7 June 2013

How to put on a Free party!

It's getting around to that time of the year again and people begin to think about planning 'picnics' and 'barbecues' outside in the open air for their friends and family. In the woods? On the beach? In a field? Smashing! Here's a few do's and do nots that may help you have a cracking party.

here comes the summer...

Round up the crew, blag a rig and a van, find a venue, ring your mates and tell them where and when, score, set up the rig at the venue, switch it on and Bob’s your father’s brother.

Most Important Things:
Nice People in Safety
Top Sounds & Visuals
Interesting Venue
No Grief

The best thing about putting on a free party is that all your friends are there. Word of mouth is usually the best way, and you’ll only get friends and friends of friends etc. Advertising in other ways may attract unwanted ‘guests’. To help each and every one of your crowd correctly to experience the ‘dance energy rush’ in an environment of relative comfort and safety here’s a few tips:

Always check squatted venues at least a day or two before the party for:

Safe floors, ceilings walls, broken glass, electricity etc. (we found misguided revellers using a hanging live power outlet as a swing!), running water, flushing toilets and sufficient fire exits.

Essential safety kit:

At least one C02 (black) fire extinguisher. Trained first-aider with a decent first aid kit. Mobile phone.

A 12 volt Halogen floodlight is useful for setting up (you can run it off a car battery).

A 240 volt floodlight (or more) in case there are dangerous dark areas.


It’s all dull, and some of it’s expensive, but there’s nothing that kills a party more effectively than someone dying in blood-soaked agony on the dance-floor.

If you can’t think of any good music to play — let someone else do it. If, after announcing your intention to organise the party in the pub on Tuesday night you aren’t bombarded by endless DJ’s, all of whom who will guarantee to ‘rock it’ with their ‘fuckin’ mental’ collection of ‘white labels’, then, and only then, resort to "Now that’s what I call Absolutely the most ‘avin it, Hardcore Industrial Ultimate Rave Dance Anthem Classics in the pan-dimensional multiverse before and since the Big-Bang" from K-Tel.

Your sound-system should have three important qualities — bass, midrange and treble. Many have only two or even one of these, but all three will seriously enhance your listening pleasure. Alternatively, soak your ears in Ketamine and Brew and lie face down in the scoop bin which was all you could afford with your last Housing Benefit cheque and forget about the irrelevant higher frequencies.

A good choice of venue will greatly enhance everyone’s fun. Beautiful countryside makes a cheap and effective backdrop. A sunrise is infinitely less expensive than a laser and a squillion times brighter. Indoors, everyone will be happier if there’s somewhere reasonably comfortable and quieter to sit down.

Drugs of all sorts may be available at your party, and will have an affect on the atmosphere. If you’re planning to sell alcohol, remember the penalties can be severe and the police may use this to get you if they can’t use party related laws. If you’re bringing the sound system you’ll be the first to be searched for illegal drugs. A good way round the sale of alcohol problem is to buy it in bulk, which everyone can ‘chip in’ for in advance (e.g. from France) and have a list of people who ‘chipped in’ ready to show the police if necessary. If you find that there are dealers at your party are selling drugs, no-one will thank you if they get sold horse tranquilliser as ecstasy. Take some ecstasy testing kits if you can, for the safety of those who will take it, but don’t carry any illegal drugs with them (obvious really!)

Avoiding grief is the biggest challenge faced by anyone putting on a free party in Britain today. No matter how careful the organisers are to be safe and conscientious, some people just can’t handle seeing other people having a good time — especially if they’re not invited! Outdoor and indoor events face grief from the police (Criminal Justice Act, Public Licensing Laws), angry neighbours, uninvited guests and the weather:

The ideal location is one where no-one can see the party or hear the music other than those attending. Sound travels a long way outside, partying in quarries and deep valleys can be very effective at limiting the range of noise disturbance, whereas trees reduce the volume much less. As a rule of thumb, if you can see a building from the soundsystem then they can hear the music. The amount of noise which constitutes a disturbance has frequently been debated. Some moaning ninnies will strain to hear a faintly audible whisper of a kick-drum, with the windows open and consider this an infringement of their rights as a miserable, party-pooping, tory (probably) land-owning killjoy. On the other hand pick your site badly and you could keep hundreds of people awake all night needlessly.

