Right Here, Right Now (2023) Movie Script

A letter from our Norman...
Sceptics might say of
this informal gathering,
"Why the hell are you doing it again?
Last year was a one-off triumph."
Well, they have a point,
but the reason, of course,
is that I love to party, and the
party we had on the beach last year
was so much fun, so
beautiful and so right,
that it would be criminal
not to try doing it again.
No, I never
thought we made a mistake.
But we were a lot younger then,
and inexperienced, and naive.
And of course, they're like shields
really, because you don't realise
how precarious a situation is!
But that's quite nice,
because it means you go to the edge
and you go a little bit further.
And usually, it's at the edge
where good stuff happens.
# Right here, right now,
right here, right now...
In 2001, we get a phone call
from Channel 4 all about cricket.
They had just bought the franchise
to show Test cricket in England,
and they wanted to celebrate
that by playing it in parks
and outdoor venues throughout the
summer, to get people into the idea
of watching Test cricket
on Channel 4.
They were coming down to Brighton
to show one of the Test matches,
and they had a sound system for
the commentary and a big screen.
They just phoned me up and said,
"As Brighton's
representative of dance music,
"do you wanna DJ an afterparty, free,
"for the people of Brighton to
have a little dance on the beach?"
We lost the cricket on day two, so
no-one came and watched the cricket.
But an awful lot of people
came to the after party.
I think there
were 40,000 people there.
It just, this thing happened.
It was phenomenal.
My first thought
when we finished was,
we have to do this again next year.
We have to own this.
The sun
was shining and it was free.
And who doesn't like a party?
And who doesn't like
a party on a beach?
And who doesn't like a
party on Brighton beach,
with Norman Cook DJing?
I can't see...! It's a-no brainer.
It filtered
in over the years, Brighton.
I'd go down early on
when I'd left drama school,
and there's just something about it.
I don't know what it is.
There's some kind of calm.
It's beautiful.
But it's also got
that city edginess.
It's just a lovely vibe.
I think maybe because there's
loads of students, loads of
artists, loads of musicians,
and things like that.
I came here because of music,
I came here because of gigs.
I came here because
Brighton is beautiful.
Brighton started with the whole
thing of coming here for health.
You came to Brighton to drink the
waters, to bathe in the waters,
and then Prince Regent came
and gave the town a notoriety.
It's cabaret, it's burlesque,
occasionally, it's singalongs.
And the town's always done that.
Sometimes, being a resident in
Brighton, you hand over your town
to visitors, and you accept that.
You live here and you
embrace all of the elements
that the town has to offer.
We welcome those visitors, too.
We want them to enjoy themselves,
to indulge in their
legitimate pleasures,
however odd they may seem to us.
- Were there a lot of them?
- Yes, whole crowd.
You couldn't move, it was jammed,
about 200, I should think.
I went to lock the door
and they pushed me over!
They just left you lying
on the floor, did they?
NO, one of the rockers picked me up,
another rocker at another table.
He was very sweet.
I've been
in Brighton now 22 years.
I paint things on walls for people.
Yeah, this one here, the client
said they wanted something Brighton.
So, I thought, yeah,
what's more Brighton than
Fatboy Slim these days?
So, the connection
with Fatboy Slim goes way back
and a lot of the artists we
work with, as well as a lot of
the local people in Brighton,
have a connection with him.
He's a bit of a gallery favourite.
He has collaborated
with a few of our artists.
One such example would be
this Mark Vessey here,
and he actually approached us and
said, "I love Fatboy Slim's work
"and I want to do
a project with him,"
which culminated in this series.
So, this is actually
Norman Cook's own record collection.
There's a kind of
two-way love affair
between me and the city of Brighton.
But also there's a pride,
I am very proud of this city.
I think it is the
best city in the world.
There's something about its relaxed
attitude, its tolerant attitude,
and its eccentricity
that I just really love.
Brighton is here to be invaded,
for people to have fun.
Here at Brighton,
a seaside town not far from London,
is one of Britain's most
modern universities -
the University of Sussex.
I grew up in Surrey.
My sister went to university in
Brighton, and I used to come down
and stay with her and I just
thought, "This is the place,
"this is where I belong."
So when it came time
for me to go to college,
I just wanted to go to Brighton.
I didn't care what degree I did,
and stayed ever since.
This year, it's
very much The Housemartins
that have been in the news.
We were proud as punch
that they're back in the city today.
I'll be chatting with them
in a few moments time.
Could I help you?
# Hello, hello...
We're The Housemartins!
That's good...
I first got
involved with Norman
as I was the radio plugger
for The Housemartins.
Norman had a nascent,
alternative career as a DJ.
I didn't intend to be a DJ.
I always wanted to be in pop bands,
but I was a record collector.
If you're having a party and you
wanted the best records there,
you had to have somebody who had
a really good record collection.
So, I used to get invited to
parties by people I hardly knew,
just cos they knew I'd
bring my record collection.
But teenage parties
being how they were,
my records started getting covered
in vomit and cigarette butts.
And so, one time, this
girl invited me and said,
"Would you bring your records?"
And I'm like,
"Actually, I'm not to bring my
records, if that's all right?"
And she went, "Oh".
But then, she said,
"What if my dad hires these kind of
double decks, like a DJ console,
"and you're in charge of the records,
then would you bring your records?"
And it sounded like fun,
and something very,
very fundamental happened.
I really, really enjoyed controlling
the dancefloor and the music.
It triggered off a realisation
that my love of music
is heightened by sharing it
with other people.
I started thinking of it
more than just a hobby.
And it was around that time
when I was old enough to start
playing in licenced venues.
And so, mixing became a
really big thing for me -
to learn how to mix, to
afford to buy the turntables
that had varispeed on them
so you could mix.
And that was about the
time I moved to Brighton.
When I moved to Brighton,
they had bars and clubs
that had Technics 1200s. So, I
used to go and work in those places
for free, just so I could
practise on their decks,
and eventually bought my own.
What I'm gonna do,
grab that beat and go...
Finger on that, press down
on the fader. It's easy!
Picture of concentration,
know what I mean?
I'm sorry, Norman.Rubbish!I'll
leave it to the professionals.
When I was in The
Housemartins in the late '80s
and playing white indie pop,
but all the time, that wasn't
the kind of music that I dug.
But then, they invented the
sampler and the drum machine.
All of a sudden, white dudes
like me could make this music
without having to
pretend to be black.
And that just unleashed
a whole new career for me,
and that kind of ended my
relationship with The Housemartins
and that kind of music.
I can't do that any more.
And so, I moved back to
Brighton and went back into DJing.
DJ culture and club culture
was just absolutely exploding.
It had been in this sort of ghetto,
where you had to be over 18
before you ever heard these records,
and you had to go to the cool clubs
to hear the cool records.
But then things started
happening, I think,
when house records started
getting on Top of the Pops.
Kids started hearing them and
they go, "What are these records?
"Where can I hear them?"
A lot of people
were like, "What's happening?
"What's going on? These parties
I can hear that start at 2 o'clock,
"and finish at 8 o'clock in
the morning. Where are they?
"Who are the DJs that
are playing this music?"
All this wonder, which was
making it really exciting.
When I was 16,
we were all going to like Telepathy
and Sunrise and Raindance.
There wasn't hard house
necessarily in the beginning.
