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The travelling community had been intent on holding the latest in a series of small events, having successfully held the so-called Avon Free Festival at Inglestone Common in Gloucestershire in the 1980s and early 90s.
In the weeks leading up to that fateful May bank holiday in 1992, they had tried and failed to stage festivals in both counties and in Somerset, where the police had repeatedly moved them on.
Retreating, they considered their options in a lay-by on the A38 in Gloucestershire, where it was decided to take their 10-mile long convoy out of the county, into Worcestershire and on to Castlemorton Common, near Malvern.
It is now clear that the Malvern spectacular had been well planned. Earlier speculation that the travellers and their camp followers, from the drug supply industry and weekend ravers, had been cleverly moved on by police forces in Wiltshire and Gwent was wrong.
For more than two weeks the travellers’ advance scouts had been surveying Castlemorton Common. Residents in the scores of cottages scattered along its edges had seen them holding meetings, and warnings had been given.
Why did raves become illegal?
. . . the party that changed everything took place on Castlemorton Common in Worcestershire in 1992.
"The travelling scene did carry on but it was a very different change of lifestyle for people - they moved onto farms instead of living on free sites so much, and people were a lot more scared."
Those facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or any other unlawful gathering of 30 people or more may face a £10,000 fine