Ravin Eye Magazine Profile
Ravin Eye magazine is a independently run not for profit magazine that covers the UK Rave and Hardcore dance scene in the UK. It is run by anonymous dedicated ravers and below we have an interview with their story....
So how did it all begin?
Ravin Eye was born from a mashed up waffle driving back from a rave in Salisbury in 2001. We had all loved Hardcore for years and had been raving week-in-week-out for a long time One of our crew had been thinking about putting a Hardcore newsletter together and suggested that we all got involved. Although there was information on Hardcore out there it was only available on the internet and we knew there were a lot of ravers who didn’t necessarily get to see it, plus there was also a lot of negativity about the scene on the net which we were sick of reading. We wanted a hard copy of something that you could hold in your hand and read, so the initial idea was just a sheet of A4 paper, photocopied (at work on the sly if we could!).. We also decided from day one that if we put a free newsletter together we would always focus on the positives of our scene.
Where did the name come from?
Well, one of us has 3 eyes so we thought it was quite apt. haha, not sure really, we all came up with ideas and that was the one that stuck.
What gave you that initial push?
We just wanted to do something for the scene that we loved. We talked about our ideas and decided we’d try to do an A5, 6 page newsletter. We approached DJ Sy for our first interview, never actually believing that he would get back to us… but he did. And to be honest, it was getting that reply from Sy that made us go ahead with the first issue – Big ups to Sy!
How was the first issue received, how many copies did you distribute?
We got 1000 copies done, photocopied at a print and copy place and we sat and hand-stapled every issue together. We decided on a Slammin Vinyl at the Sanctuary in Milton Keynes for our first ever release night and we gave them all out. We printed a mobile number on the back (as we still do) and by the time we got home later that morning we had a message on the answer phone. We couldn’t believe it, Whizzkid had called saying he’d been given a copy and thought it was wicked. That was such a buzz for us, the encouragement to do another issue was there straight away.
What is your main ethos with the mag?
To provide ravers with a free, publication focusing on the positive aspects of the current Hardcore scene. And never to take ourselves too seriously.
How is the magazine funded?
For the first year we had to put our own money in to get the photocopying and mail outs done. We never focused on getting advertising but as promoters saw what we were doing and how well it was being received it gradually took off. Although we started to get advertising quite early on it was another year or two before the advertising funds came anywhere near to covering our costs. We had small events asking for copies and record shops wanting to stock it and the postage/distribution costs grew considerably within the first few years. We have never been bothered about making money from the mag, that was never our intention with it, and it will always be free to the ravers who pick it up from events, but we’re at a stage now where it’s self-funded. We rely on advertising costs to pay for the printing and the distribution and providing payments are in on time (no names mentioned.. haha) we don’t have to worry too much!
Respect due to Slammin Vinyl who were the very first people to take out an advert (in our second issue).
How has the magazine changed since it began?
As the advertising support grew with our popularity we started to improve the mag, we wanted people to see where the money was going and to do the best we could with the funds we had. It was a great reflection of how the scene itself was growing. By issue 9 we had increased up to 24 pages and the following issue had our first colour cover and centre spread. Within a few more issues we were full colour throughout and the page numbers went up again. By the end of 2005 we were up to 6000 copies distributed every two months. If we look back at our early issues now it’s amazing to see how far the mag has come!
We’ve had so many new people get involved as well, promoters wanting to write articles and ravers wanting to add reviews and other features, it’s great. It means the mag is always changing and having other ravers involved makes it belong to the whole scene. If you ever want to submit something please get in touch!
So who runs Ravin Eye then?
As we state on our front cover every issue we are just a group of ravers. We have no links with certain promoters or djs despite many rumours in that vicinity! We have stayed anonymous to everyone who had worked with us, written for us, advertised with us etc for nearly 6 years, so sorry, but we’re not about to give up our anonymity now! We see no need to gain credit for what we do nor do we want any! We’ve always wanted to carry on going out raving each weekend and not have people come and talk to us just because we run a magazine and we also always wanted the mag to be read in the tone of ‘by ravers for ravers’, we’re not affiliated with any particular label or event and therefore hopefully have no in-built bias.
How did you get your photographers and writers involved?