The C.J.A. allows the police to insist you leave the site if they think that the party may cause serious distress to local people. Serious distress has not been defined in law and presumably if the police eject a party from a site which would not have caused a problem, they could be taken to court over it, but as yet no-one known to us has had the time or the means to try this. To order you to leave the land, the order has to come from a superintendent or higher ranking officer, although this often comes as a signed standard letter. In one case, the soundsystem refused to leave land when issued with this order in East Sussex and in the morning the police confiscated some of the system. If you successfully argued that no distress was or could be caused by the party you might get compensation for the loss of the rig and get it back, but this argument has never been tested in law (to our knowledge). 

Under the C.J.A., a confiscated soundsystem can be destroyed if the owners are convicted, and the maximum sentence for organising a ‘rave’ includes five years in prison. These laws apply whether or not you have permission from the landowner of the party site, although the police are less likely to prevent parties on land with permission. Outdoor events are not subject to the same licensing laws as indoor ones, although a marquee might be construed as ‘indoors’ for such purposes.

Wherever you party, cleaning up afterwards is essential. Why should we fuck up the countryside for a party —after all industry and roads do it much more effectively. Cleaning up keeps on the good side of locals and helps perpetuate the outdoor free partyvibe—man!

Partying indoors throws up a whole new legal minefield. Theoretically any gathering in a building with music and dancing to which the public have access is subject to an entertainment licence under the neatly titled Local Government Act (1982) Miscellaneous Provisions. Prosecution under this act is at the discretion of the Local Authority (usually) and in most cases this is too expensive and time consuming for them to undertake. However if pushed this will happen and it’s very hard to fight. The only defence is to show that all reasonable precautions were taken to ensure that no uninvited guests had access to the building. In the eyes of the average magistrate, this means having 6 or more bruisers in bomber jackets with headset walkie-talkies strutting around as though they just stepped off the set of Bladerunner. Taking money on the door also implies a licence is required. To the best of our knowledge, no case of this kind which has gone to court has ever been won by the defendant. The maximum penalty is £20,000 and/or six months, although a fine of a few hundred is more usual. Once again ownership of the building makes things easier although this law still applies. If you can prove that all the people at the party were invited—you do not have to have a licence.

The other angles the police may use to try and stop the event are breaking and entering and abstraction(?!) If you’re cracking a squat for a party do it at least one or two nights before the event, so if you get caught you’re only looking for somewhere to live and not standing with a jemmy in one hand and a record box in the other. A discrete window can be left open for access on the night of the event. Most buildings are accessible without causing damage, if you break a lock or something getting in, this is enough to get you nicked for criminal damage - so replace it. Locks don’t cost much and might be useful on the night. Once you’re in get the tools (jemmy, bolt-croppers, screwdrivers etc.) off the premises immediately.

Abstraction is stealing electricity. Check the state of the power before the night of the party. If there is power in the building go to your local electricity board shop and pay for some (£2O will do) in advance. They will normally accept the advance payment, and rarely inform anyone. If the police suggest that you’re stealing the lecky, you can produce a receipt! If possible have a generator on hand as a back-up.

Often, the key to success seems to be not to give the police a reason to stop the event. A long-term empty industrial building, a few streets away from any residential areas can be partied all night without any authorities being aware. If you are careful about not inflicting too much damage, clean up afterwards and put your own locks on you might be able to party it again in a month. However, too many parties in the same building brings other problems and soon the crowd will expand to include small time local mafia and other thugs who have their own unpleasant profit motives for attending. A good phone network of friends and moving the venue each time will keep numbers manageable and idiots away.

In general when dealing with the police, environmental health and any other officials or general busybodies and members of the public, remain calm and courteous at all times. This is a disarming tactic which will render even the most puffing, ruddy faced retired ex-colonel’s barking complaint ineffective. Listen to what the police say, reason intelligently and don’t believe a word of it without consideration. They will lie to you, steal your genny from behind your back and to hell with the law if it serves their purpose.

If you think your event might result in a prosecution — take measures to protect yourselves against potentially biased court proceedings. Take photographs of all the safety precautions you have undertaken, and have a reasonable number of visible stewards. Don’t take money on the door, clean up afterwards and take photographs of the site afterwards. If possible have a camcorder available to record the event particularly interactions with the police.

Lastly a few DO’s and DON’Ts:


DO hassle stressed people with head-torches and screwdrivers when the music’s mysteriously stopped saying "Oi mate, can I borrow your miners helmet to skin up with."

