Ewood Mill. That’s a name I am not going to forget easily. I am pretty sure it is the biggest indoor space I have ever seen in my life. To hold a party in the place would have been the boldest, brashest move anyone could make especially in late 1989 when the Police were very raw about a riot that had taken place only a few weeks before – they tried to stop a party after it had just started but it backfired. Instead, they got a bit of a hammering from a few thousand angry, normally peace-loving ravers – so to hold a party in this place was something I was never going to forget. Ever!
I had been to quite a lot of the Blackburn raves by the time this one came round. It’s mental how quickly anyone who went to the raves became a convert. For so many people, it only took a few good parties before it turned into a bit of a religion. But this night, this was something completely different. Nothing could have prepared any of us for what we were about to see. It started with not being able to see or hear the warehouse that the party was in, which itself was bizarre because at every one of the other raves you could hear the music pounding for miles away down the street due to the volume of the music. Then there was the crazy walk towards it then when you actually got there you were blown away by the sheer size of this.
To be honest, I don’t know what to call it because I’d seen a million warehouses and that word does this place no justice at all. The average warehouse might have snugly fit 4 or 5 thousand people in before it started to feel a bit cramped and when they got busy, these venues often did start to get a bit rammed. I dread to think what might have happened if there ever was a disaster of any kind, such as a fire but thankfully there were no such nightmares. To give you an idea of just how big this massive huge venue was if you entered the warehouse at one end and there was loud club music playing at the other end you wouldn’t be able to hear it properly. At best a distant murmur.
Everything seemed to change after this party. This was the big one that everyone talked about and at the time, which they continued to talk about for months. No one could believe it. It was like something from a sci-fi story. It reminded me of something out of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama novels. It was so out of this world, it felt like we were having a party in that huge spaceship for a night. The parties genuinely seemed to get bigger every week but it was going to be tricky to get any bigger than this.