It was stuff that came over
from Detroit and Chicago,
and then it started to
get a London feel to it.
And then, Chime by Orbital.
That's what kind of got me
in the back of my mate
Matthew Miller's car,
driving to fucking Basildon
to meet some dodgy bloke!
Or driving for two hours to
score, like, an eighth of hash...
Like, what?!
Honest to God, it was
just fucking terrifying,
and frightening, but
exhilarating, and exciting.
Seeing the weirdest fucking people.
"What the fuck is this?
Where are we?"
I think the reason
it was such a big culture
at the time, clubbing, let's not
beat around the bush about it.
I think a lot of it
is to do with ecstasy...
I think! I think. And so,
that just changed everything.
It changed football violence,
that stopped overnight.
It was the end of the '80s,
everything just changed.
It was suddenly,
this culture of love.
It was just happy times.
It was
the best years of my life.
Even now, there's friends
who I've met raving
who are some of my best friends.
Lots of the big gigs we'd go to,
we'd drive for miles.
I went to a weekender
called Kamikaze Do Or Die.
Quite a few free parties,
you'd just drive along and wait
to find out where
you're going to be going.
You meet up with a few people. There
would be people that you would see
at certain gigs and you'd
just go up and be chatting,
and having a really amazing time.
There was never any grief.
You'd just go there and
literally dance all night.
For five years straight,
I was doing maybe two parties
on a Thursday, two or
three parties on a Friday,
two or three parties on a Saturday,
two parties on a Sunday,
and possibly one party
on a Monday, for five years!
In my car, going up and
down as far as Cornwall,
and as far up as Scotland.
Party, party, party, party, party,
party, party, party, party, party!
Back to Brighton, back out again.
I was like this, shh! Whirlwind,
working my arse off the whole time.
Around that time, my main
job was the band Freak Power.
Like, a traditional line-up band.
And it just became more
and more apparent to me
that nobody really
wanted to see bands any more.
I'd have 10, 12 of us
on the road with Freak Power,
and X amount of people would come.
And if I didn't bring the band
and I just played records,
10 times more people would
come, and there was only me
and a tour manager I had to pay!
So, it became very apparent
that more people wanted to see me DJ
than play bass.
We were having our time, I think.
But the problem was the government
were not happy with the way,
how things were being run,
they wasn't able to control
this society and what was happening.
So, they made up the Criminal
Justice Bill, and basically,
they were saying if you had
five people dancing around a car
with repetitive beats,
you're going to jail!
And the promoters was also the same.
If you're putting on a party
in this way, you're going to jail,
unless you did the events properly.
Licensed events, contracts
for the artists and DJs.
The rave scene as a
whole did get quashed,
but it then re-emerged
into super clubs.
And then, we had the
rise of the superstar DJs.
Norman quietly
became Fatboy Slim,
and then it started
to become something.
This might sound strange, but
I really can't put a date on it.
It was just some time in the past,
but it was an exciting time.
To see Norman DJing
was quite a thing.
It was quite an
unbelievable thing.
It was
a very exciting time.
The Tory government had gone.
Blair was in, and it was...
Yeah, we can do anything.
And I think the industry
was very much like that.
"We can do anything".
Records were selling.
Gigs were kind of selling.
Festivals were getting bigger.
You'd go to work, go to a gig,
you'd go to the after show,
you'd go to bed, you'd go
back to work the next day.
And it was a really exciting time.
I just remember it being
a really, really fertile time,
as well, for creativity.
Spaced was our way of writing
what it was like to be
a 20-something in London
at the turn of the century,
and all the kind of stuff
that we felt was never represented,
like casual dope smoking
or going clubbing, or whatever.
I felt like I really wanted
to write an episode of the show
that reflected the true
experience of going clubbing.
Brighton has always been
a good place to come and party.
There was amazing
clubs down in the arches,
and that was something that Brighton
had in such close proximity as well.
This is Fatboy Slim.
You're at the Big Beat Boutique.
I'm one of the resident DJs
and apparently,
we are the underground
club of the year.
What was going
on at the Boutique was something
he was very much doing naturally
as his own Friday night out.
There was another Gareth
around at that point,
who was running the Boutique,
a local promoter,
and those two cooked
this whole thing up.
Really, what he was doing
musically was mashing stuff up
that nobody else was
even contemplating,
and creating this atmosphere where
people could absolutely freak out.
When I went there,
it was dazzling carnage.
By now, what I'm doing is
just mixing the hooks from pop music,
the anarchic spirit from punk,
the breakbeats from hip-hop
and the acid energy from house music.
And that became what
became known as big beat.
What he did was put UK dance
music on the map in the late '90s,
and exported it to the world.
And it was fun,
energetic, exciting.
And that's what connected
with me as a 14-year-old,
to get into dance music.
Norman put out
Better Living Through Chemistry,
which just had that natural
organic connectivity.
It had a fanbase who were turning up
every Friday to dance along to it.
The big challenge of any new artist
is usually the second album.
But that
first album was a cool record
that tastemakers liked.
It hadn't crossed over in the way
that everything after that did.
Everything basically changed
with Rockafeller Skank.
# Right about now,
the funk soul brother
# Check it out now,
the funk soul brother...
# Right about now,
the funk soul brother
# Check it out now,
the funk soul brother! #
The previous two or
three years of the club,
meeting the Chems and all my other
friends who are doing similar things.
It was all coming into this,
I know what I'm doing here.
And so, the second album
came out really easily.
It was just kind of bottling what
we'd been doing for three years,
and distilling it, and then
opening it with one big pop.
# Right about now,
the funk soul brother...
If you turned on Radio 1
you could hear Norman.
But then, if you turn on commercial
radio, you could hear his songs
being used for adverts as well.
The publishers used to send us faxes
back then, and then we
slowly got onto emails,
where they would ask for permission
for a certain song to be used.
So, the artist had to
kind of give permission.
I remember one time, one came
through and I had to phone Norman.
I said, "Norman, we just
had a sync request through."
And he said, "What's it for?"
I said, "It's for Friends."
And there's a scene in Friends
where Ross is having a party
and you hear Rockafeller Skank.
# Right about now,
the funk soul brother...
We have got to get
out of this business!
We are no good at it,
it does not agree with us.
It was a particular moment
where we were sitting there,
getting daily sales figures.
I remember one day, by lunchtime,
we'd done 35,000 albums.
Most of the projects we were
working on didn't do that
in the whole lifecycle of
the album. So, to do that
in one morning was...
It was quite intoxicating.
You've Come A Long Way Baby
went to No.1.
And that led to the idea that
a DJ could be more than just a DJ,
and you could sell hard tickets,
as we now call it.
So, he was culturally very visible.
He was dating Zoe Ball, so
there was the tabloid interest.
He was basically the world's most
famous and possibly ubiquitous DJ.
When a band breaks, they
transition from pubs to clubs,
to theatres, to
concert halls to arenas.
DJs had never done that.
They'd never done that before.
And the opportunity came
for us to start climbing up
that ladder of progression.
I had a
history in big shows for bands.
I heard a record on the radio
in Los Angeles, Rockafeller Skank,
and I called a guy in London,
David Levy, who's Norman's agent,
unbeknownst to me, and he said,
"Well, he's a DJ and
they play in clubs".
And I said, "Well, one day, maybe
if he plays bigger than clubs,
"I'd really like to be involved".
And it took about six months.
