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Back in 1979, as a 17 year old Soul Boy (complete with wedge haircut, piped jeans, webbing belt, striped T Shirt, white socks, and navy & white boat shoes) I attended my very first Caister. I had been a regular at the Gold Mine in Canvey Island, and that was great, but this was something else! Something very special. As my friends and I entered Neptune's Palace, there were 'tribes' from all over London and the home counties, and they weren't just dancing! Inside the main room, the 'tribes' were busy trying to see who could make the biggest human pyramid, whilst some people were randomly diving off balconies into the crowd, no one ever seemed to get hurt. DJ's would spray water from the stage, in a vain attempt to rehydrate the steaming crowd. Outside, the mayhem continued. I am proud in the fact that I was guilty of taking part in the legendary 'Pillow Fight at the Wooden Fort' (dressed in a toga). I had the time of my life. I felt like I belonged there, part of a massive family. I had been bitten by the Caister Family bug, and I couldn't wait to come back!

2012 and onwards - So what's changed? Many of the tribes are still here, with a host of new tribes being added over the years. Chris Hill & Tom Holland are still providing the music, supported by a close knit DJ team, affectionately known as the New Soul Mafia. Many of the big tunes from 'back in the day' are still played, as well as the very latest in Soul, Jazz & Funk. There are now four rooms of music featuring specialist sets, such as: Philly, Northern Soul, Reggae, Motown, Brit-Funk, Latin, Jazz and so much more. If it's your first time, or whether you've been to every single one, be prepared for the highlight of your year! The pyramids, balcony diving and pillow fights may have stopped, and everyone may be a little bit older, but the music, the dancing, the fun & laughter, the feeling of being part of something special, the sense of belonging, and being back together with The Family feels the same as it did, back in 1979. The legend of the Caister Soul Weekender continues, and long may it endure.

Steve Kite - May 2012

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