Oldskool Hardcore Rave & Its Success In the United Kingdom

The rise of oldskool hardcore rave in the United Kingdom stamped authority on a scene we created.

Yes, EDM had evolved from Hip Hip and House music however, hardcore was unique in its existence when it arrived.

Combined with rolling drum beats and high-frequency percussion hardcore evolved fast.

A new unique sound combination of these new sounds meant DJs would direct us on a journey.

The pure essence of this direction for EDM motivated ravers to dance for up to 12 hours none stop. Hardcore is ours and EDM needed it to branch out further later in the 90s.

The Explosion of Hardcore Rave

Illegal parties soon meant thousands of ravers would unite and stamp some authority on the hardcore rave genre.  unoccupied homes, unused warehouses, or aircraft hangars became packed out.

The economy in the United Kingdom was suffering and people needed more freedom to party. 1991 was perfect timing when EDM was about to take a whole new meaning.

By the time 1991 arrived rave was nationwide and nights showed up across the United Kingdom like wildfire.

As the hardcore rave evolved new by-laws were passed which was an attempt to discourage promoters from holding raves.

This meant many raves around the country were illegal, although, it was hard to discourage ravers to attend with the power and authority, the scene had on our lives.

The Adrenalin Rush & Raving to Hardcore

Oldskool Hardcore Rave & Its Success In the United Kingdom
Oldskool Hardcore Rave & Its Success In the United Kingdom

Ravers stood in enormous queues to enter into raves, buzzing from the sound of hardcore inside. The MC looped an echo in the atmosphere outside wanting ravers to gain quick entrance.

Queues resided fairly quickly after security checks and the night unfolded from the first moment of entrance.

There was so much adrenalin involved that the building was filled with electricity in the atmosphere.

Even though the origin of rave came from Chicago and New York house nights, this was something we had devised to place a hold on EDM in the UK.

Organizations such as Fantazia, Universe, Raindance, Amnesia House, ESP, and Helter Skelter were holding large-scale legal raves in warehouses and fields in the early ’90s.

Legal or not the raves scene expressed such a foothold in EDM by the time late 1991 arrived half the country was involved. It was purely and simply the freedom and energy created that took us by surprise.

It has been psychologically tested that music relieves stress and this is the most popular reason ravers are even today involved with rave parties around the world.

The Nights Just Got Better & Better

You’ve heard the saying that raves couldn’t get any better, however, ravers gathered in service stations across the UK telling each other that was the best night of their lives.

As the hardcore raves evolved more effort was placed by promotors to hold the best nights. That followed by new up-and-coming DJs and new soundtracks meant more energy.

With hardcore origins coming from across the house and EDM board more promotors arrived to hold raves across the UK.

The whole house scene had been remixed and re-sampled with extra bass and synths to attract ravers to the scene and push promotors to act. Promotors became bigger and better.

Yes, they made money, however, creating a completely new night of pure pleasure was top of the agenda. The more nights held the more new ravers attended and the more hardcore was distributed across the UK.

Was It Expensive To Go Raving?

Oldskool Hardcore Rave & Its Success In the United Kingdom
Oldskool Hardcore Rave & Its Success In the United Kingdom

Raves weren’t expensive if you consider how much it costs to party in 2023. Today with the amount of around 5-7 beers, a rave would have been paid for.

Yes, water was expensive, however, promoters made more money from entrance fees. The whole night was worth every penny and to be able to dance for 10-12 hours was a cheap way to have great fun.

Let’s not forget that DJs, PAS and MCs all had to be paid and it wasn’t cheap. I personally never heard any complaints about costs in all the years I have been raving.

Don’t forget the sound crew and engineers, lighting and fairground facilities at various raves which all had to be paid for. Licenses and venue rental also needed paying.

Some might say MDMA was expensive, however, this didn’t stop ravers from experimenting. It’s something that you either did or didn’t do and it was a choice you made.

The music even today is amplified with a large, powerful sound-reinforced system, typically with large subwoofers to produce a deep bass sound. The lighting had to be unique and always better than the last rave.

All the above came at a cost and promotors back in 1991 put on amazing raves which just improved time and time again until the Criminal Justice Bill finally arrived in 1994.

Hardcore Raves & The Criminal Justice Bill

It was something that was expected with the bad coverage from the press and the doubt that raves could go ahead as they were.

Before the Criminal Justice Bill Arrived Hardcore Rave had already invented itself via raves of the past. Previously not much was known about MDMA and then there was noise pollution.

Hardcore rave had already been invented and EDM was changed forever, our mission was already complete and ravers knew that hardcore will never die. Yes, it was a shame, however, was expected.

Rave On 1991 has no discretion with the law, although are sad to see hardcore rave take a back seat at least for now.

Large organised events are already popping up around the country to celebrate 30+ years of rave.

Shelly’s Lasordome in Stoke and Bowlers in Manchester come to mind. It’s exciting to see new ravers of all ages partying legally.

Rave is moving again as we search for a new wave of EDM to reunite the masses again. Will hardcore evolve or will it be something new? Please feel free to leave a comment below.