Saturday, June 12, 2010


The Summer of 1989 saw a new type of youth rebellion transform the cultural landscape, as thousands of young people danced at illegal acid house parties in fields and aircraft hangars. Featuring interviews with rave promoters, newspaper editors, and the bands who made it big on the back of rave culture.  

The Second Summer of Love is a name given to the period in 1988-91 in Britain, during the rise of Acid House music and the euphoric explosion of unlicensed rave parties. The term generally refers to both the summers of 1988/89 when electronic dance music and the prevalence of the drug ecstasy fueled an explosion in youth culture culminating in mass free parties and the era of the rave. LSD was also widely available and popular again. The music of this era fused dance beats with a psychedelic, 1960s flavor, and the dance culture drew parallels with the hedonism and freedom of the Summer of Love in San Francisco two decades earlier. Similarities with the Sixties included fashions such as flares, Tie-dye and male long hair. The smiley logo is synonymous with this period in the UK. 

The first program in this strand, on the Summer of Love (1967), managed to annoy some who were there (superficial and glib) and some who weren't (a fuss over nothing). This episode about 1989 is also in serious danger of overstating the importance of the moment. Isn't it just a bit fatuous to compare the liberation of illegal M25-accessible raves with the fall of the Berlin Wall or the students facing the tanks in Tienanmen Square? Still, there's plenty of genuine enthusiasm from the assorted DJ's, party organizers, haggard Mancunian musicians and ravers who danced on Ecstasy as Thatcher-ism began to crumble. And if, as claimed, the rave scene killed off violent football hooliganism,it was all worthwhile.

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