Event of the Month: 30 Years Of Rave
The event of the month crown for September has to sit on the heads of those behind the Amnesia House event: 30 Years Of Rave.
For those who are unaware, and an interesting fact, to begin with, is that Amnesia House is the promoter responsible for holding the first legal rave in the UK, a fact I'm sure any promoter would be proud to have under their belt. The fact that the name of this event celebrates that this was 30 years in the business for them underpins just how far the brand has come on their journey since its humble beginnings all them years ago.
Headlining proceedings was Frankie Bones, a legendary artist who is respectably known for bringing the rave culture from the UK to New York. His experience showed with a blinding set that had the whole crowd gyrating to his impeccable track selection. You can listen to the set here.
The event was being held at The Empire, based in the heart of Coventry. The Empire as a venue isn't to be underestimated, and I must say I was taken aback by just how much the room was kicking with enthusiasm from every corner and angle - you could tell everyone in attendance was well up for ensuring this 30th birthday party was going to be one to remember.
I was attending alongside my good friend and Techno producer Phutek, who was kind enough to have invited me along in the first place, with it being his home city. I knew how keen he was to give me a glimpse into Coventry's rave life. I enjoyed my time here and came away with an unreal video of Frankie playing a very special track!
The time had once again arrived to venture into the ever expanding and intriguing settings of the forest for none other than Forbidden Forest. I was ready to be let loose within the cocoon of the natural surroundings, large sound systems and like-minded ravers that lay within this raving hotspot. The levels of which this brand and its influence have grown since its inception back in 2016 is something to truly admire, and it's a pleasure to see the geniuses who created this behind the scenes still remaining so humble and welcoming me with open arms every time I return.
In the last two and a half years the site has expanded alongside the lineups and stand out production they implement as each event passes, with the intimacy of the first event back in early 2016 still drafting in the likes of scene legend Skream. Fast forward to September 2018 - the lineups are more varied and with a massive spectrum of sounds spread across stages that were all eye-catching in their own way - I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.
Despite being greeted by poor conditions in terms of the weather, as always this didn't dampen my spirits and I was pleased to see that many others had adopted the same attitude. The stages showcasing their respective sounds included the likes of well-known brand Kaluki hailing from Manchester as well as what ended up being my favourite stage overall on this particular occasion - the popular Solid Grooves movement provided by head honchos Michael Bibi, PAWSA and their special guests.
The vibe and energy felt throughout the day and evenings proceedings proved exactly why Forbidden Forest has earned itself a position as a respected event, as it continues to attract new faces as well as consistently seeing the return of their day one loyal ravers with their consistent fresh approach with groundbreaking production and introducing new artists to the forest.
It feels like a significant length of time since the last glorious morning back in the summer when I last found myself immersed in the early morning madness of a Morning Gloryville rave, but I couldn't have been happier to be back amongst it with the crew and kick-starting my day in the best possible way.
There isn't an event I've been to where you can draw similarities to Morning Gloryville, with so many advocates of sober raving present, the fact it is during a normal working day so early on and their unique idea of having a masked special guest unveil themselves on the drop of a track. Looking back at my past experiences of witnessing Fatboy Slim send the audience into raptures with the energetic track 'Eat, Sleep, Rave Repeat' was definitely building my excitement.
The warm atmosphere and friendly welcoming crowd were just as I had remembered, and this combined with individuals bouncing around left, right and centre ensured that my day was started in the most ideal way imaginable. It doesn't get much better than that for someone like me does it?
Heading towards the conclusion of another hectic month for me, and there was undoubtedly no other place to be on 22nd September other than the BPM festival - now located in the idyllic settings of Portugal.
The endless list of incredible, recognisable artists that feature on their line up spread over a few days is nothing short of jaw-dropping, and just like last year, I was treated to unreal performances at every stage I visited. With the Kaluki showcases & Jamie Jones's Paradise coupled with the sounds of the crashing waves & blazing hot sun beaming down on us as we stomped into the sands of Blanco Beach to the sounds of house & techno - it really couldn't have felt any closer to Paradise than this.
After recently meeting the lovely Peggy Gou whilst I was over in Ibiza during my International Music Summit, it was nice to be reunited with her and share both a laugh and a dance. Another memory added to what was shaping up to be another unforgettable year!
Abode In The Park
In true typical BGR style, I landed back on home soil the day after departing from the wonderful BPM Festival in Portugal to contrasting conditions in London for one of the cities most successful brands events - ABODE In The Park. Those behind the scenes worked tirelessly throughout the night to ensure that everyone attending still enjoyed the festivities, and their efforts paid off as despite the poor weather thousands of ravers descended upon the park and were in high spirits.
I am particularly fond of ABODE as they have continued to defy the odds and have developed into a powerhouse in the underground scene - a party that's foundations have been laid from the ground up with talented female and male local resident DJs now going on to achieve success internationally, and the brand recently making a huge transition on the white isle to new beginnings on the legendary Amnesia terrace.
ABODE's larger scale events certainly don't restrict themselves with their bill of artists and the scale of production they were putting together, and they still stick by their skilled resident DJs, gift opportunities for other rising stars in the capital as well as bringing in massively influential figures from the scene to join the party too.
The various stages championed a mixture of sub-genres of underground music - with Steve Lawler's Warriors keeping things firmly all things underground house on the terrace and elsewhere there were more classic, feel-good sounds felt in the VIP area with ABODE's sister brand 'Hot Bed' justifying why it has been one of Ocean Beach Ibiza's most attractive parties over the duration of the 2018 season.
I had a great day weaving in and out of both the stages and the masses of people partying just as hard as myself, and it was a pleasure as always to share a dance with my good friend Dave, who you may be familiar with if you have seen me in one or two of the ABODE promo videos in the past.
Last up for me and a decent conclusion to another month of madness saw me back on my original stomping ground in Bristol for the IN:Motion opening on a Saturday evening. Motion in Bristol had definitely climbed to join the heavyweight venues around the UK over the last few years, with its wide-ranging underground nights attracting illustrious brands and the artists they bring with them ranging everywhere from Defected to Sulta Selects and Hospitality to name but a few.
It's not difficult to see why this is as the gargantuan venue really is the full package, with the outdoor area turning heads everywhere throughout the summer and the large-scale indoor warehouse bringing a true underground vibe to its music disciples with its raw surroundings and state of the art production. This is without a doubt a perfect haven for anyone who's a follower of the bigger house, techno or drum&bass brands.
After flicking through the line up, as I always do before attending any event - I realised there was going to be a real melting pot of sounds throughout the Motion complex, which definitely made it more interesting for me as I knew I could feed my harder techno appetite with a solid fist pump to Amelie Lens, and then switch to the outdoor area with Scottish don and regular face of Circoloco Jasper James providing the goods under the bright Bristol night sky.
Even though the journeys around the globe for the first 9 or so months of 2018 were life-changing experiences, for me I think you can't beat the feeling of returning back to one of the many original venues where Bradley Gunn Raver began to emerge.