DO poke bits of metal into unknown boxes on the wall with coloured lights, saying "Beam me up Scotty".

DO gather round the police when they arrive, waving empty bottles and shouting "Remember the Beanfield, bastard pig wanker?"

DON’T help clear anything up at the end, but instead lie around in a pool of piss and dog turd informing the organisers that they’re slaves to the system.

DO arrive at a pitch-black Welsh hillside in November with only a small nightie, high-heels and two pills (previously ingested if possible).

DO believe the police when they tell you the party’s cancelled (as they never lie), and on no account bother to try to find a different way onto the site, returning 40 miles to your flat to watch telly.

DO park across the access road to the party so that ambulances can’t get in.


DO give out printed flyers saying "Illegal Rave" in large letters a week in advance to give the police ample time to plan their operation.

DON’T pick outdoor sites with ample parking as muddy dodgems in the morning is a top laugh and modern ambulances have wings.

DON’T bother with a tarpaulin to cover the rig as it never rains in Britain.

DO put generators inside buildings as Carbon Monoxide heightens the effects of ecstasy

DON’T bother bringing any water to the party. If someone dies of dehydration it’s their own stupid fault ...your honour.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

Ecstasy testing kits available from http://olddrugs.greenparty.org.uk/substance/xtc.php#content or 1a, Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ for £17.00 inc.

thanks to SchNEWS


Organising a Rave

OK, so what follows is a practical guide to organising your own free party! But before we start there are a few issues which I need to address. In the U.K we have something called the Criminal Justice Act. This was introduced as a direct response to the booming rave culture of the late 80s. What this act did was give the Police power to shut down any gathering that they believed to be dangerous or anti-social.

You need to be aware that any organised gathering on public land or on land that you don't have permission to use can be shut down by the plod and all the equipment can be confiscated.


The Venue

You've got various options for the venue and some very important decisions to make which could make or break your rave:

1. Do you want to rave outside?

The first problem you have is permission. Do you have permission to use the land you've got your eye on? Do you care!? Most outdoor rave worthy land is owned by a farmer. Farmers are notoriously odd when it comes to these sort of events; some of them will be accommodating and some will shoot at you if you step foot on anything they own so play it cool! The majority of farmers understand one language - money! Get your hand in your pocket and pay the man for the privilege. Or come to an arrangement where you charge per car (but charging for entry is another area where you want to be careful and you'll need to find trust worthy people who don't mind missing the party to take responsibility of this).

Some of the best raves I've been to have been in the Lake District under a clear sky and when you hit that sunrise at 3 or 4 in the morning it can be a great place to be. But there are obvious caveats - the main one being rain! If it's going to be wet (and it usually is when you don't want it to be) then you need to protect your gear. So that means covers, tarpaulins and some sort of scaffold type rig to hold those covers in place.

Wind as well can be an issue so if you're going to be raving outside think about using the natural relief of the land to shelter your set-up from the worst of it.

You should also check out the entrance and exits; especially if you are going to have lots of cars involved. What looks like a sound piece of ground can quickly turn into a quagmire after a bit of rain and a few cars are thrown into the mix.

2. Do you want to rave inside?

If you've got an indoor venue sorted then you've already removed at lot of the issues which are associated with the bloody awful British weather. But you have opened another box of issues!
If you have a proper venue available for hire then all licensing, entry control, security and staging is made a lot simpler but you may have rules laid down by the cops and the venue owners. Because of this I wouldn't recommend using a proper venue for anything other than a proper club night. But we’re talking about proper raves here so...

3. What are the other options?

The best option is a privately owned building... Not a house! I'm thinking more of a barn or disused storage space like a warehouse. If you can get permission to use something like this then you're onto a winner! As long as it's weather proof you can protect your ravers and your sound system from the elements; but you don't have the usual red tape associated with using a proper venue.

The best rave I organised was in an old church! It was completely empty except for a few hymn books. It still had the huge stained glass windows in place and it gave the whole night a gothic feel.

Whatever venue you choose you face a brush with the law if you don't have permission to be there, and even if you do have permission to be there, then you still have to be concerned with several other issues. If there are neighbours near by then they have rights and they can be the biggest issue you'll face as most people will pick up the phone and call the old bill straight away. Don't forget that the Police have the right to break up the party whatever the circumstances.

