Tragic news out of UK clubland as yet another venue has been forced to close its doors. Mint Club which celebrates its 20 birthday, announced last night it will be ‘going out in style’. Over the next months they will be celebrating over 20 years of fantastic music with a series of special shows.
With club closures, a recurring enemy always seems to rear its ugly head. Redevelopment. Gentrification. What ever you want to call it. It is the silent killer cutting club culture at the knees. According to the venue, the area around the club is being comprehensively redeveloped. There was no option to renew or extend the lease. A common stance from councils and developers. No room for negotiation, no ability to defend our right to party.
Back to Basics bought Derrick Carter to the very first show back in 1998, it has been a long and cherished journey ever since. 2009 saw the team behind System bring a complete overhaul of the venue. Superb sound systems, stunning lighting deck and the biggest underground DJs on the planet. Every week you could see Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Dixon.
The line ups were legendary and the stories almost mythological. Clubs of this pedigree are hard to come by, ones that come to mind are Robert Johnson and Warung. Only a handful of clubs have such an international draw and there is a reason why. They are venue where artist and crowd meet as one. Inhibitions, restraint and the world lost in a euphoric buzz that fully engulfed a die hard raver or first time visitor. Either way you left with a story that will survive the test of time.
The Mint brand will not be defeated. Plans are already in place to refurbish Mint Warehouse and Mint Festival grows year on year. Mint Club is not the first venue to close, mighty titans like Sankeys and Fabric have fallen ill to the same cancers. Mint Club certainly won’t be the last either.
What we do know is the clubbers of Leeds, a dedicated, rowdy bunch will miss this venue. No doubt about it. They will however not stop partying and will not forget the memories this wonderful venue has created. The friends, the stories and ultimately the life experience only a sweaty 8 hours in Mint Club could provide.