andrew Cole

          Fixie bikes have been described as a hipster thing. Supporting an unfashionable football team like Southampton just because not many people do. A lot of it is being ‘into retro’.

          Like always has been it is about procaliming yourself as not doing the norm when the reality is you are doing the norm because lots of others are ‘not doing the norm’ with you whilst proclaiming they are also being individual.

          A hipster does and follows unfashionable things that are ‘in fashion’ if you know what I mean.

  • Charlie

    MID LIFE CRISIS ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • njt55

    I have no idea what this article is about. I don’t understand the language, e.g. “they fetishise the authenticity of an independent operator” and “A monstrous cabal of overpaid circuit DJs titillating a precious and unimaginative bunch of wimpy pseudo-hedonists” And why would anyone want to “rave for 3 days”? I get tired after getting mildly annoyed for 5 minutes. Yes, I’m old.

  • josephjomanmancuso

    This article is full of so much hot air. First of all, most “raves” are not held in city parks and end at 10pm. That is absolute hogwash. Second of all, you’re complaining that people are drinking less and doing less drugs? That says more about you than anything. I’m all for people being uninhibited and free but if you think the one thing preventing them from being that is an unwillingness to get belligerently drunk and roll their faces off in a big sweaty cuddle puddle, you’re clueless. It has more to do with the sweeping takeover of Big Room, Trap and other soulless cookie cutter genres than anything.

    This reads like, “hey, I’m a promoter, but I’m not succeeding as much as I used to, it’s all the youth’s fault, I was never really just into this for the music, I love drugs, the end.”

    I loved this music and the culture surrounding it years before I ever tried ecstasy.

  • Ember Late

    You are not an old raver m8.

    What involvement did this guy have with the event this year at all? Steve Davis played a set ffs, it was hardly a 3 day free-rave where everyone was getting dangerously twisted. What did he expect?

    Firstly, the soundsystems on most of the stages, poor. Not worth getting twisted for most of the acts on the smaller stages when it doesn’t sound crisp.

    If we are talking about people munching grams of mdma as an ‘ideal raver’, we were searched and threatened by a ton of police and dogs on the way in, so realistically the most ‘carefree’ ravers got caught out.

    Personal speakers weren’t allowed at any audible volume in the chalets, at risk of being kicked out and chased by security, so after parties were a no-no.

    Every time you went to a new stage you were thoroughly searched and booze taken off you, meaning you had to pay triple price at the indoor bars. Hardly harking back to the old ‘free rave’ days are we?

    Maybe you shouldn’t have held it at Butlins if you didn’t want people to feel comfortable and sleep in the beds. If the person who requested free wifi to “submit coursework”, then went on to snort a fat line of mandy and went on a mad one would that then be an ‘ideal raver’?

    What kind of event do you even think you were putting on?

    Were you expecting to see 1500, gurned, dehydrated Zombies with glowsticks whilst Thom Yorke sings his mediocre new album to them?

    “Last weekend, in a last stand for youthful rebellion in this country, we put on our final event, and it went on until 10 a.m., as any good rave should. We received complaints that there was not enough activity during the daytime. The kids wanted an early night.”

    Complete bullshit.

    Because there was barely anything going on during the day, there was therefore no reason not to get a goods night sleep.

    Because there were no personal PA speakers/dekcs allowed, there wasn’t a great deal of top-quality personal partying to be done.

    Because we were fingered by police on the way in, there was limited gear to keep us occupied.


    The line-up was incredible, Bloc was on the whole great, this article doesn’t fit with reality.

    Most people were on drugs like how its always been, most people were wearing silly, edgy clothing like how its always been, most people were having a great time.

  • Christian Hearnshaw

    Two paragraphs into this article, I unconsciously started reading it with the voice of Victor Meldrew. I went to Bloc, and most of it wasn’t rave music. The headliner was Thom Yorke, who is a favourite of many but has never been one to cause displays of wild abandon in people (unless you include suicide).

    If you book a load of IDM, don’t expect the oldskool rave crew out in full force, expect the crowd who like talking about analogue synth.

    Also the rise of ketamine due to mushrooms being made illegal, combined with China bringing in tighter regulation around the supply of MDMA precursors mean that people have less pills, and they cost more. Being fingered by Minehead security means the few that were left were further reduced in number. That’s probably why people were quieter and went home earlier, they were in a k hole. Facing Butlins sober wasn’t an option, so we all did the best we could with the tools available. Perhaps if you’d picked center parks I would have been more lively.

    My advice to you, George: get down to an actual free party (remember your thermals as you’re getting on a bit). With no security and no noise regs, you’ll find the spirit of raves you remember from so long ago still lives, it just doesn’t live at events organised by you.

  • James

    So, we’ve had IDS quitting the cabinet because the Tories turn out not to be very nice to poor people, and the organiser of a pricey dance music festival at a kitsch holiday resort flouncing over the excess of hipsters his event attracted. Maybe next week Heston Blumenthal will be getting out of the restaurant business owing to the punters having become too middle-class, and Donny Tourette will leave his band because ‘punk isn’t what it was in 2004’ (the latter, presumably, to be announced in the ‘Homes and Property’ section of the Evening Standard).