GIVE History 101

In case you don't know the story...

By the early nineties my sister Poonie & I and the fledgling House of Honey Crew had already been doing GIVE! warehouse parties around London for a few years. A good mate of mine, who’s Mum & Dad owned KIMBERLEY HALL, an imposing Norfolk country pile, surrounded by glorious capability Brown parkland, asked if I'd be up for providing a sound system and a few DJs for an evening knees-up in the cellars under their house after a day of Cricket and BBQ action in the walled gardens. Pete and I had been roaming around his Mum & Dad's Garden since we met on a school exchange way back in 1974. We'd often fantasied about what an extraordinary place it would be to hold a party if only we could one day convince his parents to let us get away with it.

Now the timing was just right; A boutique festival! . . . Bring together the optimism, creativity, egalitarianism and openness of the blossoming Rave culture and the ravishing, verdant beauty of a discrete country estate. Poonie & I, Pete & his brother Robbie & sister Vanessa met in Ron & Phil's Kitchen and came up with a plan. It hadn't really been done before – at least not with a guest list that transcended the traditional boundaries of class and race and Identity that were still so prevalent in British society. That first one was just 50 Fluorescent Ravers from London and 50 Toffs in fancy dress eying each other up from opposite sides of the swimming pool garden and vaguely wondering how it was going to work out hanging with folk they didn't usually mix with.

Change was already in the air and once impenetrable walls were already coming down elsewhere from the football terraces to the playing fields of Eton.

Over a span of 30 years all of us together have built a party with the production value of a big festival but with the intimacy of a Sunday lunch; we've nurtured a diverse, (very) colourful, tolerant, creative community and collectively helped to demonstrate that kindness and love are things worth striving for. XXX

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