The next thing you know,
we're playing two nights
at Brixton Academy with
Armand Van Helden, which was really
the first big venue gig
for a DJ in the UK.
From Brighton, England.
Right here, right now, Fatboy Slim!
This is where it's
great working with Norman,
he's always up for
trying something different.
We built a boxing ring that rotated
and we set it up as a boxing match.
So, it's Norman versus
Armand Van Helden.
We sold it out, it was amazing.
Norman was very conscious
within the experience of a show
that with a lot of DJs, with all
due respect, it was a bit like
going to see someone
do the washing up.
And we went for lights and
sound and video screens.
To fill those big spaces, you
have to overegg the pudding,
and that's how it escalated.
Red Rocks seats about 8,000,
9,000, and it's gonna sell out.
It's gonna be packed.
I think this techno scene
is more popular than
anybody gives it credit for.
I think it's gonna go
till the city shuts it down.
The shows
got bigger and bigger,
then more production came onboard.
So we got a production team onboard,
the visuals got bigger and
we're doing shows in Europe.
We did snowboarding up on
a mountain, a mountain show.
We've done Red Rocks,
that was like a massive show.
In the summer
of 2001, we had a large number
of really good events in the city.
And one of those was
Channel 4 on the beach, it was
the summer tour for the cricket.
So, it was beautiful.
It was four days of cricket.
The Ashes being shown on Brighton
beach, just near the West Pier.
It was very
much a Brighton thing.
It was very family-oriented.
And then, there was this offer
for Norman to play on the stage
that was already built there.
And I think the numbers
were like 40,000 people.
Everybody came out.
Kids and old people,
just united around our
love of Brighton and music.
It was mainly local people.
The council absolutely loved it
and said, "This is what Brighton's
"all about, doing things
like this". The police loved it,
because they thought it was hilarious
and everyone was really well behaved.
All the local traders loved it
because people spent tonnes of money.
But I do remember, when
I came off-stage so elated,
I just hugged my manager and said,
"My God, it just
doesn't get any better.
"How can we ever top this?"
Careful what you wish for, kids.
# A's for the anchor
that swings at our bow
# B for the bowsprit
through the wild seas do plough
# C for the capstan
we merrily around
# D are the davits
we lower our boats down
# Sing high, sing low,
wherever you go
# Give a sailor his tot and
there's nothing goes wrong. #
Brighton is a
seaside town; it had recently become
a city at that time.
It's a vibrant, colourful place.
From a policing point of view,
anything that you might expect
the police to become involved
with across the country
would happen in Brighton & Hove.
It's a good place to
be involved in policing,
because there's a lot going on.
I think
Brighton was unique at the time.
Post-millennium, there was a lot
of investment from the council
into events, so it was
a really creative city.
I was the assistant events officer
at Brighton & Hove City
Council from 2001 to 2004.
We had a really vibrant
art scene and culture scene.
Loads and loads of DJs,
loads of different club nights.
It wasn't a mainstream city.
We used to have
very regular meetings
with the council's
events planning team.
They used to give us a list of
the events that were coming up,
but sometimes, events would
come up at short notice.
And I can't remember exactly
when I first heard about the event.
That was possibly a couple
of months beforehand.
There was whisperings
that it was going to happen again,
and then you heard it
publicly announced.
So there was a buzz, there
was excitement around it.
But I'm sure there was also
some doubts as to whether
it should be happening.
At the time, there was
a Seafront Traders Association,
where all the shop owners
and bar owners would get together
maybe two or three times a year,
have a discussion about what
should and shouldn't happen
on the seafront. And I remember
some rumblings about the effects
it might have on the town.
The relationship with
the local council was pretty good.
These people universally
loved their city.
They understood it
represented a different ethos
from perhaps other
parts of the country.
It had gone so well in 2001,
that everyone was behind it -
the police, the council,
and the emergency services.
It was very different in 2001 and
2002 to how it is now, 20 years on.
There were... Whilst Brighton & Hove
Council had a really good example
of multi-agency planning, I don't
think the people working on it
were necessarily as
experienced of major events
as people necessarily are now.
So, not always knowing
what we were looking out for.
So during those planning meetings,
we'd often discuss things
like medical provision,
security provision, making sure
that we had the
correct numbers in place.
We were estimating 60,000
people were going to come
and we were planning for 80,000.
The first
multi-agency meeting for this event
was on either the 30th
or the 31st of May that year.
So, it was only a
few weeks before the event.
That already started alarm bells
ringing not just with myself,
but with people
from health and safety
and the council and various others.
This was a large event.
It was going to be on the beach.
Therefore, there was work to
be done and time was short.
We wanted it to be a
free event because you can't expect
people to pay on a beach.
As E4, or Channel 4,
had paid for it previously, we had
no concept of what it would cost
to put on an event for effectively
60,000 people on a beach. Um..
It was quite a lot!
So, this is what it's going to be.
We had to put book police,
we had to book security...
Oh! Stewards, toilets,
sound arrays, crowd control,
So, we all sat down, tried to work
out how we were going to pay for it.
Norman's quite popular
in America, isn't he?
So, Garry spoke to
his live agent and said,
"Norman is willing
to do a corporate gig."
Not the sort of thing he does.
"What can we get for it?"
And he managed to get a gig,
and it was approximately,
like, half a million dollars.
And the money for that
gig was going to pay for
all the infrastructure that
we needed to be able to put on
a show for free in Brighton.
So he flew out, did the gig.
I remember the
feedback at the time...
I think there might have been 150
people there at this corporate gig.
It was dead.
I mean, it's a corporate gig.
A massive DJ playing
for people in suits.
It has been a journey in 2002.
This is a general
synopsis of what's going on.
Show down in Seoul,
England v Sweden...
Building up to that show
was just like any other show.
It's in the cycle of gigs
that we were doing.
It was just another show.
Before Norman did
the show in Brighton,
he was gallivanting around Japan
as the official DJ for
England at the World Cup.
So, leading up to it was
a really, really busy time.
No gig today, so we can
have a wander around.
And right now, we're off to Adidas to
go and meet David Beckham's boots.
Joy! Joy!
If you ask anyone who was
the biggest DJ or
dance music producer,
you would I reckon nine times out
of 10, people would say Fatboy Slim.
Fatboy Slim.
Fatboy Slim.
What Norman did, he laid the
foundations for stadium dance music.
It was proving that a DJ
could sell out a venue
rather than, say, a rock act.
That was an important thing.
I really like this idea that you
could have a job in dance music.
It could be serious, you can
take your career seriously,
but you didn't have to
take yourself too seriously.
The USP was, let's be
serious about our fun.
In the last
multi-agency planning meeting
in the run-up to the event,
I realised from the network
that I was plugged into, in terms
of the clubbing and dance scene
in Brighton, that we were
getting an awful lot of coverage.
So, I kind of tentatively
raised my hand and I said,
"Look, I think we're going to
have a lot more people coming
"than we're planning for,
because it's getting
"a huge amount of coverage".
And I just so clearly remember
a senior council officer
turning to me and saying,
"Don't be silly, Becky. This
isn't The Beatles. It's just a DJ."
T4 was the show that
talked about the music.
We were the ones that gave our
opinions and we rode that wave.
If the NME was talking about it,
we would talk about it.
So, Norman and that kind of music
was always on our playlist.
And then it was like, "Oh, we're
going to do Big Beach Boutique.
