Ministry of Sound is a flagship for British youth culture; an iconic brand that includes the world’s most famous club, the world’s largest independent record label, and a multimedia entertainment business, all directed from our South London home. 2011 is a significant milestone for us because it marks our 20th anniversary; we've come a long way since transforming an old bus depot at 103 Gaunt Street and opening our doors as an alcohol-free nightclub dedicated to house music on 21st September 1991!
To celebrate 20 years, we're proud to announce The 20:20 Project, an extensive range of activity throughout 2011 which includes a free month-long exhibition, a 3-day party celebrating the birthday at our London venue in September, a 20-date international tour, a fully searchable online timeline of the club over past 20 years and much more.
The 20:20 Project launches with a month-long exhibition at our world-famous London venue from 4 March to 1 April. The free daytime exhibition and interactive multi-media experience brings to life the evolution of youth culture and dance music over the past 20 years through the prism of Ministry of Sound. Showcasing a unique archive of photography, design, and featuring contributions from some of the biggest names in dance music, the exhibition is a must for anyone interested in youth culture, electronic music and the past, present and future of late night London.
Among the features of the exhibition will be a year-by-year montage of iconic images (many unseen and sourced from DJs, promoters, and photographers) of the past two decades, with accompanying commentary provided by key individuals and DJs including founding partners Justin Berkmann & Humphrey Waterhouse and original residents CJ Mackintosh, Jazzy M, Gareth Cooke and Frankie Foncett, who were intrinsic to the club’s creation and development. There will also be contributions from current superstar DJs such as Pete Tong, Mark Knight, Above and Beyond and new club residents Joe and Will Ask, Michael Woods and the Cosmonauts, to whom the mantle has more recently been passed…
In association with Martin Audio, the company responsible for the club’s infamous customised soundsytem, the exhibition also highlights Ministry of Sound’s position as one of the leading pioneers of audio technology, with a multi-media installation in The Box (the club’s main room) which features a range of artefact displays and a 5.5 metre LED wall made by Martin. From the priceless rotary Urie mixer favoured by likes of Larry Levan (Paradise Garage) or Burt Bevan (Studio 54) when they played the club to the Rane MP2016Eac fitted to meet the needs of Soul Heaven and Rulin’ favourites Masters at Work, Erick Morillo and David Morales, the installation aims to give a sense of just what went into all those legendary nights - from the outfits that got you to the front of the queue to the tunes that got everyone’s hands in the air…
Each Thursday night we will also be offering visitors the chance to play a track on the club’s soundsystem and experience what it feels like to stand in the legendary DJ booth in the shoes of Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Bob Sinclar, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and the rest of the world’s superstar DJs, accompanied by projections, CO2 cannons and sound effects to recreate Saturday night headline slots.
The exhibition will also feature a year by year audio timeline, offering visitors the chance to listen to some of the tracks that defined each year (as selected by resident and guest DJs from each year), and by submitting their top tracks from each year to help to us put together the ultimate playlist of the last 20 years in dance music.
Supported by photography, classic flyers and a snapshot of the events that defined the year in question this 15 metre-long installation will also showcase some of the technology that has helped keep music at the heart of our lives even outside of the club, from the Sony Walkmans and mixtapes we were all listening to when the club launched in 1991 through to the first generation iPod in 2001 and the iPad which meets our ever-increasing need for entertainment on-the-go today.
The club’s Baby Box room will be returned to its original incarnation as a cinema, with two short films about Ministry of Sound’s history, featuring interviews with leading clubland figures from the past two decades.
The wider calendar of 20:20 Project activity, including details of the birthday weekend celebration in September, international tour events, album releases, and more will be announced in due course.
Ministry of Sound Group Managing Director Iain Hagger said:
“There is no better way to experience the essence of Ministry of Sound than by standing in the club's main room (The Box) in the middle of the towering speaker stacks and triple thick sound absorbing walls listening to the world's greatest DJs play the world's best music on the world's best soundsystem. 20 years on and excellence in sound is still what we stand for. The 20:20 Project celebrates our history but also looks forward - to the new music, talent and technology that will shape dance music for the next 20 years, and the role that we'll continue to play in creating those euphoric hands-in-the-air moments.”
1991 – 2011 – 2031
The blueprint for club culture, past, present & future.
Opening 3rd March - a free in-club exhibition of unseen photography, iconic artwork, documentary footage and bespoke audio visual installations
4th March – 1st April at Ministry of Sound
103 Gaunt Street
Tuesday to Friday 12–7pm
Late night opening ‘til 9pm every Thursday.
Nearest Underground Station: Elephant & Castle