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History of ‘90s UK rave sound system DiY Collective celebrated in new book, Dreaming in Yellow

The DiY Collective were one of the first house sound systems in the UK

DIY Collective

A new book celebrating the history of '90s UK rave sound system, DiY Collective, is set to be published in March.

Dreaming in Yellow, penned by DiY founding member Harry Harrison, is an autobiographical account of the house sound system in "all their eclectic, outrageous and occasionally deranged glory from early acid house to DJ collective, sound system and record label".

Emerging from Nottingham in the summer of 1989, the DiY Collective were one of the first house sound systems in the UK, and thrived during the UK's '90s free party and festival movement. Harrison details the seminal clubs, parties, festivals and records that forged the collective, and explores historic events such as the 1992 Castlemorton free festival and the Criminal Justice Bill riots via wild stories of Britain’s rave counter-culture

Speaking about Dreaming in Yellow, Harrison said: “For me, the publication of ‘Dreaming in Yellow’ will represent the culmination not just of my personal ambition to write a book, but more importantly a chance to really explore and explain the history of the DiY Collective and the wider Free Party Movement.   Overlooked by the media in these pre-internet days, that whole underground scene was huge and of massive importance to a whole generation of people."

Dreaming in Yellow will be published via Velocity Press on 23rd March 2022. Pre-order the book here.

Last year, it was announced that a new documentary chronicling the movement, Free Party: A Folk History, is in the works. Also last year, an exhibition at London's Edel Assanti gallery, Raves & Riots, captured the euphoria of the '90s free party movement. Read our interview with photographer Vinca Peterson, and check out some of the shots, here

When the '90s free rave movement swept the UK, One of the first legal mega-raves to bring dance music culture to the masses was Fantazia at Castle Donnington. With its emphasis on spending big production budgets on the whole rave experience, as opposed to predominantly on DJ fees, it was a forerunner of the mega-festivals of today such as Tomorrowland, and Glastonbury’s Block9 area. In a 2020 feature for DJ Mag, Oli Warwick spoke with Fantazia co-founder James Perkins about the rave brand’s genesis, highlights and ongoing legacy.

Photo credit: Michelle Miles