"Do you fancy it?" Yeah! Two-footed
challenge into that, please.
We'd hired all the
front suites of The Grand
for family, friends, DJs. We
drove up on the Friday morning,
so parked the car,
went up to see the room,
had a heart attack because of
course, I organised the rooms.
And oh, my God, the view!
We'd hired a room so
that my parents and my son Woody,
who would have been one,
had somewhere safe to watch.
This is probably just about
the best view of Brighton,
but one that locals
seldom get to see.
Everything was all in place.
So, we went out for dinner
with Garry and family,
as far as I remember.
Then we went over to Norman's
house and Zoe's in Hove.
First time I'd actually
properly met him.
We're all in there, it got to
about midnight and he said,
"Oh, everyone, I want to play
the song that I've remixed
"for the end song."
There's just something a lot more,
like, hands in the air, beautiful.
'I'd done a version of Pure Shores,
which we got pressed up
'on an acetate, which
cost me like 80 quid,
'so I was definitely
going to play that.'
Probably edit their version
down, because it's a bit long.
There's too many gaps in the middle.
Edit it down, and then
just overlay that...
Overlay that all over it.
So definitely, it
needs a bit more thump.
So, I've got it going now at 100 BPM.
I get out the 100 BPM disc,
and then we just got
a whole load of different beats.
You could just end up like that.
Just start with the drum beat
and slowly bring it in.
Yeah, that's doable.
I remember going
to bed on the Friday night,
really in a state of high anxiety,
praying enough people would come.
Because we'd risked
a lot to set this up,
on the assumption it would be bigger
than the previous year in 2001.
And of course, the next
morning was a beautiful day.
But you never know it's going
to work until it's happening.
Sunrise or sunset, you ask me.
As you get pebble
dust between your toes.
I don't know. Both, I lie.
I have never been an early riser.
To let my body wake with
the dawn would be a betrayal
of the dreams that hold me down
until at least 10am.
The sunset is deeper.
The last showdown of sky.
Clint Eastwood firing the
last round from a revolver
before the credits roll.
A wrap party, a swan song.
Do you feel lucky?
I'll never forget it.
I opened the window,
looked outside, and I turned around
to my wife and I said, "Fuck.
"Fuck!" She said, "What's wrong?"
I went, "There's no cloud in
the sky, and there's 30,000 people
"on the beach,
and it's not 9 o'clock".
Come on!
The weekend has landed.
Just, it was just party time.
It was just party time!
Car full of people.
Loads of tunes, windows down.
Banging, weather was great.
Off we went.
Our friends had
been to the first Big Beach.
Some of them turned around to us
saying, "Oh, he's doing another one.
"Do you wanna come
along?" Yeah, why not?
Yeah! We'll see what this is about.
Got nothing else to do.
What's the worst that can happen?
Exactly. So we ended up
tagging along with them,
and heading over to Brighton.
Neither Nick or I
had a car, so we borrowed
this knackered old Ford Sierra
to get down to Brighton!
I don't even know if we were
supposed to drive it, really.
I mean, I'm pretty sure we sorted
out the insurance, etcetera...
I got a call from my wife
at about half 10, 11 o'clock.
She was driving down and she rang to
say that there must be some accident
on the M23, because
there was a traffic jam.
So I said, "Look,
don't worry Gill, just go.
"We know the back roads, just
come off and go the back roads".
Anyway, I got on with
preparing the show,
not realising that the traffic jam
was people coming to the show.
The closer we got, the more people
we could see that were going
and we were passing people
on the motorway and waving.
And there was a lot of music
coming out of different cars.
There's a lot of, "Oi! Oi!"
There was a lot of that.
All ready for our weekend.
I woke up in the morning,
getting all this stuff together
and for some reason, I just
thought I'd do a pregnancy test.
And the pregnancy
test was positive.
I phoned my mom and she's like,
"You're meant to be going out
"this weekend, you're going to
have to change your plans!"
I was like, "Yeah, shit! Yeah,
I'm meant to be going out."
So, that was a massive,
amazing, amazing find,
because I would have
been drinking alcohol.
So, I had to make
sure I didn't do that.
I'd just
started working at Mixmag.
So, this was like the first month
that I was literally in the office,
and left uni about
a month before that.
So, I've moved from Bournemouth
up to London for my big new job
and I got sent down to Brighton
to cover the beach party.
I got the train down on my own from
London to meet my mates in Brighton.
It was me,
my boyfriend at the time Sam,
my best friend there Louise,
and maybe three other folks.
And we're on the train.
And it just felt like this
giant party on the train.
You felt like you were
making friends immediately.
Everybody's sharing their food
and their drinks, and other things.
Lots of music going on the train,
people are dancing on the train,
just riding high, huge
expectation for the day.
It felt like Southern Railway
had got every train in the UK
to just pick people up wherever they
were and drop them off in Brighton.
Honest, I think we did
a couple of links for T4
outside Brighton Station,
and we just couldn't move
for people coming at us. Not
going that way towards the station,
just coming off.
It was insane.
We all lived a
little bit outside of Brighton.
So on the day of the party,
we had no idea how big it was.
So, I drove my car
with four of my mates.
Basically, there was queues
going all along the Downs,
and we couldn't get through,
there was traffic.
It was like, "Fuck this."
We drove on the other side
of the road, all the way through!
I was like, "Fuck it, no cars
are coming the other way.
"We've got to get there.
We have to get there."
We got there early
enough to where we could find
everything we needed.
We actually got food.
We had sunscreen,
we had enough water,
and we just chilled on the beach.
But quickly, that changed.
Within the course of an hour
or two of us arriving there
in the late afternoon, it's like,
"Oh, shit, I'm having trouble
moving through the street.
"We're going to have
to hunt for a bathroom."
There was so
much fucking traffic.
There was nowhere to park.
And then we went right up
toward Hove, just
keeping on driving.
But everywhere was
just fucking cars,
like abandoned cars everywhere.
People had just parked
anywhere they could.
We just thought, "Fuck it,
let's just get a ticket!"
So, I think we just left it.
We abandoned it!
We might as well have
just torched it there,
although we needed it to get back.
But we put it on a kerb,
got out of the car and
headed down to the beach.
I remember
getting a call from a friend
who was driving down
from London, saying,
"Becky, you need to shut the road,
you need to shut Brighton.
"We're in a traffic jam. It's going
all the way back past Gatwick,
"and it's crazy".
I was like, "Yeah, I'm not
sure I've got that authority,
"but I'll pass that on!"
I remember arriving into
Brighton and just thinking, wow!
It's like the whole city
had been closed down.
Everybody was hiding in their
houses and it was just a huge rave.
So, it was quite
mind blowing, actually.
It was quite a sight to behold.
# The weekend starts here. #
Lots of police
officers in Brighton & Hove,
as I did, didn't live
in the city at the time,
and we had to travel
into the city.
We were all told to come in
at 4 o'clock for a briefing
by the command team.
Straight away, it was apparent
just driving into the city,
that the estimates of 50,000 people
were going, were not right.
This is not the day we planned for.
It's gone wrong.
Right, you're happy?
Yeah, more than happy.
'During the day, we'd
done some vox pops,
which is the voice of the people.
With vox pops, you always try and be
quite cheeky or irreverent,
and just ask stupid questions.
I've got some very tedious Fatboy
Slim questions to ask you now.
