skip to Main Content

‘The Politics of Dancing’

Louder Than Words Club Culture Panel

Arguably the greatest reconstitution of music and intoxication came during 1988’s Second Summer of Love, where a rave might co-opt a beach, field or warehouse for a dancefloor. However, academics, writers and commentators have long argued over whether this party ever had a political point.  Music writer Simon Reynolds for instance called the rave scene, ‘the cult of acceleration without destination’, with Rupa Huq adding that ‘rave was seen as ideologically vacuous’.

Saturday 9 Nov  |  8.15pm

However in 2019 the BBC broadcast Jeremy Deller’s documentary Everybody in the Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992, which certainly set the late ‘80s rave scene in an overtly political context, the big push back against Thatcher and The Miner’s Strike.  Thirty years on and we are currently living through perhaps the greatest political turmoil of the Post-War years, battle lines drawn and the nation pitted against one another.  With everything going on in society, this panel will dig down into what the club scene’s reaction should – or could – be.  Does the dancefloor merely remain a site of hedonistic escape, or might it, instead, form a political and cultural frontline, where boundaries are tested, and sometimes breached?  What will Brexit hold for touring UK DJs and EDMC artists?  Will we remain truly free to rave or, instead, do we need, once again, to fight for our right to party?

In order to decode the disco and drill down into these points, this panel includes author and academic Dr Beate Peter, who has recently been running the Lapsed Clubber project, storing clubbers memories on a digital map of Manchester.  We are delighted to announce that joining Beate will be Berlin-based Mancunian Mark Reeder, who for many years was Factory Records’ man on the continent, while also working as a music producer and film maker, notably with B-Movie. Also on the panel is Carl Loben, the current editor of the key club culture magazine DJ, in a unique position to understand the situation from the inside, alongside DJ, poet and club operator Chris Jam.  The panel will once again be chaired by Louder Than Word’s Dr Simon A. Morrison, ex-columnist for DJmagazine and editor of Ministry in Ibiza, author of books such as Discombobulated: Dispatches From The Wrong Side and now Programme Leader for the Music Journalism degree at the University of Chester.

So, on Saturday night (when else) Louder Than Words moves to an altogether more electronic beat, in deciding whether there was ever a ‘politics of dancing’… or merely the ‘politics of oo oo oo feeling good’…

Back To Top