Matt Stokes

Matt Stokes - Vane

Photograph taken in 1989 by Steely D of Out House

Matt Stokes is involved in an ongoing investigation into the history of Out House Promotions, a defunct rave organisation consisting of four friends from around Lake Windermere in Cumbria who came together during the Acid House phenomenon of the late 1980s.

Out House contributed to the early underground scene in the region, but achieved notoriety after staging a series of raves in a cave at a remote slate quarry near the village of Coniston.

During the summer of 1991, word of mouth ensured the ‘Cave Raves’ attracted increasing numbers of people from across the UK. In turn, the local police became involved and, with varying success, conducted raids and blocked access routes to the quarry. As a dramatic last resort by the landowner to prevent the raves, the entrances to the caves were drilled for blasting (halted only due to a failure to apply for planning consent). The organisational drain and police pressure on Out House eventually sealed the fate of the parties. Despite this, the group briefly retained their position within the club and free festival circuit. Finally, disillusioned by the commercialisation of the rave scene, worn down by the excesses of the scene itself and after having equipment confiscated, the ‘Cave Crew’ disbanded in 1993.

Stokes is currently developing work in collaboration with the former members of Out House Promotions and people who attended, or were affected by, the Cave Raves. Based on a collection of research material, his work for ‘Space Between Us’ forms part of a broader project, which focuses on the impact of rave culture on south Lakeland communities.