Never work your own door.

The Music and the Lighting

Once you've got the venue sorted you need to fill it full of stuff that makes people rave! It's completely up to you how far you go with this but there is no limit. Some raves I've been to have had huge marquees full of dangling fluorescent decorations and crazy characters walking round on stilts! The only limits are budget and imagination. However there are essentials which you will not be able to rave without.

1. The Sound System
The most important bit of kit is the sound system. Without that there is no party! If you don't have one then you're going to have to hire it. The best way to go about hiring a sound system is through word of mouth. There will be people who have organised raves before you -- the same as there will be people who organise raves after you've gone! So ask around, where do you get your sound systems from? What size do you go for? Are they reliable?

You'll have to dip into the piggy bank but there are often sound system owners out there who are sympathetic to your cause and will rent you a sound system at a decent rate. If you're lucky you can hire a guy who'll sort all that out for you. If not then you're going to have to hire the system yourself, set it up and get it running. If you don't know what you're doing then don't bother! Pay someone else!

The cops have plenty of "soft intelligence" on who is involved in free parties.

Authorities automatically assume those linked with the entertaiments or music industry (licensed or otherwise) will have a pre-disposition to criminal activity - this is a prejudice older than the Police service themseves (the first legal restrictions on travelling musicians in Britain were made in the 1300s!)

Cops have no problems about holding a hired rig, and if the "hire company reps" attend the police they would probably be interviewed (although not under arrest) as cops tried to find out whether they knew the party was unlicensed or not. they may also (if they suspect collusion) accuse the hire company of knowingly aiding this event - which leaves them open to further civil and criminal penalties.

Even if a legitimate company complained they would just say "yes, you have had a financial loss but what about the landowners/building owners? you can't make profit at someone elses cost..." 

They would then say the only way they could recover their loss would be to make a criminal or civil claim against the organisers alleging they had been duped into supplying sound equipment for an illegal event. Obviously if they are friends the hirers would be unwilling to do this!

2. The Music
You need DJs! This is the easiest AND the hardest part of the night to organise! You need to decide what music is going to make people rave their tits off and you need to plan a night of perfect musical balance, flow and style for the night to be a rip roaring success. You also need to make sure you have enough DJs to cover the whole night, but not too many DJs or you'll have a conflict on your hands!

When people hear you're organising a rave the word soon gets about and before you know it you'll have people you've never heard of asking for sets. It really is up to you who and what gets played but you may have to tread on some toes in the process.

Once the DJs all turn up you have the added pain in the arse of organising their set times and what order they play. Someone will not be happy playing first, someone will try and play for longer, someone will get too pissed to play and someone will turn up claiming that his uncle's milk man told him he could play for half an hour. My advice... treat DJs like animals! Be strict but not aggressive. Tell them all what the script is and if they don't like it they're not playing. Try not to change set times and keep everything running as planned; but remember... this is your night! Don't let the DJ dictate to you!

You might need to hire decks and a mixer if the sound system dude hasn't supplied them. Try and borrow them primarily (it may require giving a DJ the prime set but that's the way it goes!). If a DJ wants any specific gear other than two high quality turntables and a decent mixer, then they'll have to bring their own!

3. The Lights
The lights are also very important and some people go to town in this department. As with the sound system you need to know what you're doing or it could turn messy! If you've got the budget then go crazy! Get lasers, traffic lights, strobes, beams - the whole nine yards! It all helps create the rave experience.

If you're holding the rave in a venue which has no street or natural lighting then you will need flood lights for certain areas, such as the main entrance and socialising areas. These aren't essential but they do improve the experience for all.

If you feel that you don't have enough knowledge of the above area and you would like to know more then check out: avforums.com.

The Other Bits

1. The Generator
The generator is one of the easiest things to sort out. Most people know someone with a generator of some description; however make sure it has the power to do the job! If you don't know of anyone who'll lend you a generator then every town, city or village has somewhere nearby that will rent you a generator. If you can't find anywhere then try hss.com [no affiliation]. They allow you to order and pick up at a fairly reasonable rate.

The size of generator needed will depend on the size of the sound system, the lighting rig and anything else you are planning that needs power. You should be able to get a good indication of the size needed from the parties involved in these various areas. It may make more sense to hire several generators for different needs. That way if one goes wrong not everything is affected!

Another generator tip: go for diesel, its cheaper! And get plenty of it on standby.

