Helter Skelter (rave music promoter)

Helter Skelter[1] are one of the longest running dance music promoters in the UK. They are one of the few remaining rave music brands who promote early underground styles of electronic dance music, as opposed to the more mainstream house clubs that followed during the 1990s.


The Helter Skelter organization was founded in September 1989 - in the midst of the Acid House party era - by David Pratley & his wife Penny. They were inspired by the early Acid Bungalow clubs such as "Codys" and "Lava", and the M25 motorway "Orbital" raves such as the Sunrise events. Helter Skelter's first event was an illegal outdoor rave but subsequent nights have been held in nightclubs.

After this, Helter Skelter began hosting events at the 3,000 capacity Sanctuary Music Arena in Milton Keynes; following the lead taken by fellow rave promoters Dreamscape. Helter Skelter's events in Milton Keynes underwent an expansion in the mid-nineties, using the roller rink adjacent to The Sanctuary, expanding the capacity to 8,000. Between the two arenas, an outdoor complex was created, which featured a SONY PlayStation zone, free fairground rides, cafés and other types of recreational facilities.

Energy '97
Location(s)Turweston Aerodrome in Northamptonshire
Years active1988-present

The success of the double-arena parties prompted the Helter Skelter team to organize - Energy '97 - The Carnival of Dance. The Energy '97 festival took place at Turweston Aerodrome in Northamptonshire (now the site of the Gatecrasher Summer Sound System festivals). The festival sold out, attracting 18,000 revelers in all. With 10 huge marquees featuring genres of dance music ranging from Drum and Bass, to Techno, to House Music, to Hardcore. The event had 85 of the UK's very best artists, DJ's & MC's and was the biggest and best Helter Skelter to date.

Helter Skelter in the 2000sEdit

After a year out, the team reunited and Helter Skelter returned with a comeback event being hosted at the 4500 capacity venue Bowlers, in Trafford, Manchester. This was in association with the Northern dance music organization, Compulsion. Helter Skelter also returned to the Sanctuary Music Arena in Milton Keynes, but with a new music policy. Pratley collaborated with the event management team from Club Sidewinder, and introduced specialist Drum and Bass events, branded Accelerated Culture. The events featured Drum and Bass artists and DJs, including Kosheen, Roni Size, Shy FX, Craze, Grooverider, Hype, and Fabio many of whom have played for Helter Skelter previously.

Other branding saw 'Deja Vu' Which is the identity for dedicated Old Skool retro events. Plus the branding 'Human Traffic' for their upfront Hardcore parties.

Godskitchen, the major superclub promoter, invited Helter Skelter and Sidewinder to host a 5,000 capacity Accelerated Culture arena at their first Global Gathering festival, held in the summer of 2001, and as such have appeared at every Global Gathering since. Utilising the super club's 2,000 capacity home venue CODE, Helter Skelter's relationship with Godskitchen continued as the rave promoter staged a series of nights in Birmingham, returning to the city for the first time since the mid-1990s.

Since the closure of the Sanctuary Music Arena in 2004, Helter Skelter are without a regular venue but continue to run one off parties. They have returned to Milton Keynes twice, continued with the Accelerated Culture brand in Birmingham and brought Drum and Bass and Old School Hardcore to a predominantly House Music-orientated Ibiza.

In 2005, Helter Skelter teamed up with Ministry of Sound to release a compilation CD, 'Hardcore Classics', mixed by Billy Daniel Bunter and Slipmatt. Further compilations followed; 'United In Hardcore' in 2006 and a versus mix with Raindance, in Hardcore 2007 and Billy Daniel Bunter* & Slipmatt – Helter Skelter & Raindance Present The Sound Of Hardcore 2009

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-01-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Helter Skelter downloads