Initially we wrote most of the articles but even after our very first issue we had people getting in touch wanting to be involved. Mc Storm contacted us at this time and wanted a regular slot which has continued to this day. Others have come and gone depending on other commitments; eg. Gary Vibealite wrote a series of ‘history’ features, Sharkey did some producer features and of course Whizzkid has been sharing his Whizzdom since issue 12! Sometimes we’ve approached people but mainly the enthusiasm and ideas have come to us.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our original photographer, John McGuinness. He was a student and regular raver, who sent us a cd of his photos in early 2003 and over the next 3 years gradually became a regular on stages all over the UK taking pictures on our behalf. We even sorted him and our reviewer Astraboy flights and entry to Masters of Hardcore in Amsterdam! When he left we advertised for help and were lucky enough to get H100 on board who has been another great asset to the mag. More recently we’re had a series of guest reviewers for our tune reviews section which we’re looking forward to continuing.
Why have you never had your own website?
To be honest, we started the mag purely as a source of information for ravers who were attending the events. Our intention and priority was for the ravers who were out and loving the scene every weekend to get a copy and we weren’t interested in the internet at all. We of course appreciate the power of the net for promotion and contributors like Astraboy were always helpful in posting up our release dates and other info but we never saw a need for us to have our own space online. Perhaps in the future we may consider having a small site for people to subscribe through and order back issues but at the moment if people want to do that they can do so by mail.
What are the pros and cons of running a mag like Ravin Eye?
The pros: definite job satisfaction! Seeing the final product when we pick it up from the printers is a great feeling and seeing ravers enthusiasm picking it up at events is amazing. We’ve heard people leaving events refusing to take any other flyers and just heading straight for our flyerers for the mag and that is such a buzz J The feedback we get from ravers by email and text is absolutely wicked, and we’ve learnt so much about the scene we love during the last few years it’s not hard to stay enthusiastic. Our writers have also attended all sorts of events, some on the international scenes and those experiences will stay with them forever.
The cons: the mag can and does take up a lot of our time. We all have full time jobs and this is something we do in our evenings and weekends. We don’t make money from it and sometimes when you’re sitting up all night trying to get articles done on time or if you’re let down by people who have promised to submit stuff it can be quite stressful. As we already said, it’s only been more recently that the mag has been self-funding so that factor has caused a lot of hassle in the past, being owed money and chasing payments is not fun!
How do you decide on the content for each issue?
One thing we decided on from the start was that in order for something to get printed we all had to agree that it was valid. It’s never one person’s decision, Ravin Eye is run as a democracy wherever possible. Things don’t always run smoothly when it comes to deciding on the features, and we’ve had some fierce knock-down fights in the past when there have been disagreements, but these have far out-weighed by the laughs we have had. Also, we have never intended to write contentious features that provoke argument, that is not what we are about, we’re here to promote the positive side of the scene and not dwell where things go wrong. When it comes to interviews or reviews we try to always vary the areas of the country and the different areas of our scene whilst keeping our strict ethos of 100% Hardcore.
So how do people go about advertising with you or getting articles printed in the mag?
Just get in touch! Drop us an email at Ravineye@hotmail.com for up-to-date advertising info and rates and contact us by email or phone/text on 07866 286716 with any article ideas. We’re always interested in new ideas and event reviews so if there’s something you think we’re missing please let us know!
Shouts and thanks:
To Charles at Fantazia for giving us the privilege of being part of the notorious Fantazia site, love it!
To Mex, Fat Nige , Emma and Nick for staying true to the cause though it all. Our highly valued contributors, especially Astraboy, MC Storm and MC Whizzkid (skillectors all of you!). H100 and Sue, Jellybeanz, Gsus, Xtra-C, Mark Hex, Claire, Linzi, Mayhem (Spunky), James, Charlie, Gaby, Mikey Nemesis, Mikey Martin, Zoe Bowler, Grant and Mike (Slammin), Hixxy, Mark and Joe (HTID), Stuart (Diz), Jason (IMO), Sy, Scott Brown, Styles, Breeze, Gammer, Gary and Paul (Vibealite), Marc Smith, Kev Energy, Sharkey, Brisk, Ham, Unknown, Jeff and Marc, Mark HB, Jay Prescott, Joey and Kurt, Seduction, Rich Rude, Marley and Scandal, Robbie Long, Wotsee, Smiley , Compulsion and anyone else we’ve forgotten!
Lastly and most importantly, massive shout and thanks to all the ravers who read and love Ravin Eye, as long as you love it it makes all the work worthwhile. Big up and Stay Hardcore!!
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