1. Air Conditioning and Heating

Depending on the venue, you may need to hire heater or air conditioners to improve the experience for your ravers. If then venue is small and cramped then air conditioning hire is essential and will prevent anyone passing out from too much hardcore raving!

Likewise, if you're planning a rave in winter then the venue may need extra heat and heater hire might be another necessity.


As well as the lights and the sound system if you've got the budget then why not get all the extras which improve the rave experience? You can go for smoke machines, fireworks, jugglers, magicians, MCs etc... The sky is the limit really!


Hhhm. Now this can be an area where things go wrong! Too much marketing and you may get overrun. If the venue can't cope then you're in a whole world of trouble. Decide what you're trying to achieve and then decide your level of marketing from there. If you want a low key event with friends only then just put the word about and let everyone else do the rest.

But never under estimate the power of the grapevine! Don't over do it or you may end up in a whole world of trouble!

From - http://ezinearticles.com/?Organising-a-Rave&id=1930703


The Guide to having a Free Party 


There are many elements to running a successful party. Certainly this document isn't going to tell you how to run your party, nor what exactly makes a good event. We'll leave that for you to decide. However we hope that the following guidelines (gathered from experience) prove useful...

The Party:

1. Don't over estimate the power of sound: 

A good sound system and dj's won't necessarily make a good party. A successful party comes from a crowd of people enjoying themselves and having fun. Room to move is important, so is a good vibe, amenities (food and drinks stalls, toilets, etc), having enough light, somewhere chill out, to sit and relax, and keeping trouble makers out. 

Rather than focussing all your attention on the sound system and artists, remember that details count. 

2. You are not criminals: 

Don't be fooled by the authorities, you are not criminals! Respect the law, don't give the authorities the power to stop your party by breaking it. 

3. Health and safety: 

Always have a first aid kit on hand together with the numbers of a hospital and other emergency services. If possible someone experienced in first aid should be present at your party. 

Make a free supply of water available, also keep some fruit handy. Place fire extinguishers near electrical equipment, make sure people know where they are and how to use them.

Before a party, try to clear any broken glass and dangerous debris away to help avoid accidents. Highlight your toilets, bins and keep entrances clear of people and equipment. Wires should be trailed above head height not exposed. Gangways and fire exits must be kept clear; fireproof all backdrops and decor.

If someone looks unwell, approach them in a non threatening manner and ask how they are. If they ask for your help take the time to offer them the support they need. 

4. Parking: 

Keep parked vehicles off public roads. Bad parking practice can harm a party in several ways. They can alert the authorities to the fact that something is going on. They can give them a valid reason to try to stop the proceedings and they can make it difficult for emergency services to get on to your site. 

5. Vandalism and troublemakers: 

Don't tolerate vandalism or anti social behavior. Act as a group, show a determined and united front, politely ask those responsible to stop being disruptive. Let them know their behavior isn't wanted at the party, perhaps stop the music in order to get their full attention. Suggest that they should leave if they don't feel able to contribute to a positive vibe. 

6. Rubbish: 

Remove any rubbish left after a party, put it into bags and dispose of it safely. Hopefully you've enjoyed the beauty of your surroundings, remember to leave them the way you found them :)

7. Running a hotline:

Prefix directions to your party with the date and time of the party. That way if your crew is out one week and resting the next, you save prospective party goers a potentially long trek out to an idle site. 

If you have a website, post directions online at the last minute and give out the URL. The web is a good way for party goer's to plan their drive to your site. Good reference websites for driving directions are: the Ordinance Survey Maps website for the UK and Map Quest for Europe and the US.

Don't let your hotline idle. Whether it's active or not, try to at least leave a message telling people what you're up to or how to find out what you'll be up to in the future. If you change hotline numbers, make sure you leave a link from the old to the new.

Be as accurate and descriptive as possible with your directions. If your party is in the countryside, use landmarks as a reference (bridges, pubs, etc) and leave noticeable markers on the road (signs, cones, etc). If the party is in town, carefully spell out the name of the road and neighborhood the party is in. Also it's useful to stress a postcode, in case there are more than one roads with the same name in that town. Of course it's important to give out the name of the town your party is in, not everyone trying to reach you will be local or familiar with your area.

