In 1994, the UK government introduced the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994, often referred to as the Criminal Justice Bill. Part 5, section 63 of this act dealt with raves, defining them as "characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats". Police were given new powers to prevent nuisance caused by ravers; for example, a constable could stop anyone he suspected might be travelling to a rave, and order them away from the area - with a penalty of £1000 if they failed to comply1.
This outraged the dance music community, who reacted with a number of protests and fund-raising records and events. Autechre released their Anti EP, where one track , Flutter, was carefully programmed not to contain any repeated beats, the idea being that this could not be acted upon under the terms of the act. Unfortunately, the act used the word 'includes', which everyone seemed to miss:
"music" includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats
It seems to me the act was carefully worded to include dance music, rather than to single it out for attack. At any rate, raves continued, much as the act continued (and was expanded with the 2003 Criminal Justice Bill).
- - the relevant section of the original act
- - advice on the act
- (1): http://www.urban75.org/legal/cja.html#rave