OK. What's Norman Cook's...?
Might want to do that again.
What's Norman Cook's real name?
'The beachfront was packed
and everyone was up for it.
'Everyone just couldn't wait,
because they all knew the music
and there was a huge air of
anticipation for him just dropping,
"Check it out now,
the funk soul brother!"
Yes! I'm checking it out
on the beach!
It was just nuts.
There was a real energy,
a real momentum for people
to have a good time.
And I won't lie.
There was a couple of points
when we were recording
and you get the odd idiot
jump in and grab the mic.
And I'm thinking,
there's a possibility
this could get out of hand.
People just kept
coming and coming and coming.
And things started to
already get quite tense
and stressful down there.
People couldn't get to the toilets.
People couldn't move. The
beach was really, really full
directly in front of the stage,
and it narrows slightly in places.
So, people were
spreading to the east,
but lots of people
were coming from the west
or still coming off the trains from
London and coming straight down,
directly into the main
footprint of the event site.
We were late, as per
usual, I'm always running late.
And it was just mayhem.
But I didn't think it in a
bad way. I really liked it,
I really enjoyed how it felt.
I really loved that
kind of like excitement.
There was an edge, but
it didn't feel dangerous.
We got to the bottom of West Street
just by where the cinema is,
and it was just rammed.
It was chocka all the
way down to the seafront.
There was no way that we
could've got onto the beach.
It was so
packed when we got down there.
Trying to find someone,
and this is pre-smartphones,
you couldn't drop a pin back then.
This was literally me being
on the beach, counting how many
windows across on one of the hotels
I was to say, "Look, I'm six windows
across on the blue building,
"underneath the stones."
I think a lot of people were
doing that around me as well.
So, it was quite a well-trodden
path to not finding your mates.
I had friends
living down here at the time.
So I was looking for them, and of
course, no chance of finding them.
So, we just found a little spot
going down towards the West Pier,
and that was it.
Got ourselves settled,
a few beers, ready for the evening.
When I first arrived in this room,
I was looking out going,
"This is brilliant,
there's so many people!"
And then it went from, it's so many
people to there's SO many people.
And then, the first...
Every hour, I'd be chatting
to people and they're like,
"There's so many people."
15? Right, cool.
'I remember, I was waiting
and him walking in.
'And he looked really agitated,
'Which made me a little nervous
because I'd only been doing telly
'for maybe two or three years.
We both turned around
at the same time,
and I said something along the
lines of, "Wow, look at this."
And we're both kind of like...
We are going to dance tonight.
It's Mr Norman, Fatboy Slim, Cook!
Good evening.
How are you doing, Norman?
I actually feel am scared.Can I just
say, look at what you've created!
I know, it's a monster
that's gone out of control.
I remember
absolutely shitting myself
walking out of the briefing.
The briefing was in a small cafe
in arches on the bottom
of the seafront,
and I basically had to fight my way
through to get into the briefing.
On the briefing on the way out
they basically went,
"Right, you're on this point.
Get to it."
Pretty much having to fight
my way through the crowd
to get to the point. And
that was four-and-a-half hours
before the gig was
even due to start.
So I knew at that point,
it was going to be massive.
And it was the first
big gig I'd worked at,
so for me, it was a
real baptism by fire.
We were probably deployed
out into the city in the event area
some time around 6pm.
Almost immediately, our
team's officers were lost.
You couldn't see anyone.
It was difficult to get
hold of people on the radio.
I realised and I spoke to
my sergeants and made sure
they understood that regardless of
the orders we've been given earlier,
it was now about keeping people
safe and keeping ourselves safe.
They had loads of stewards
positioned on the high tide line
of the beach to stop people
going beyond that point,
because we knew the
tide was due to come in.
And I understand that around up to
80 stewards resigned on the spot
who were supposed to be
maintaining the high tide mark.
And I remember control going,
"Where are all the stewards?"
And asking me, "Where have the
stewards gone?" And I'm going,
"I don't know," because he was
asking me to look and spot them,
and I had a bird's eye view and
I couldn't see a single steward
- on the high tide mark.
- We went and stood on
the groyne with Kevin Claxton, who
was the bronze police officer.
And I remember us
looking down the beach
and it was absolutely
full of people.
And we looked at each
other and we were like,
"What are we going to do?"
We had a sort of emergency
meeting with the chief of police,
who was considering
cancelling the event.
Norman was very concerned
about anyone being hurt
or anything going wrong.
He was very conscious of that.
But we were also thinking,
we've spent our whole lives
building up to this moment.
We can't not deliver.
I could see from the
police's faces, they're like,
we are overwhelmed here.
So, I was like, OK.
I've prepared myself mentally that
it's going to be snatched away!
I think they took me into one of
the porta-cabins and they sat me down
and said, "Right, we're going to go
ahead with it, but only..."
And I said, "Only cos it's
more dangerous not to do it?"
Because you've got
all those people there,
and they've all been drinking
all day, and they're happy!
And if you shut the place down,
they'll be unhappy
and it could be ugly.
And they said, "Yeah".
This is a
public safety announcement.
We're sorry to disrupt
your enjoyment of the evening,
but we are endangering the lives
of people at the top of the groyne.
I remember there were
announcements, something like,
"Please relieve the groyne," which
if you don't know what a groyne is,
it's like a thing that
separates the sand on the beach,
everyone's looking at
each other like, "What?"
"Who's groin are
we relieving again?"
..of the police
and the stewards,
and start to pull away
from that groyne area.
We were trying to
stop people getting backstage,
and so we were stood on this
slippery, green, covered-in-seaweed
groyne as the tide went out.
All along the beach, there were
people urinating in the sea,
mostly men, but not all.
And then a yard in front of them,
there were people
swimming in the sea.
And you just think,
"This can't be going on.
"It's not real.
It can't be happening."
They had to get
police in to stand on the groyne
to stop people getting
to the edge and falling off.
And they put on riot gear for
their own safety and protection.
And I was reporting through
things that were going on.
Then suddenly, I turned around
and they'd all disappeared.
I remember going through to control,
"Where have the riot police gone?
"What's happened?" And after a bit
of going on different frequencies,
he came back and said,
apparently they've been told
to withdraw for their own safety.
I'm having
one of them Ibiza moments.
The sun's setting behind us,
everyone's enjoying the atmosphere,
and I've bumped into John Simm,
star of Human Traffic.
Are we having it
large, John, or what?
We're having it big stylee, aren't
we?Oh, yes. Or what, aren't we?
Or what? What do you think of
the whole event and the whole
atmosphere at the moment? it's
pretty mad, innit?Unbelievable.
I've never seen so many
people in my life, folks.
Unbelievable! There's
more people than pebbles.
And what's happening is that
I've not seen any violence
and no trouble.
Everyone is up for it
and everyone's here for the music.
That's how it should be. Absolutely.
I have no recollection
of that whatsoever!
This is a
public safety announcement.
The gentlemen climbing lampposts
must return to the ground.
The show will stop
until all the people...
I read various riot acts
about what I could or couldn't do.
And if they told me to switch
off the music, they said,
"You don't argue with us,
you just switch off the music."
Which is not the best
frame of mind to be in!
I sat with
Norman a little bit and we knew
everything was ready to go.
When he wanted to play,
we could go over
the street and play.
I came to the hotel,
I took Norman's record bag.