Speak clearly, mobile phones often don't enjoy the best reception. Make it as easy as possible for the listener to understand your directions. If you move site remember to update your hotline messages. If you've given out a hotline number, expect people to use it. Getting to a party can be stressful, make an effort to communicate calmly with the person listening to your directions.

8. Handling the police and authorities:

Have only a small number of people deal with any police presence. Be civil, polite and communicate that your party isn't aimed at disruption, you have gathered to have fun as a group... peacefully. 

Avoid conflict, mediate with them, listen to what they have to say. It may be that simply turning the volume down a little, opening fire exits (ed: don't miss read that statement! we're not suggesting you should open fire on the authorities) or moving some of those cars parked around the site might appease them enough to let the party continue. 

9. A note on personal freedom:

We believe that it is the responsibility of the individual to look after themselves as grown and educated adults. We choose to make our own choices. We choose the right to party and free ourselves through dance and music. Most of all we recognise that personal freedom should not interfere with the freedom of others..."


Despite the dastardly efforts of the Criminal Justice Act, free parties are still kicking off every weekend all around the country.

Just because they're free, that doesn't mean you shouldn't respect the place where the party kicks off, or the people who are putting it on. 

Here's a few guidelines that should be followed at all free events:
  • Be prepared to be self sufficient. Facilities will be minimal.
  • Park sensibly, keep site roads clear.
  • Be friendly to local residents, ramblers etc. Smile - you're at a free party!
  • Bury your shit!!
  • Don't trash the site - take a bin bag
  • If you go for a wander, close any gates behind you
  • Don't let your dog run wild
  • Respect local wildlife
  • Fires - use dead not live wood (it don't burn in any case)
  • Make a donation - if someone passes a bucket round, don't be a mean git. It costs money to put on a free event.
It's also wise to be prepared just in case your party kicks off with a police bust. 

More info:

Information and legal help on drugs arrests
124-128 City Road, London, EC1V 2NJ
Helpline 0845 4500 215ask@release.org.uk
(open 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm, Monday-Friday)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7324 2989
Fax: +44 (0)20 7324 2977


The Good Free Party Goer's Guide


Often rules exist in an unspoken form. By outlining the following that apply to good party going behaviour we hope to preserve the positive nature of parties, keep safe and show ourselves to be responsible.

1. Getting to the party:

Call the party hotline before you leave. Take a note of the information given and look up the site on a map. The web is a good place for road maps, useful directions can be found on the Ordinance Survey Maps (UK) and Map Quest web sites (Europe & US). 

Regardless of the fact that you must never drive under the influence, it's also important that the person helping you to navigate should do the same. Finding a party can be difficult, party sites are often hidden and out of sight.

Take a mobile phone and a map with you. Parties often change site, also the directions you were given won't always be 100% accurate or easy to follow. 

As you get closer to the site of a party, be careful not to play your music too loud or cause a disruption by driving recklessly. Respect the locals right to a good night's sleep and remember bringing attention to yourself, also brings attention to the party!

2. Parking: 

Keep parked vehicles off public roads. Bad parking practice can harm a party in several ways. They can alert the authorities to the fact that something is going on. They can give them a valid reason to try to stop the proceedings and they can make it difficult for emergency services to get on to your site. 

3. Vandalism: 

Don't tolerate vandalism or anti social behaviour. Act as a group, show a determined and united front, politely ask those responsible to stop being disruptive. Let them know their behaviour isn't wanted at the party, perhaps stop the music in order to get their full attention. Suggest that they should leave if they don't feel able to contribute to a positive vibe. 

4. Trouble makers:

At a party you are never alone no matter how chaotic the mood or your surroundings are. A party is a gathering of like minded individuals after a common goal. Feel free to ask those around you for help or to help someone you think might be under pressure from trouble makers.

5. Rubbish: 

Party goers, remove your rubbish as you leave a site, put it into bags and dispose of it safely. Hopefully you've enjoyed the beauty of your surroundings, remember to leave them the way you found them :)

6. Helping others:

If someone looks unwell, approach them in a non threatening manner and ask how they are. If they ask for your help take the time to offer them the support they need. If they are sick, ask them what is wrong and enlist the help of those responsible for the party to help them... 

