Helter Skelter (rave music promoter)

Helter Skelter are one of the longest running dance music promoters in the UK, who specialise in promoting parties for thousands of people (as opposed to running a regular night at a club). They are one of the few remaining rave music brands who promote early underground styles of electronic dance music, as opposed to the more mainstream house clubs that followed during the 1990s.


The organisation was founded in September 1989 - in the midst of the Acid House party era - by Phil Jones, after being inspired by the early Acid House clubs such as Spectrum and Land of Oz, and the M25 Orbital raves such as the Sunrise events. Helter Skelter's first event was an illegal outdoor rave. Following this Helter Skelter nights wee held in nightclubs, including a former cinema in Telford which they renovated and transformed into a club.

After this, Helter Skelter began hosting events at the 3,000 capacity Sanctuary Music Arena near Milton Keynes. Following a lead taken by fellow rave promoters Dreamscape, Helter Skelter's Milton Keynes events underwent an expansion in the mid-ninetees, utilising a roller rink adjacent to the Sanctuary, expanding the capacity to 8,000. Between the two arenas, an outdoor complex was created, which featured a SONY PlayStation zone, free fairground rides, cafe's and other types of recreational facilities.

The success of the double-arena parties prompted the Helter Skelter team to organise their biggest party to date - Energy '97 - The Carnival of Dance. The Energy '97 festival took place at Turweston Aerodrome in Northamptonshire (now the site of the Gatecrasher Summer Sound System festivals). The festival sold out, attracting 18,000 revellers in all. Huge marquees featured genres of dance music ranging from Drum and Bass, to Techno, to House Music, to Hardcore.

The event management team came to a decision to draw the Helter Skelter era to a close New Years Eve 1999, at the turn of the century. The 'Millennium Jam' was due to be the last event of this type, but with only half of the tickets sold, Helter Skelter cancelled the Rollers arena.

After a year out, the team reunited and Helter Skelter returned, with the come back event being hosted at the 5,000 capacity venue Bowlers, in Trafford, Manchester, in association with the Northern dance music organisation Compulsion. Helter Skelter also returned to the Sanctuary Music Arena in Milton Keynes, but with a new music policy. Pratley collaborated with the event management team from Club Sidewinder, and introduced specialist Drum and Bass events, branded Accelerated Culture. The events featured Drum and Bass artists and DJs, including Kosheen, Roni Size, Shy FX, Craze, Grooverider, Hype, and Fabio many of whom have played for Helter Skelter previously. Godskitchen, the major superclub promoter, invited Helter Skelter and Sidewinder to host a 5,000 capacity Accelerated Culture arena at their first Global Gathering festival, held in the summer of 2001, and as such have reprised the arena at every Global Gathering since. Utilisng the superclubs 2,000 capacity home venue CODE, Helter Skelter's relationship with Godskitchen continued as the rave promoter staged a series of nights in Birmingham, returning to the city for the first time since the mid 1990's.

Since the closure of the Sanctuary Music Arena in 2004, Helter Skelter are without a regular venue but continue to run one off parties. They have returned to Milton Keynes twice, continued with the Accelerated Culture brand in Birmingham and brought Drum and Bass and Old School Hardcore to a predominantley House Music Ibiza.

In 2005, Helter Skelter teamed up with Ministry of Sound to release a compilation CD, "Hardcore Classics", mixed by Billy Daniel Bunter and Slipmatt.. Further complitations followed; United In Hardcore in 2006 and a versus mix with Raindance, in Hardcore 2007.

External links

* [http://www.helter-skelter.co.uk Official Website]

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