Fantazia Big Bang - Review

"How would you like to go to the Big Bang?"  I thought that I wouldn't, it's not my sort of thing.  I'm what's known as a "mosher" (although my friends are all very tactful about my unfortunate condition).   But my nose was bothering me and this was one way I could witness a real life rave without compromising my ideals!  And this wasn't just any old rave.  12500 revellers made Glasgow's Big Bang the largest indoor dance the country's ever seen, AND the proceeds went to The Terrance Higgins Trust, who sponsored the event.  So I took myself, my friend, and a beloved camera that looked quite the bit, to what's lovingly known as the "Big Red Shed".

The first thing that strikes us as we go in is that the hall is kitted out more for a fair than a rave.  Waltzers, simulators and Tristars take up most of the room in the smaller hall. It seems that most of the action will be happening next door.  Certainly that's where the most strangely dress folk are going.   There's a liberal sprinkling of white boiler suits and gas masks - and believe me, you'd need them to combat the cheesy-feet smell of the "potions" people have brought.  

Girls walk around wearing little more than their Wonderbras and knickers or skin tight t-shirts masquerading as dresses.  My friend commented enviously on how skinny everyone looked, although after dancing for ten hours in a closely-packed oven it's hardly surprising.  Mind you, I did see the Michelin Man (big, white and well padded), although I missed the two guys who came as Sumo wrestlers.  In a crowd of 12,500, the odds were against it somewhat.

The people are great... (I'll talk about them "cos I know sod all about the music, except that it was loud pounding and infectious).  They smile, and hug you and act like they've known you all your life.  Then they ask what you've taken.  It's not so different from a rock gig, where if you look at someone wrong they'll think about hitting you.  Not here.  Everyone's out to dance, and have fun, not to mention trying to stay on their feet for ten hours.  My unreserved admiration to all you people who made it through the night.  I don't know how you do it, since I was beginning to flag by 1am (pathetic, I know).    Anything goes, from robotic to extra energetic courtesy off the Red Bull girls you know who you are ladies - who looked like perpetual motion machines.  No not machines, there was far too much life and joy about them.  That's what struck me about the whole event.  If raves and rave culture are devices invented by the government to discourage youth from thinking and rebelling, they are certainly enjoyable forms of repression.  But not everyone is happy. Some poor souls have obviously overdone it, and are crashed out in corners, being sick with what energy they have left.   Happiness emanates from the impressively large stage, and washes in gently waves across the huge crowd, leaving those who aren't quite up to it drifting on the edges.

It occurs to me that at last someone's found a good use for the Big Red Shed.  It is exactly suited to this sort of event with lasers striking off the crowd onto the rafters, causing incredible effects.  The sound reverberates round the gigantic warehouse structure.  If you touch the walls, they to are moving to the rhythm.   By the time, the whole floor is damp - a combination of spilt mineral water and condensation caused by hot bodies next to the cold floor.

You wouldn't know it was the middle of a ball-freezing cold November night in Glasgow.   It's only when the artists on stage tell the crowd to "make some noise" that you realise just how many people are in there.  Many of the 12,500 have taken something or other, even if only to stay on their feet for the whole night, and I find it amazing that only twelve collapsed, and twenty four are arrested.   I think it's because everyone is so damned friendly.  All night I'm asked to take pictures of happy people, and even the security guards are dancing.  Thanks guys, for a truly enjoyable night.   If anyone wants to give, raves a bad press, send 'em to me!       Fiona Paton


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Fantazia Big Bang

SECC, Glasgow, 27th November 1993.

Beginning our World Tour in Scotland, Fantazia took Glasgow's SECC by storm with a sell out crowd of 12,000 people.  Yet again our production team proved Fantazia's ability to break down and advance beyond new technological barriers, creating "The Big Bang".


More Info

Big Bang Review 2
Mix Mag Review
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