Norman and the record bags
stayed apart from each other
absolutely the minimal amount
of time. So I came to the hotel,
did one trip with the records,
and then came back.
The walking over the street
came later, because ultimately,
we were like, "How the hell are we
going to get from here to there?"
And it was decided that
the element of surprise
is what would get us
across the road.
But as soon as we walked down
the steps of the hotel,
it was just a mob!
And it took us 15 minutes
to get to the backstage,
which is a two-minute walk.
Looking back, I don't
remember much about the actual gig.
I must have been
completely on autopilot.
But it wasn't the most relaxed
I'd been, because I was aware
that we were potentially,
if anything went wrong,
we could be in a lot
of trouble, safety-wise.
But what I do remember is just
feeding off the energy of the crowd.
Fatboy Slim! Fatboy Slim!
There's one shot where you can see
I'm just looking at the stage,
looking around, and you can
see like the muscles in my neck,
and my cheek twitching
with the stress of it all.
Then, you suddenly see my eyes
light up as I see a friendly face.
This old friend of mine called Al,
and I just go and give him a big kiss
and everything's alright again.
People screaming and
whooping and hollering,
the odd cheeky comment,
which you give a bit of banter,
which is all good fun.
And I just remember thinking,
I can't wait for this to start.
Atmosphere was electric.
It was buzzing.
I don't think I've ever experienced
something like that at all.
It was just, "Fuck,
we're going to do this.
"We're going to do it."
I remember
getting our spot on the beach.
And there'd been a buzz
with anticipation as well,
because being 19 and
not really venturing
too far out of our
comfort zone as well.
Really, I think it was the
first gig we'd really gone to.
And Rich had made a flag.
I'm pretty sure he unveiled it
when we got down there.
Said, "I've just brought this."
He just unveiled this Union Jack
with "Normstock II" written on it.
Tim Deluxe It Just Won't Do
was the song of the
summer at that point.
And for him to open with
that was just like,
"OK, he's not fucking around here.
This is just going to be a party."
# My eyes, they can look see
# Other guys, that are cuter
# And my ears, they can look hear
# My friends say I should walk away
# But my heart, it won't do, babe
# It won't do, without you
# My doggone heart,
it won't do, babe
# It just won't do without you
# My knees, they don't go weak
# They don't go giddy-up
When you don't call me
# And my head
It doesn't spin
# So don't try me,
with your sweet nothings
# But my heart, it won't do, babe
# It won't do, without you
# My doggone heart,
it won't do, babe
# It just won't do, without you...
I remember just being
caught up in it all a lot,
and trying to enjoy myself
as well as trying to remember
what was happening. This was a
very important moment, and I had
a very important job to do
to try and capture it all,
and remember it all.
# My mind is buggin' out
When you think you're it
# See me run, lickety-split
And my toes, watch them curl
# So don't call me babe,
cos I ain't your little girl
# But my heart, it won't do, babe
# It won't do, without you
# My doggone heart,
it won't do, babe
# It just won't do, without you
# La, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la... #
The toilets that
we had on the Kings Road,
they had people in front of them.
It was probably about 10, 20 deep.
And I saw, there was a guy
dancing on top of the toilet.
One of the
senior council officers said,
"Oh, you need to tell him to
get down!" And at that point,
he just dropped into the loo!
And they said to me, "You
need to go and get him out."
I was like, "That's not happening!"
So, I think that man must've
spent the whole gig in the toilet,
because there was no way
those 20 people in front
were going to get out the way.
We had a boat donated
by a guy called Jack Stewart,
and it was a lovely big fishing boat
and it was put out on the beach.
And he rang me at about
6 or 7 o'clock, saying,
"You've got to get down here and do
something to protect this boat".
I was at the far end of town. There
was billions of people in the way.
I couldn't possibly have got there.
And I spoke to him the next day,
and he said he'd spent
the whole night on the boat
trying to encourage
people not to get on it.
But of course, everyone
was trying to get a view.
And sadly, it did get,
sort of, smashed to bits.
It got really stressful.
There were people who had obviously
consumed lots of alcohol and drugs,
and they were not in a good way.
It was relentless. The medics,
there was nothing they could do
and there were just people
coming at them all the time saying,
"Help me, help me!"
And we had nowhere to put them,
because our medics tent had
basically been taken over.
It felt like something
really special was happening.
My friend got punched,
because some guy was like,
"Oi, which way you going?" And
he was like, "Calm it, mate".
The he got punched.
He was like, "All right."
# Oh, I'm wicked and I'm lazy
# Oh, oh, don't you
want to save me? #
To watch a
bloke commanding, like that...
It was monumental.
We couldn't even get...
I was like, a thousand
people at least back.
You couldn't get anywhere near it.
At one point, we
nearly lost the sound desk
because just the weight of people
meant the Heras fencing broke down,
and the people on the sound
desk were coming up to me,
because there were just people
dancing right next to it,
going, "Get them away!" Because
if the sound goes down,
that's it, the gig's over. And I
was frantically radioing through
going, "I need security here,
I need security here.
"We're going to lose
the sound desk".
And control going, "I'm
completely sympathetic to you,
"but we can't get in through the
crowd. The crowd is just too big".
I had quite
a low waist pair of trousers on,
as my G-string...
Popped out the back,
and Graham's brother Neil
lent over and did a little ping!
So I turned around and went,
"Oi, cheeky!" And that was it.
We just started talking.
I'm a shy person
and Karen is very easy to talk to.
And yeah, I was pretty much
grabbed from the start really.
I didn't come down with
very high hopes for the day,
and then I found myself
having this fantastic experience.
Oh. It was magical.
That's all I can say.
And some of the setlist he played,
he plays It Just Won't Do.
He plays 77 Strings, Sexiest
Man in Jamaica, Mint Royale.
But then, he plays Camisra.
Defining moment in
that set for Nick and I
was that he played Camisra,
Let Me Show You.
And that was the track
we used in Spaced.
We and Nick, "We love
this" blah, blah, blah,
and we started jumping up and down
and dancing, and whoever was with us
turned and said,
"He's playing this for you".
I mean, Nick and I couldn't have
been more wreathed in giant smiles.
It was this perfect night.
And everything was perfect,
the vibe and the music.
And then, the superstar DJ on
the stage was playing a track
just for me and Nick
as we were there.
It just doesn't get
much better than that.
Wow, it was amazing.
We were just fucking thrilled.
And then, that kicked off
just the best night, you know?
I had no way of
conceiving how massive the crowd was
at that point. You're just in your
little space in your little moment.
Sam was over six feet tall, so I'm
like, "Let me get on your shoulders,
"I wanna see what's going on!"
And getting up there, I
couldn't see the end of people.
It's hard to put it into words,
but it felt like you were part of
this giant organism
that is just beyond you,
and you're just this
one little part, you know?
I remember feeling
overwhelmed with joy,
in being able to share
this moment with other people.
The decision was
taken with the event organisers
to finish the event early.
I believe it finished
some time after 10pm.
I was very, very grateful
when I heard Pure Shores coming on.
And I still get
goosebumps when I hear it.
And I just thought, "Oh, thank
God, it's gonna be over now."
# ..searching places to find
# A piece of something to call mine
# A piece of something
to call mine...
I thought
it was just amazing.
Had a good dance. I didn't dance
as much as I would have liked to,
because there wasn't
enough space. But it was just
one of the best evenings.
