Spiral Tribe staged all-night unlicensed dance events in London.
1990, This was at a time when the government were enforcing legislation to eradicate the free festival and rave movements from Britain. The Spirals quickly got a reputation for their no-compromise policy of keeping the free spirit of music alive – and kicking.
Within a few months the number of people attending the parties was enormous and finding secret inner-city venues big enough proved difficult. And so it was, in the summer of 1991, the Spiral Tribe collective burst out of the confines of London and into the British countryside.
Playing out in the wilds, under the stars, Spiral Tribe became a symbol of resistance to the old hierarchies of oppression and exploitation. But as their popularity continued to grow so too did the authorities determination to hunt them down and silence their rebellious tune.
Though several of the Spirals were arrested on charges of conspiring to organise the mighty Castlemorton Common free festival, the sound system managed to escaped into mainland Europe. There, the ever-growing convoy of ex-military trucks continued to drum up a huge underground following culminating in the founding of the world-wide Teknival movement and the Spiral community recording studio.
Mark Angelo Harisson on the Spiral Tribe philosophy at the Frei[T]räume – Envisioning Free Space Conference in Berlin 2021
Listen back to the double episode of our animated conversation on the early 90’s UK rave scene; how collective musical enthusiasm, DIY community participation and strong visions of life outside the establishment led from squatting parties in London to free festivals at Stonehenge – and how increased pressure from police and lawmakers led to the Spirals escaping to Europe.