Just when it seemed as though warehouse parties were something which I blurrily looked back on as a happy phase of life, I found one right here in Florida.
Tried to get a bunch of people together but (just like always) most people dropped out leaving just me and Kim to head down. We loaded up the car with sleeping bags, premixed vodka martinis and a flask of good bourbon and started driving. And driving. And driving.
As it got more and more rural we passed through about five counties (the last two of which had "Welcome to..." signs peppered with bullet holes) and the last fifteen miles or so was a straight, dark rural highway punctuated only by the occasional deer or pickup truck or burning cross. OK, maybe not the last one.
Two dirt roads later we pass a gate with a bunch of kids wearing vests and waving us into a farm field with glowsticks. We handed over $20 each to get in and drove another mile or so through fields until we found the car park - hundreds of cars were there, a campground, people playing music from car stereos (incidentally the first time I'd heard any hard house in the US).
Got out of the car and found a large, modern farm building with a decent soundsystem in (with lasers and a projector), and a smaller tent out back playing electro/breaks. Danced around a bit, spoke to a few randoms, watched a guy blowing glass bongs, got drunk.
Around 5am the police arrived and said that the music from the tent could be heard several miles away and had to go off, the organiser handled the police well and they went away. Figured sleeping in the car would be more painful than driving home around 6am so we headed back, it felt like I was driving on clouds and I almost fell asleep a few times.
The party was well organised, the soundsystem was great, it was beautifully warm all night and there were plenty of friendly people there, but I dunno, just didn't seem the same as stumbling around a damp Manchester squat in the freezing cold, feeling slightly scared as you're no longer able to see anything but strobe lights or hear anything but techno beats tearing through your skull... Maybe rave has passed into history like every other movement before it, or maybe I'm just getting old.