Class of 88 – Find the Warehouse, Lose the Hitmen, Pump the Beats
Class of 88 documents the personal story of Wayne Anthony and pioneering event company Genesis’88. Wayne Anthony and partners are considered co-pioneers of a movement later globally hailed as rave parties. What started in small clubs or venues on pioneering nights such as Future, Spectrum, Shoom, The Project or Rude soon grew into the countries biggest sub-cultural movement. Normal clubbers that attended these nights were inspired to stage their own large scale warehouse parties. Companies such as Genesis’88 acquired their hard earned reputation from breaking into different warehouses every weekend and staging some of the most memorable events of the period.
Each event was planned as if a covert military operation was commencing. Their goal was to bring thousands of people into a particular area without any prior warning and on short notice. Genesis’88 quickly mastered the art of moving large groups of people from meeting points to warehouses and in some cases redirecting people to secondary venues as police close down original location.
Wayne Anthony was Genesis’88 point man which meant he was responsible for convincing law enforcement agencies that the young lads were actually representing a much bigger corporation such as Sony or EMI. The partners would break into buildings then create paperwork to say they occupied the current property through legal channels. In the early days they would claim the events were private music business events such as video showcases for the likes of George Michael. One of Wayne’s biggest bluffs was that he was personal manager of George Michael to a group of thirty policeman whilst they stood outside a building the young men had broken into merely hours earlier.
Acid House was hailed as public enemy number one by the government and media which meant promoters and party goers were fair game for riot squads. In the case of party promoters it also brought new attention from armed robbers and organised crime networks. Wayne was kidnapped on more than one occasion by mercenaries and gangsters.