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As a guy that definately likes a bit of party, it was only good and proper that I kicked off my travelling adventure with a bit of a rave! My key priorities were that it had to be outside and it had to be loud!
Of course the primary reason was to help ensure I was suitably raved out in order that my mind remained clear enough to effectively undertake the detailed analysis that lay ahead of me, which will surely be subject to much scrutiny and due peer review process.
First things first, I had to find the location, always critical when organising an outdoor party. I tried for several weeks to find a venue (the 'legal' way....pah!)
It eventually dawned on me that few people actually want this type of party on their land, with most probably being turned off at the mention of 'all night party', 'mini-rave', 'phat bass' or similar key words.
In the end, I had to take things into my own hands. Over the course of a few days I took a few 'extended lunch breaks' (sorry Maplecroft!), biking around to explore the countryside that surrounds Bath.
Months of cycling between Bristol and Bath for work as I saved money for my trip helped a lot here...I also got a tip about a party spot that was reasonably safe from police (in a grimy tunnel under the A4)...it was a bit too dingy and muddy for my purposes, though it did set me off on an interesting path...
After going through many fields, woods, tunnels etc. I finally found this little clearing in a small woods that I instantly knew...THIS IS THE ONE! A beautiful little area with no signs of human activity, accessible through a small access road, but miles away from civilisation.
Next step, I had to sort out the equipment. Now I did have some stuff, but not enough to fuel the kind of party I wanted, so I took to hiring a load of gear from a good guy near Lakota - www.rentdjequipment.co.uk.
I tried a few different guys for quotes etc, this guy was by far the cheapest and he's also freindly so I would highly recommend. I hired two generators and power supply stuff from homebase hire...also a good deal and no fuss.
A good freind of mine, Sam also promised to bring his big party speakers along...this was sure shaping up to be a wicked party!!
Final kit list:
x2 Petrol generators (3.2kva )
x2 Mackie SRM 450 Speakers
x2 Mackie Active Subwoofer
x2 Wharfedale badman speakers (THANKS SAM!)
x2 Technics 1210 decks (with flight cases)
x2 Deck stands
x1 Allen & Heath Xone 62 mixer
x2 Laptops (Serato & Traktor)
x4 Parcan LED disco lights and stand
x1 Multi-effect disco light
1x Smoke machine
4x 400W floodlights
Box loads of cables and supporting equipment!
Countless decorations, parrafin lights etc. thx everyone!
Equipment sorted, word was put out to good freinds and through facebook (thanks Lisa!). Note this was not strictly a rave in the normal sense as it was technically a private party, with my closest freinds and freinds of freinds invited...but all other senses of RAVE applied :)
This party had a fancy dress code that was kept broad to keep things interesting, basically where something exotic or adventurous or otherwise in keeping with the spirit of world travel or looking generally amazing...I dressed as indiana jones! other great contenders included a leopord, a lizard, a german frohlein, a racoon etc... you get the picture!
Thanks to Lisa again for organising our beer cooling method as pictured to the right! This is an idea stolen from the Brazilians who surely would know how to keep their drinks cold without a fridge. We bought a small paddling pool and everbody was told to bring 2-3 bags of ice with them to the party...
This worked so well that it kept our drinks freezing cold all the way to the next day and also provided some interesting head dunking experiences for the stupid minded.
So anyway it took 4-5 pretty intense hours to get everything set up, constantly worried that our little operation would get busted before it had even started getting going properly...this period is a critical stage in the life-cycle of a rave party. If the police showed up now it could all be over.
The fundamental theory of free-party states that if you can get enough people on site before the police show up (which they almost inevitably will!), it will be too dark, difficult, complicated and potentially dangerous for them to practically do anything about it.
In the end, police did show up...the human traffic going back and forth between a local pub where people were parking aroused their suspicions...however, they were satisfied that this was a relatively small affair that wasn't causing a nuisance to any nearby houses and we so didn't hear from them again. This effectively demonstrates the critical importance of location, location, location!
So with the babylon out of the way, only thing left to do was to rinse it out basically!! all went awesomely smoothly except for a blown speaker horn and a disco light that sadly perished when the t-bar stand it was attached to fell over.
Other than that we had a minor power disruption when one of the generators got filled with diesel instead of petrol by accident (who brings diesel to a petrol party??!!) It was lucky i'd brought two genny's along as this meant the party could keep going while three of us dealt with the time consuming task of emptying it all out and feeding through new petrol. Please note that no waste fuel (or other rubbish for that matter) was left on the premises!
In the end, we had an absolutely wicked party and we rinsed out those speakers as loud as they could possibly go all night and kept going well into the next afternoon. Easily 20-30 people at peak, more than I could have wanted.
Tackling the system pack-up job the next afternoon was not exactly fun or easy, but was made much easier by everyone who stayed behind to help with that, cheers everyone! I basically collapsed of exhaustion on a woodland path after getting it all packed in the back-a-the van.
MASSIVE LOVE and thanks to everybody that came along to the party, helped to make it happen, gave it a proper rave spirit and to all the DJ's that helped support the party and provided tuneage all night:
DJ's Skolla & Sims
Must-Dash - *special prize for DJ set of the night*
Massive love also goes out to all the Bristol, Bath, Exeter, London and GX crewdem! a lot of who this party was the last time I saw you...missing you guys, (and the UK party scene!) is the hardest thing I have to deal with now I'm on the road. The fact I could say goodbye properly is basically the best thing ever!
Best costume award: Marie-lou (Lizard and then later Pikachu)
Best DJ set: Sam (funked up jungle/techno mashed up set)
DJ's Skolla & Sims get maximum respect for a totally sick DJ duo
Party Organisationator award: Lisa
In conclusion, this party taught me a lot about party organisation and the meaning of life.