Acid House NFT Photography by Wayne Anthony
This is probably one of the most iconic photographs of an illegal party promoter during the heyday of Acid House in 1989. The early foundations of what they later termed Rave Culture. Genesis’88 co-founder Wayne Anthony is internationally known for crashing large warehouses for all-night dance parties.
Genesis’88 modus operandi was to commandeer large warehouses under the guise of well known corporations such as Sony or celebrity management agencies. Once the building was occupied the party promoters would produce a host of documents relating to leasing the building through official channels. The paperwork would include production contracts from lighting and sound companies, a commission from a major brand to manage the so-called event, artiste rider agreements, fake celebrity guest-list and leasing contract for the building.
The location is kept secret to avoid being discovered by police. The team will only enter the warehouse on the day of the actual event, merely hours before announcing the meeting points. Folks arrive at the meeting points where they were given the party address. Genesis’88 were prolific over a two year period in the United Kingdom. In the first few months of ninety eight nine the promoters staged a large scale warehouse party in a different building every weekend.
This photograph was shot during the initial campaign January – March 1989. Wayne Anthony stands in a warehouse originally intended as a back up venue to another warehouse thirty miles away. The venue was discovered and road blocked by police. Genesis’88 needed to manoeuvre thousands of people from North London to this back up building in East London.
They deployed a small team of people to lead large convoys of cars through the streets of London at 9pm on a Saturday night. The three Genesis’88 partners reached the building shortly after the team commandeered it. The large convoys hadn’t yet reached the building before a police riot squad arrived outside the gated warehouse.
Wayne Anthony wrote about this party in his book Class of 88. He was covered in dirt from shifting speakers in the warehouse when told of the riot squads arrival. In those early days Wayne Anthony carried smart clothing for whenever they needed to speak with police. Where other promoters were running from police, Genesis’88 would convince police officers it was a legal event.
Wayne Anthony looked out the window and spotted the flashing blue lights, quickly changing into the famous red blazer (Reiss). You can see the fake documents on the work surface. He waited a few minutes expecting them to come busting into the carpark but they just sat outside stopping people from coming in. The promoters went outside into the yard where a policeman had jumped over the gate and opened it for the squad standing outside. A police war chant rang out as they moved forward into the yard. The few dozen or so standing in the yard including Wayne Anthony and partners began their own chant of ‘Aciiid, Aciiid, Aciiid’. This stopped the riot squad in their tracks and they backed out of the yard into the safety of the vehicles outside. They drove a few miles down the road and raided another party where they made lots of arrests.