7 Dance Music Documentaries You Can Watch For Free On YouTube

photo of a dance nightclub

We’ve seen all the documentaries on this list, and they’re all worth watching. Perfect for all-day hangovers on the couch. Let’s get stuck in!

1. Mensa Lord of the Rave

This is an old ‘90s rave doco about a former nightclub called ‘Sterns’ in West Sussex, UK. The club was largely promoted through flyers and word of mouth, attracting coach loads of partygoers from all over the country and even European visitors before closing in 1993.

The nights were led by a guy called Mensa and promoted by ‘In-Ter-Dance’, which you’ll hear more about in the doco. The 90-minute film was produced & directed by David Kenny in 2014, although it resurfaced on YouTube in 2023. Well worth getting settled in for!

2. The Summer Of Rave 1989

One of our personal favourites, this BBC documentary from 2006 discusses the development of rave culture in the UK during the summer of 1989. Not one to miss!

Transcript from the video: ‘’Great British summers may not come often but when they do people all across the nation start shedding not only their clothes but their inhibitions too and if summertime is party time the scorcher which was the summer of 1989 was one long party from beginning to end. 1989 saw young people were turning their backs on the rat race and throwing themselves into a hedonistic rush of new music and new drugs.’’

3. The Hacienda – The Club that Shook Britain

This BBC documentary tells the story of the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, featuring contributions from the likes of Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Shaun Ryder, Noel Gallagher, Peter Saville, John Robb and others. Enjoy!

4. The Art of The DJ

Blurb/description: ‘‘The Art of the DJ’ is the story of Steve Lawler’s rise to the forefront of UK underground dance music and an 80-minute journey into a career that has spanned almost three decades in the music industry. With help from peers such as Carl Cox, Darren Hughes, Danny Whittle, James Todd, and Ben Turner, and through Steve’s friends and family, we discover the path leading to Steve Lawler’s status as one of the most truly influential DJs of our time.’’ (2015).

5. How The Warehouse Project changed clubbing forever

This 12-minute film about The Warehouse Project (Manchester, UK) takes an intimate journey through the iconic clubbing brand’s history so far, beginning with its early inception at Boddingtons Brewery in 2006 to the legendary underground car park on Store Street, right up until the present day at the 10,000 capacity Depot Mayfield.

6. Carl Cox 24/7

Blurb/description: ‘’Carl Cox is synonymous with dance music. Considered by fans, peers and colleagues as one the world’s best DJs, Carl has become a living legend in the music business. His career has already spanned over 25 years, from the early days of rave to his continued success as a globetrotting superstar DJ. This is your chance to see an exclusive documentary covering the everyday life of one of the world’s most loved and revered DJs. Never before has anyone been granted this kind of access into Carl’s life outside of DJing.’’

7. In The Que: Celebrating the Que Club

Last up, this 34-minute doco explores the 30-year history of Birmingham’s legendary Que Club (UK). The venue was a former Methodist Church with seven rooms and a main area where club nights such as Cream, House of God and Atomic Jam were held.

The club first opened its doors in 1989, hosting the likes of Underworld, Run-DMC, Blur, Pulp and Primal Scream, with DJs Carl Cox, Pete Tong and Paul Oakenfold also playing at the venue. Again, well worth a watch! (released 2023).

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