TODAY it’s 20 years since Fatboy Slim played to over a quarter of a million ravers on Brighton seafront.
Little did anyone know that the DJ’s massive show on July 13, 2002 would attain near-legendary status and become a pivotal moment in Sussex history.
Just 60,000 visitors were expected to attend Big Beach Boutique 2 after last year’s event proved popular but not overwhelming.
But with just 50 police officers due to work the night it quickly became apparent far more people were arriving – unlike anything Brighton had seen before or would see again.
The place was packed to capacity as crowds poured through the streets – with people lining every inch of space at the ticketless event.
The police are said to have become so helpless that a theft was seen from six meters away but could not reach the incident, instead truncheons and handcuffs were stolen by those around him.
At the time, the event drew criticism from the media, with some describing it as ‘chaos’ – but that has since been scrapped and Fatboy Slim’s second edition of Big Beach Boutique has been deemed his best.
“I think I was too stressed about the safety of viewers that day to really take it all in and really enjoy the experience,” said Fatboy Slim, whose real name is Norman Cook.
“Now I feel like I can look back at the footage, remember the tunes, that sunset, my home coast looking like a carnival in Brazil, so many beautiful people having the time of their lives.
“I’ve never seen such merry madness, such good-natured devotion.
“A wise man once called me ‘the shepherd of moments’.”
Police reportedly considered canceling Norman’s set but, fearing a riot, allowed it to go ahead on the understanding that he finished 30 minutes early.
And while some may choose to remember the negative, most will enjoy the glory day for what it was – one of the great gatherings of people for a dance music event, one that sadly will never be repeated.
Or will it?
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20273592.fatboy-slims-famous-beach-party-celebrates-20-years/?ref=rss Fatboy Slim’s famous beach party celebrates 20 years