Dance dance revolution
An oral history of how the Chemical Brothers, all-night raves, and a massive club scene made Orlando's EDM scene legendary
Published: July 3, 2013
Q-BURNS: It was a big deal. I remember people being generally psyched about it, more so than I recall for any electronic music act. I sold dozens and dozens of their records in my shop … I couldn’t keep them in stock for a couple months leading up to the show and for the life of the store afterward.
REMARK: That show kicked off the scene en masse. It was that show where the promoters, clubs and club-goers realized there was something magical happening and that those kinds of shows could draw thousands.
DJ ICEY: The show was a huge success, and their performance became legendary. The Brothers had told me that their show in Orlando, which really was their first proper live show, gave them the feeling that they were onto something big and the confidence that they’d be able to take it to the next level.
WOHELSKI: When Dig Your Own Hole went gold, because of his early support of the band, I made sure Icey got a gold record award. He deserves tons of credit; without him taking a chance, I’d never have seen and signed what became one of the biggest acts in the genre.
CLIFF T: City officials still didn’t get what was happening until Rolling Stone did an article about the late-night scene. Many people said it was Disney that thought it was bad publicity for family-friendly Orlando and forced the city to do something. Ironically, it was a time when acts like the Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Moby and Fatboy Slim were breaking the mainstream.
CANNALTE: To me, there was never one single club or promoter or scenario that caused what would become the Florida rave law to go into effect. One overdose or death was bad enough, but because the numbers of people going to these events and clubs had grown so much, it was only a matter of time until things got out of hand. People started getting careless, clubs didn’t enforce their policies enough, and truly, it was just the fact that it had gotten to be so big, there wasn’t much they really could do.
REMARK: I think, ultimately, the Orlando officials perceived that this “negative” scene was ruining the image of Orlando.
CLARK: Official folks just didn’t get it!
DJ SANDY: [Glenda Hood] was our mayor and a hardcore Republican. People were leaving clubs at 9 a.m. right down the road from the Catholic church when people were going to service … oh, she was pissed. She definitely was all about stopping the movement.
TOBIAS: The anti-rave bill was the death blow to our scene. Funny, how it happened right when Downtown Disney was opening. Funny, how it was about the same time that the Navy base was sold. Glenda Hood was our worst mayor ever, with Buddy “Liar” being a super-close second. Their personal agenda and their country club cronies had no business with what was happening while they were tucked away in their fancy beds. The daytime is for day people and the nighttime is for night people, period.
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