In the 30 years since acid house exploded into the UK’s consciousness, its myth as a sui generis phenomenon, dominated by a small vanguard of London-centric tastemakers, has become entrenched. With ‘Everybody In the Place’ artist Jeremy Deller turns this received wisdom on its head, situating rave and acid house at the very centre of the seismic social changes upending 1980s Britain.
Rare and unseen archive materials trace a lineage from protest movements to abandoned warehouse raves, the white heat of industry bleeding into the chaotic release of the dancefloor. We join an A Level class as they discover these stories for the first time, viewing these familiar narratives from the perspective of a generation for whom it’s already ancient history.
We see how rave culture owes as much to the Battle of Orgreave as it does to the gay clubs of Chicago or the discovery of ecstasy: not merely a cultural gesture, but the fulcrum for a generational shift in British identity, linking industrial histories and radical action to the wider expanses of a post-industrial century.
2018, dir. Jeremy Deller
Produced by Frieze in association with Gucci for BBC Four
Credit: Senior Researcher, additional copywriting