September 16th, 2004


do you believe people only live their lives for themselves?

So it was a Saturday evening and userinfoDavid and I summoned userinfoDean, userinfoTD and userinfoKappo to his house where we chilled for a while. After a few hours on several trains, a nice doner kebab and one suicidal man and his dog, we were in Victoria train station and the Collective Futures infolines still weren't up. Bollocks. Nobody seemed to know what was going on (though Bill did mention somewhere) so we counted our losses and, since the tube had long since closed, hopped on a bus to some marshes for the OCB party.

An hour passed and we were still stuck on a packed bus somewhere around King's Cross. We were all terribly knackered by the time we reached our destination and had found our bearings, but set off toward the party regardless. I was still pretty pissed off at missing out on Collective Futures and, to make things worse, no-one was particularly psyched up for an outdoor party because it was so damn cold.

After narrowly avoiding getting horribly lost and what seemed like a three mile walk, we could just make out a thumping doof doof doof in the distance and spotted lights flashing through the trees. I love that feeling just before you turn the last corner of a track and make it to the party in a magical clearing – our spirits were instantly lifted because, after all, it wasn't raining and hey, I adore outdoor parties. It was a tiny party and we never found any other rigs out there, but it was fluffy and fun and we talked to loads of people there. userinfoDean popped his first pill which he seemed to love and even the apathy of userinfoTD and userinfoKappo were overcome by lovely vibes and a stunning sunrise that lost nothing to the waterworks, jetliners and pylons silhouetted against it. I wasn't quite in the mood to trip but dropped some really old phil stos anyway. They didn't work.

The music wasn't really what I'm used to and could have been a bit darker, but it was great to dance to all night and David was particularly impressed by the vinyl mixing. In the morning, I finally found out where the Collective Futures party was and, as it was becoming fucking freezing, we headed off to the tube station which opened at seven.

It took as another bloody hour to get to there and, although we lost userinfoKappo and userinfoTD to sleep on the way, boy was it worth it. A smartly dressed but nice man accosted us somewhere in the West End to ask where we'd been to which was only stopped at eight. userinfoDean starting talking to him and it turned out that he'd been using MDMA for about three years and had just come out of a club himself. They chatted about their experiences and outdoor parties for a bit but he couldn't be persuaded to join us and set off home. At the tube station, there were about two dozen people coming back from the party waxing lyrical about it. To be honest, we weren't expecting it to be still going all that strongly but we shared a taxi with a friendly Turkish guy who just about got us there. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room for the other hott guy we met and he was made to walk by the bastardly driver, but I made it up to him later with his first ever balloon of nitrous.

Upon begging and borrowing for the cash to get in, we cursed everything under the sun that conspired to mean we didn't spend the previous evening at this party. It was awe-inspiring, utterly overwhelming – just the most amazing thing I've experienced. This one was bigger, better, longer, louder, and far friendlier and magical than all the parties I'd been to previously combined. We wandered around the plethora of fantastic rooms just trying to absorb the vibes and soak it all in. Seriously, it just felt so wonderful – I cried with joy when we stepped into the Goa Chillout room and the DJ dropped Massive Attack's Teardrop.

We explored, met people, chatted, watched and handed out fliers for a few hours because we were too knackered to dance. A mindblowing band were sonically assaulting one room, documentaries were being shown in a squash court while opposite some experimental music and spontaneous art creation was taking place. There was a massage room, two full-on rigs, a kids' area full of sleeping toddlers, a "green" room, stalls, food, sculptures, a swimming pool and stalls.

After we had learned our way round, a mission to the town was undertaken. This took far longer than it ought to and every person we met stared at us ravers in disbelief, wondering to themselves who all these strange people were who'd invaded their peaceful suburb. After half an hour of sleep on the sunsoaked grass that was only interrupted by the choppers that kept buzzing us (nice try, piggies) I got up, scored acid for my stash and found someone to crack open my box of nitrous cartridges.

I don't know where I got the energy from (too many bottles of generic Red Bull clones) but I danced so fucking hard that afternoon. For about five hours I stomped with the best bunch of peeps I could have hoped for – god knows how that floor didn't collapse. After each and every hit of sweet gas my frenzy grew. The sound was crystal clear and having come from an 8K rig at OCB, it really blew me away. We grudgingly had to leave at six pm, but the party was starting to wind down everywhere but the main soundsystem by then. I'll truly remember this party forever – it made the end to my best ever summer that much better. So much thought and effort must have gone into making this party so damn beautiful. I really want to highlight just how special an experience this was. I always heap encomia on party organisers but these guys were something special – the cleanup was amazing and the place was left tidier than they found it. Thanks to all the kids who smiled at us, supplied fruit or handed out free mushies and made this the most perfect party – I loved it all.

I didn't ingest any psychoactive substances and never expected to enjoy myself so much.