Boomtown | The Blackburn Warehouse Parties 1989-1990.

Paul Wright

Back in the late eighties when acid house found it’s way into UK club culture a group of like minded friends and associates, who disenchanted by the lack of scene and dominance of commercial nightclubs in their hometown decided to put on their own events, mainly in disused warehouses and units around the industrial backdrop of Blackburn.

Initially the events were promoted to people in the know via word of mouth – flyers were often given out with a contact number to be called for rendezvous points and further instructions, often meeting in distant towns and cities across the North and travelling en masse in convoys to the various industrial estates around Blackburn. The parties rapidly ballooned from a couple of hundred locals to thousands of ravers from across the UK.

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Convoys of ravers start arriving at Live The Dream, Tockholes, September, 1989. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.

The early raves were a success and predominantly trouble free, though as the scale of the events got bigger so did the pressure on Lancashire Police to get the parties shut down.

One of the last big events was ‘Live The Dream’ in Tockholes, an all-nighter that took place in September 1989, which saw in excess of 10000 people attend.

The images below provide a good insight to these times, a magical and non-pretentious era of dance music and rave culture that went onto inspire a generation of club promotors, musicians and DJs alike.

Gallery

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Glenfield Park Industrial Estate, Blackburn. 1989. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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The morning after. Whitebirk roundabout, 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Edenfield, August, 1989. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Edenfield, August, 1989. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Leaving the Altham warehouse after an all-nighter. February, 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Police at Altham Warehouse, February, 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Police talk with ravers at Altham warehouse, February, 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Convoy heading to Tony’s Empress Ballroom. March, 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Convoy heading to Tony’s Empress Ballroom. March, 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Kick out time. Tony’s Empress Ballroom, March 1990. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Live The Dream. Tockholes, September 1989. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.
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Live The Dream, Tockholes, September, 1989. Photo © Lancashire Telegraph.

All the above images have been used by permission of the Lancashire Telegraph. The images were taken from the following article: Blackburn’s acid house raves remembered 

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4 thoughts

  1. New Years Eve 1989/1990 ~ extension of a thrilling night at Konspiracy (the Manchester club for the discerning Manc) ~ indelibly etched on my memory as the night of all those nights ~ the tectonic shifts in world order of the time became the tectonic shift in my perception of the way the world could be….the illusions and the delusions of the beautiful youthful experience…it may not have changed the world, but it changed what the world became for me…xx

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