In the dying days of the Thatcher government illegal raves attracted thousands of revellers to tranquil rural areas, where they enjoyed dancing the night away.
In a desperate bit to retain censorship control of live music, councils are trying to invoke public fears about raves a shock tactic to defend their licensing powers that have been used to suffocate the British live music scene.
Councils have cynically warned that plans to lift regulations on live entertainments will leave local residents powerless to silence raves and other music events, leading to a noise nuisance free-for-all. A London local authority has even warned the reforms will make it harder to silence the Notting Hill carnival.
Under current rules anyone holding an event judged to be a live entertainment is obliged to apply and even pay hundreds of pounds for a license from their local authority.
But John Penrose, the tourism minister, has realised that these rules are pointless bureaucracy, especially as the rules are even applied to school plays, folk duos and even Punch and Judy shows.
Ministers are consulting on plans to free any event with an attendance of less than 5,000 people from needing a license. They hope this will make it easier for local communities to hold fetes and street parties.
But local authorities have written to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport warning that the change will lead to a noise nuisance free-for-all.
Councillor Chris White of the Local Government Box Tickers Association, which represent 350 councils, said:
These proposals go too far.
In its intention to cut red tape and box-ticking for village fetes, school concerts and amateur plays, this will inadvertently be giving carte blanche for noisy parties, concerts and all night raves attended by thousands.