New acid house archive chronicles Blackburn scene

A new online rave archive has chronicled a corner of the UK’s seminal acid house movement in the ’80s and ’90s.

FLASHBACK, which launched last Friday, focusses on the scene in Blackburn between 1988 and ’91. It’s a response to work by Jamie Holman, artist-in-residence at last year’s British Textile Biennial event. The archive includes more than seven hours of audio recollections from 33 participants, including ravers, promoters and politicians.

Blackburn, a former industrial hub north of Manchester, hosted huge events in former mills and warehouses. It’s estimated around 10,000 people were involved in the scene. Among the voices featured are key DJs from the era, including Rob Tissera, Jay Weardon and Suddi Ravel, who later released an illustrated book titled A Brief History Of Acid House.

“It felt like we were involved in a revolution,” Mark, a raver, says. “It really did though! It was just in this one small northern town. It did feel like we were going to take over. The police just couldn’t deal with it, and we felt revolutionary.”

As well as online, FLASHBACK will be available at Lancashire Archives in Preston. Visit the archive here.

Photo courtesy of Bobby Singh