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Why the ‘Third Summer of Love’ could be on the cards for UK clubbers

We look back at some of the historically liberating dance music moments to see why this Summer is set to be special.

Summer of Love

The 1988-89 social phenomenon known as ‘The Second Summer of Love’ saw the rise of acid house, ecstasy and unlicensed rave parties in the UK. We’re now witnessing all the ingredients required for the Third Summer of Love. We recognise these are unfortunate circumstances, but if we can turn the past year’s events into positive, what achievement would be!

The vibe is certainly there! Footage of people cheering and dancing to the tunes of a Canal Boat equipped with a kick-ass sound-system on Easter Sunday in London resonated around our socials and is a prime example of the electric atmosphere we could expect this Summer.

If you look back over history, there are numerous examples of periods of repression, which have subsequently culminated into some of the best periods of celebration and parties, with people feeling liberated and free with atmospheres like no other.

On the Audio Tapas podcast, legendary tech-house artist Nathan Coles was recently asked if he could recall any standout moments from old raves.  He talked about his best experiences playing at parties in Croatia and Serbia at the end of the Croatian War of Independence in 1995 and how the atmosphere was an “indescribable vibe”. 

Other momentous occasions like this include the fall of the Berlin Wall celebrations in 1989, which resulted in an explosion of underground parties in vacant buildings, train stations, and power plants. The nights were fuelled by the rise of ecstasy combined with the exciting new sounds of Detroit Techno and Chicago acid house. The Berliners took massive inspiration from the spirit of the acid house parties happening in Ibiza and the UK in those years.

Heiko Hoffman, Vice-President of Global Artist Services at premier download platform Beatport, recalled his experiences with the BBC back in 2019:

“The massive shift to rave culture instantly changed my life. Just a couple of weeks after the fall of the wall, I was dancing in industrial ruins next to people from the east, who just a couple of months earlier I wouldn’t have been able to meet. If today someone told you that next week North and South Korea would be reunited, that a radically new form of music you didn’t know existed would be coming, and that people would be dancing together in spaces that no one would ever imagine, you would think it as completely utopian. That’s what happened 30 years ago.”

Meanwhile, the UK Government confirms the vaccine roll-out target is ahead of schedule, which means the roadmap of returning to clubs and parties from 21st June is looking more confident than ever. With festivals and club events selling out in record time and adults all receiving the vaccine ahead of schedule, excitement levels are at fever pitch for the ‘Third Summer of Love’.

Read: UK Summer Festivals happening in 2021 picked by Mr. Afterparty.

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