Episode 1. Chris Warburton of Ecstasy: The Battle Of Rave

“When Ecstasy and Acid House first swept Britain, a group of lives would be changed forever. One Story. Half real life. Half drama. Welcome to Ecstasy: The Battle Of Rave.”

The emergence of rave culture in the late-1980s meant different things to different people.

For many, it was the time of their lives – an escape from Margaret Thatcher-era Britain to a brand new form of hedonism, infused with ground-breaking music and a drug that took people on a journey of self-discovery and sense of belonging to something.

But to others, ecstasy (“E”) and the social movement that came along with it was an opportunity to make vast sums of money in the form of drug-running and the status gained from organising parties for thousands of young people – both of which were on the wrong side of the law.

And, tragically, some people – at that very moment of escape – lost their lives.

Acid house is not just a tale of warehouse parties, dance music, gangsters, drugs, DJs and a counter-culture to the stiffness of a conservative, British society, is not just one story: it’s a collection of biographies from many walks of life.

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Chris Warburton fronts the 13-episode podcast Ecstasy: The Battle Of Rave – detailing, through a combination of documentary and fictional storytelling, a period in cultural history for those who were they and those who observed curiously from afar will never forget.

In this episode of MetaPod, Warburton tells us how the podcast came together, about his encounters with the characters along the way and the wider impact of rave culture on society and those it affected directly.

Show notes for Ecstasy: The Battle Of Rave

About Chris Warburton

Chris Warburton is a journalist and presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live. He has also worked on the podcasts End Of Days and Beyond A Reasonable Doubt?