Castlemorton, Mixmag and dewy-eyed nonsense

For reasons which Ears To The House will never fully understand, there are some people out there who are absolutely fixated with the massive rave which took place in Castlemorton in 1992. Yes, it was a significant turning point for rave culture in Britain – but other things have occurred since, you know.

Which is why we were more than a little bemused by Mixmag’s framing of Genosys Sound System, a stage at last weekend’s massive Glastonbury festival. They start their article by waxing lyrical about the Castlemorton rave before trying to make comparisons between the 1992 event and last weekend.

Recent developments have shown Mixmag to be a publication with no back bone – and now it turns out they’ve got no self-awareness either. Do they not realise how patently absurd the line in this article is? They’re seriously trying to compare an illegal rave with free admission with a legal party with the entry tickets costing not far off £300.

Can anyone explain where the similarity even begins, let alone ends? Possibly realising they were onto something of a loser with this narrative, the article goes on to say something about “the parallels of institutional oppression continu[ing] to the modern day with 2022’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act being signed into law”, as if it was of any relevance to the matter.

The problem is the Act of Parliament they mention here has next to nothing to do with rave culture. The act, for example, allows judges to give whole life orders – in other words, you only leave the prison in a coffin – for premeditated child murder. It also clears judges to give life sentences to drivers who kill behind the wheel – hardly examples of “oppression”.

As far as we can see, only area where even a vague comparison can be made is to do with the right to protest – police in England and Wales were given greater powers to place limits on protests under the bill. But Castlemorton was the last of the giant unlicensed raves – whereas this bill hasn’t led to the last of anything, in contrast.

We also have to question whether the likes of Mixmag would be taking this stance if a Labour government were currently in charge of Britain. Let’s face it – there are plenty of reasons to despise the ruling Tory party already without resorting to decades old clichés…

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