# ..is the place I can call mine
# Is the place I can call mine
# Coming closer to you
# I'm moving, I'm coming
Can you hear what I hear?
# It's calling you, my dear
Out of reach
# Take me to my beach
# I can hear it calling you
I'm coming, not drowning
# Swimming closer to you
# I'm moving, I'm coming
Can you hear what I hear?
# It's calling you, my dear
Out of reach
# Take me to my beach
# I can hear it calling you
# I'm coming, not drowning
# Swimming closer to you... #
There was a general
consensus that the vibe of the gig
was Fatboy Slim, it
was more chilled out,
meant that a norm developed
where people were more tolerant
and more accepting, and it was a
kind of more convivial atmosphere.
I remember talking to a senior
security person afterwards
and he did say to me, "If
that had been an Oasis gig,
"we would have been fucked."
I remember it being kind of
chaotic, looking out, thinking,
"Wow, where are all
these people gonna go now?
"How are you getting home?"
And thinking, "I'm so glad I don't
have to try and get back to London."
I know someone
in the group had a plan.
We rushed through the crowd
and ran to the train station.
We were able to get on a train.
When we were waiting
for the train to take off,
there were these hordes
of people that just climbed
on top of the train, because
there was no more space.
And they were prying at the doors,
and they were shaking the train.
And it took forever for staff
to get them off of the train.
It was definitely one of those
scenarios where the potential
for danger was very much present.
But that whole day
just feels like a dream to me.
Like, everything went so well
that I was like, "Oh, we got on the
train and we're safe and we're here.
"We're going to get home!
Ha ha, there's people on the train."
And not really being aware of,
"Oh, shit, this is a shit show!"
Ladies and gentlemen,
fantastic evening.
And now, we want you
to go home safely.
Fantastic evening.
Please leave Brighton
safe with good memories.
Please do not push,
please do not push.
Listen to the police
and the stewards.
By this time,
we were already tired.
It had been a hot,
sticky, difficult evening.
We'd run out of drinking
water a long time ago,
and there's no time
to refresh or whatever.
We had real trouble getting
people safely off the beach.
I saw people slipping and
falling underneath people
and getting trodden on.
making your way home.
But please don't push.
Listen to the police
and the stewards.
Remember having
to walk through the crowd,
holding hands in a chain,
so we didn't lose each other.
Buzzing still!Yeah.
Such a great day.
Yeah, with a suntan as well.
Been on the beach so long!
Yeah, some tan lines.
Just the sea of people...
Trying to get home!
Please take their advice.
There were tens
of thousands of people
moving off the beach into the town.
Lots had come by rail,
and we knew that there weren't
a lot of trains laid on to
take people away afterwards.
And very quickly, the gates
to the railway station
were shut by the railway company.
We tried to get a few trains in
and we did get some trains in.
We had buses laid on to take people
I think at least as far as London.
There was a huge
operation that went on
to try and get people
safely out of the city.
At that point, the last
buses were in the garage by 12:30.
That particular night, there
were no night buses as such.
I think we invented 'em that
night to get them through,
due to the number of people
that were still around.
We got calls out to the drivers
to say, "Those of you that want
"to do extra for us tonight, if you
want to do an extra round trip,
"you'll be paid accordingly
and it'll all be moved on."
From there, we had to make sure
we can get as many people on
as what we could, and try to
ensure that those more vulnerable
were getting on to get home.
I was meant to go back
to London and it was a bit like,
"Wow, I don't think I'm going
to get a train at the moment,
"so we'll just hang out
on the beach."
Damien disappeared off somewhere,
I hung out with Graham and Neil.
We had a couple of beers on
the beach, and then we had
a bit of a wander around.
You couldn't move,
but the buzz was unreal.
The amount of people that
were there, the conversations
taking place, the happiness
and the madness of people.
It was just absolutely mental!
The last time I saw anything like
that was when I went to Wembley
for the Brighton-Man United
cup final. And that's the only time
I've seen that amount of people.
Some drivers had never driven
certain routes before,
because they'd just now appeared
because we got some drivers
to stay on and do extra services.
And we almost came to a
decision that if you don't know
where you're going, effectively
you know your end goal,
get yourself there, and
get back as soon as you can!
Cos I can't see the pavement yet.
There's still that many people!
Thankfully, it was a
brilliant, a peaceful party.
There was no aggravation,
no argument, no trouble.
It was great fun.
It was a massive challenge.
And it still ranks as one of
my highest memories in my job.
Oh, is that a video camera?
It was time, it was starting
to get a little bit lighter.
We walked back up
towards the train station.
Graham and Neil walked back up
with me and, as I was going,
Neil said, "Oh,
can I take your number?"
I owe my brother a lot!
More than I can say.So I quickly
scribbled it down and was like,
"Yeah, be great to hear from you,"
looking at Graham!
And that was it.
I went off into the night,
into the early morning,
got back to West London, showered,
straight back into Central London
and did a day's work at my desk,
going, "Oh, my God, what a night!"
Can't believe you did that.
All of us who started that
evening at sort of four o'clock
the previous afternoon,
didn't generally get off
until five, six, seven
o'clock in the morning.
I decided to try and
drive along the seafront,
which I did with some difficulty,
because of the
rubbish and everything.
The whole beach between the piers
just looked like
some huge refugee camp.
There were
just cars abandoned everywhere.
There were just clothes,
there were shoes.
It was like people had just
disappeared and left everything.
There were bodies of people lying,
just sleeping on the ground.
I ended up not going home,
because I realised my housemates
were having a party and I went to
my mum's instead and hid there,
while trying to work out
what on earth...
I just felt like I'd
destroyed my hometown.
It felt so awful what
happened to the city.
And that was so sad,
because it should have been
such a good thing to celebrate.
I drove along there, and
then ended up back at home.
And I remember standing there,
and then looking down
and realising that I still
had my full uniform on.
I had all my kit on...
Kit that I should have
left at the police station.
And just thinking...
"I don't know what's gone on,
"I just don't know how
we've got through that."
The following morning,
I had my kids with me.
The tidy-up was going on.
We jumped on our bus and we headed
down on holiday for two weeks.
So, the thing I remember most about
that was getting a phone call
from Zoe saying,
"Why aren't you here?
"Why aren't you dealing with this?"
We had no crisis
management strategy.
So, there was an aftermath.
I also had another job,
where I worked out of town
and had to get up early.
I had a pick-up truck at the time,
and I remember driving through
the rubbish along the seafront.
And the rubbish being as high
as the wheels of my truck.
So, woke up the next morning.
I spoke to my boss, and he told me
that a clean-up was starting,
but he told me to stay at home.
So, I didn't need to
come down to work on it.
But I felt incredibly guilty,
because I felt like
I had done this to my town.
So, I did go down later on and
I went and helped pick up rubbish.
Of course, what happened was that
then, the sun didn't stop shining.
So, we could have done
with some rain to wash away
the lovely smell of urine
that was over the whole beach.
So, it absolutely stunk
for about two weeks.
I was mortified. I thought
everyone was going to love me
for what we'd done. And the
idea they would all hate me...
Literally, don't shit
on your own doorstep.
So, I immediately said,
"Just whatever it takes,
"I'll pay for the clean-up."
Broken glass and piss...
The two things you don't want in
your life when you go to the seaside.
