Kirk Field has been documenting dance music and rave culture since June 1989, spurred into action after reading the inaccurate and hysterical tabloid reports of the acid house party he’d just attended.
Although he had no journalistic experience and could only type with two fingers, his injustice-fuelled, sweat-soaked dispatches from the dancefloor reached a new generation through the clubber’s bible, Mixmag. As their ‘raving reporter’, he witnessed first-hand the explosion of rave culture; a sonic shockwave which ripped through western Europe, through war-torn Yugoslavia beyond the iron curtain to Soviet-era Moscow, heralding revolution and change…a rave new world.
As well as the earliest accounts from the orbital raves, he is responsible for the first Mixmag mentions of KLF, The Orb, The Shamen, The Grid, and Ibiza.
As the decade progressed, Kirk helped launch the World’s first legal rave (Raindance) with live acts who included The Prodigy (fee: £2000) and Moby (fee: £500) and put together some top London club nights with resident DJ Paul Oakenfold (fee: £250). He gave Sasha, John Digweed and Anthony Pappa their first London shows and became an ambassador for the new culture; helping kick-start the rave scene in Croatia in an underground bomb shelter as well as introducing UK club culture to the Austrian Alps with London dance station Kiss 100.
By the second half of the decade Kirk was completely immersed in club culture; penning pieces for Time Outand all the glossy dance music titles (DJ Mag, Ministry, 7 Magazine, fronting chart dance acts (La Luna, Hyper Go Go. Farley + Heller Project) and handing press for some of London’s busiest weekly club nights (Freedom at Bagleys, the Aquarium and his own infamous Flirt! @ The Milk Bar).
In 1999 he set up the UK’s first travel company to exclusively cater for clubbers. By 2020 over 10,000 radical escapes wristbands had been worn in Ibiza, Mayrhofen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and across the North Sea in the UK’s first all-night, international club cruises.
As the media marked successive anniversaries of acid house Kirk declined invitations to contribute, preferring to keep his powder dry and waiting for the right time to tell his story.
His first book, Rave New World: Confessions of a Raving Reporter will be in the shops in May 2023, published by Nine Eight Books (Bonnier).