7. What should you do if the party you're at is threatened by the police:

a. If you spot the police moving towards a party you're at, quietly tell a member of the sound system but don't approach them!

b. Stay near the sound system, move yourselves around it closely and keep dancing.

c. It's important that the sound system should be able to count on your help to keep their equipment and themselves safe as well as the party going.

d. Don't harass, insult or antagonise the police, it's not helpful. 

e. Smile! Don't let them stop you having fun. The best defense to offer them is to keep enjoying yourself and having fun...

8. A note on personal freedom:

As party goers we believe that it is the responsibility of the individual to look after themselves as grown and educated adults. We choose to make our own choices. We choose the right to party and free ourselves through dance and music."

9. Useful items to bring to a party:

a. A road map (A-Z [in London], AA [in the UK] or MapQuest Maps - Driving Directions - Map [elsewhere])
b. A (charged up) mobile phone.
c. Some snacks (fruit, bottled water, biscuits, etc)
d. Depending on the weather: suncream or waterproofs and warm clothes.
e. A blanket to lie on.
f. Some toilet paper.
g. A small spade or trowel to accompany the above.
h. Some rubbish bags.
i. A positive attitude.

10. Also remember to...

a. Respect any locals' privacy, keep the noise down on your way there.
b. Bag your rubbish before you leave.
c. Use dead wood rather than living trees.
d. Park your car properly if you can and don't cause an obstruction.

11. And above all!




Peace, Love, Unity and Respect - The party vibe collective.


What is a Free Party?

by Derek Williams

A Free party also known as a rave, a doof, ateuf or a teknival depending on the context is an all night or longer event, where people go to dance, socialise and have fun in an uninhibited way. Consider them temporary autonomous zones or TAZ...

The venue could be anything from a disused warehouse or office block, to a forest, a field or a beach. At night expect dark areas lit only by coloured beams of light and strobes, although production values vary and you might find just about anything, even expensive lasers.

The crowd is mostly young ranging from 18 to 25, although there's no age limit and there are plenty of older party goers and a few younger ones too.

Something I like about free parties is the way a conversation about living in an old van on a traveler site can be followed by a conversation about Microsoft's Windows NT operating system. Despite what you might have been told, there is no stereotypical free party person.

There are some common features though, a friendly and outgoing personality, an 'up-for-it' attitude, a love of music and a communal atmosphere. And you won't find a dress code at a rave although rave clothing and raver wear have become established fashions.
What is a Free Party?
Drugs are a feature of raves and free parties of course, although their use is generally limited to substances deemed more "social or recreational" rather than the harder drugs. And while it's true that there is drug use at raves, it's not the problematic type of hard drug abuse often seen amongst the socially excluded, in particular hard drugs of addiction (heroin and crack) simply aren't a part of the scene.

A big requirement of a good free party is that it shouldn't be motivated by financial gain. Entry should either be free, or at most require only a small cover charge to meet the organisers' expenses. Also in this context we understand the term "free party" to mean "free" in the sense that you're being welcomed into a space without limitations imposed on expression or behaviour by the organisers.

A true free party will keep going until it there are simply no more people left in attendance, the organisers decide they've had enough or the police decide to stop the event. It's not unheard of for parties to last whole weekends or longer.

What is a Free Party? 

Who runs Raves and Free parties?

Real free parties are organised by enthusiasts rather than people trying to make money. Enthusiasts working together form sound systems with members bearing responsibility for different aspects of a party from power, to maintaining sound and lighting equipment, Dj'ing [sometimes performing live], running the bar, painting back-drops and decorations, and so on. Essentially each person contributes what they can to help shape the wider group effort.

Sound systems are clearly the driving force behind the free party scene. Often they collaborate to stage bigger events offering a choice of different music, areas and better facilities. Given that each system has it's particular style, ideology and following, these events are generally more varied, often attracting larger crowds.

Should I pay to go to a free party? 

Having said that free parties organisers may or may not ask for a donation on the door, they will let you in at a discount if you look poor or ask nicely enough. Some parties however are entirely free, since it's possible for organisers to cover their costs by running a small bar or a [record] stall. Overall though, organising a party is an expensive business requiring a lot of time, energy and effort. If you're asked for a donation, be generous!

Also, once inside consider volunteering to help out as well. There's always something you can do, from tidying up at the end of the party, to lending a hand with some carrying and fetching...

Where can I find one?

Free parties, teknivals and squat parties aren't hard to find, it's just a matter of finding people who are already in that scene. Parties kick off every weekend in London and all over the world. Just keep an ear to the ground for the sound of dancing feet...