This was written
20 years ago this week, I think.
I know we held the magazine back
because we wanted to get this in.
Cos print magazines,
the deadlines are really tight.
And to get something in
that's new is really difficult.
So, we held back this double page
spread to get the story in.
Well, first of all, the headline,
Fatboy Slim Is Fucking In Trouble.
When this was happening,
all the papers, the kind of buzz
and the media around it was
a sort of negative reaction
to what had happened, in a way.
People weren't necessarily
celebrating what had
happened positively.
They were talking about how Fatboy
Slim has to leave the country,
they've caused such a massive mess,
or people have been injured.
We got into the office on
Monday and had a sort of debrief,
and that's when the press
had started to come out
that someone had died
of a heart attack.
There was lots of aggro.
A lot of false reporting,
but we didn't feel euphoric.
We felt broken.
Most people had a good time.
There was a few injuries.
But considering that amount of
people - there were six arrests,
which is apparently
less than there normally is
on a Saturday night in Brighton.
There was a lot of
distress amongst the services,
amongst the police and
amongst the ambulance services,
because they had no
control over the situation.
There was a lot of anxiety there,
and that fed into the media a bit.
They were available to
comment on the event.
They weren't commenting upon it
as a musical experience,
a cultural experience.
They were commenting on it
as an averted disaster, like a
Hillsborough that nearly happened.
An Australian nurse died.
She fell off the escarpment.
She'd been at a
party after the event,
and had an accident
falling off the scarp.
It was a horrible thing,
that someone had to die that night.
And the poor girl, Karen, the nurse.
I managed to get in touch with her
parents, and I spoke to her mum
and I just said, "Look, I'm so
sorry." And she said, "Don't worry.
"It was going to happen.
She phoned me earlier that night
"and said, I'm having
the best night of my life."
And she said, "Thanks for
making the last night of her life
"the best night of her life,"
which really got me.
But yeah...
I still feel, because I was
the reason she was in Brighton
that night, I feel somewhat
responsible for her death,
and that will always haunt me.
The city had to learn
from the events of that evening
that had things gone more wrong,
it might have been that
several people could have
been put more in harm's way.
My own organisation, the police,
we had a big debriefing
where events were openly discussed.
There was a council enquiry
which I went to and spoke at.
The city as a whole,
collectively, came to the view
that an event of that size
needed better planning,
and at that scale, shouldn't be
allowed to happen on the beach.
What happened on that night was a
brilliant event for lots of people,
but it wasn't a great
event for everybody.
And it was a traumatic time.
And I think history
shouldn't lose sight of that.
This kind of thing
of having a big free party
used to be the norm in the UK.
This was part and parcel
of going out at the weekend.
This was the late '80s
and early '90s was about.
A lot of my generation grew up
when we hadn't ever got to
experience the free party scene.
So, we don't know what it's like
to turn up to a free party,
and just dance. So it's kind of
weird in a way, that suddenly,
out of nowhere, there's
this massive free event
that everyone can turn up to,
and it's just liberating
and everyone's having a great time.
And then immediately,
the morning after, you're like,
actually, we're never
going to get to do that ever again.
The problems that
there were on the day,
and there were massive problems,
were to do with infrastructure.
Myself and other people who work
in the field of crowd psychology
use this as an example to show,
yes, this was a near catastrophe,
but the catastrophe was to do with
the infrastructure collapsing.
It was absolutely nothing
to do with crowd behaviour,
and it's a very good example,
I would say, of the crowd
actually preventing disaster,
because there were times
when we had to work with the crowd.
One of the
things that came out
after the Big Beach Boutique concert
was that there were going to be
no more free, unticketed
events in the UK.
We were incredibly lucky that day,
but it was only a short amount of
time that there would have been
another free ticketed
event, where something
could have gone really wrong. So,
I think without Big Beach Boutique
kind of setting the line
and making sure that we...
It really helped the
industry improve dramatically,
and it has meant that
we've gone on in the UK
to have some of the best
and safest events in the world.
I think one of the
nice things I remember was...
Well, the phone didn't stop
ringing from all over the planet.
We started to play
beaches all around the world.
So, Big Beach Boutique happened
in Rio on an even bigger scale.
It happened in Japan.
By then, it was selling tickets
and it was a
different kind of model.
It wasn't the kind of free spirited,
spontaneous, acid house spirit.
It was a bit more organised.
And it just took Norman to
another level internationally.
This party in Brighton
was a milestone in dance music.
It was a change in
how people perceived DJs
and what they could do.
It was not just a turning point
for dance music and DJs, but also
for music culture in general.
I think an acceptance that
dance music is more than just
sweaty nightclubs
or underground raves.
It was something for everybody.
For me, it opened more doors,
just in my relationship
with the city.
I kind of thought there
might be sections of the community
down here who would hate me,
after we almost destroyed the city.
But everyone seemed to love me.
And from then on, everybody
I meet walking down the street,
the first thing they'll say is,
"When are you going to have
"another beach party?"
Fatboy Slim!
Thank you so much, Fatboy Slim!
Fatboy Slim! Yes, man!
# I have to celebrate you, baby
# I have to praise you like I should
# I have to praise you
like I should...
I'm still doing this
because I genuinely love it.
I love hearing tunes,
and just instantly
wanting to share them
with other people.
And something very, very
powerful happens at raves,
and at parties, where it
becomes stronger than the music,
becomes stronger than the
sum of the people who are there.
Something happens where the room
just becomes this one mass of energy,
and that's what gives me my energy.
I kind of feed off that.
It's something that drives me along
and something that I am very grateful
that I've been allowed
to do for so long.
So, I teach event safety and
crowd management at universities.
I often use Big Beach Boutique
as an example of an event
that obviously, where
things kind of did go wrong,
but what we can learn from it and
what we take away from it.
Some of them have never heard
of Big Beach Boutique before.
I tell them about it and
they are always blown away
by the scale of what
happened and the size of it.
# ..I have to praise you
like I should
# I have to praise you...
When you're there in the moment,
you don't always think about it.
But it's only looking back
on it now, you kind of think,
"Wow, that was a huge cultural
milestone in our country,
"in our country's history,"
and I was there.
That for me was the point
in my life where I was like,
"I want to do this,
I've got to get into this.
Goosebumps already, just thinking
about that day, and thinking...
This is just some guy
playing records, you know?
But look how happy. I could
do that... How hard can it be?
I was 30 years of age
and I'd been quite unhappy
for 10 years, really.
Fighting... I was shy,
lonely, and I had depression.
This day has completely
changed my life.
Completely turned it around
from a very, very bad place.
It's hard to put into words. It's
just like pure elation, you know?
It's this full spread
of me on Sam's shoulders.
It was such a beautiful day,
and I felt like that picture
really captured my time that day,
and how a lot of
people must have felt.
From a little thing this big.
Grown up to be this
fantastic, amazing, kind,
generous rugby player.
Yes, he's doing really well now.
He's my little miracle.
I think it's apt that
it took 20 years for the council
to allow us back on the pebbles.
The first rule was
it can't be free any more.
I would love to do this for free,
I don't do this to make money.
I do this because I love this city
and I get so much pride in doing it.
But in order to control it,
you have to fence it in
and have a certain amount of people.
You can't just invite the world.
That was one lesson we learnt.
# I have to praise you
# I have to praise you
# I have to praise you
# I have to praise you...