Seven things you didn’t know about the giant dance brand
Kristina Lund Hansen
Ministry of Sound has come far since its early days as an underground nightclub in London. This year it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary with 20 events around the globe, and Dubai is hosting one of them. We caught up with Gareth Cooke, resident DJ with Ministry of Sound London from 1993 to 2003 and now the international tours and event coordinator, to learn more about the history of this beast of a party brand.
Ministry of Sound has helped shape people’s lifestyles. ‘It’s been very exciting to see the way dance music has changed and the way MoS has grown from a nightclub in London to a global business. It has led the way for many, many people in terms of how they listen to music, how they dance to music, where they go – basically their lifestyles in general.’
For Gareth, the brand been a life changer. ‘When you’re practising to be a DJ, you just want to play in clubs. And then you’re propelled to the dizzy heights of playing for MoS at the Millennium Dome in London in front of 40,000 people; you realise how important the brand is.’
Innovation has fuelled MoS’s popularity for more than 20 years. ‘We’ve grown by diversifying, by making sure we’re one step ahead, by ensuring we’re doing something that other people aren’t doing and by trying to find out what the next big trend will be. Dubstep has become huge in the past few years, so has drum’n’bass, and MoS has embraced all of them. It’s been an amazing journey because we’ve captivated every single genre of dance music.’
Gareth has a MoS favourite track. ‘The first track that MoS put out was a track called “Flow”. It’s my favourite because it was the first label signing.’
MoS’s birthday parties are always nights to remember. ‘My most memorable MoS moments have been the Millennium Dome parties, and any of the annual birthday nights – all 20 of them.’
Dubai has been chosen as one of the 20th birthday party venues because of its people. ‘In Dubai, you have a very big expat community that likes dance music. A lot of people that live in Dubai grew up on Ministry for its first 10 years, so it’s something they can remember from home. I would imagine that Dubai kind of stands for all of those things.’
Dubai will be one of the first places to celebrate MoS’s 20th birthday. ‘There’s going to be a few more surprises, but I can’t reveal anything. It’s spread out across the year and we’re doing parties in Ibiza, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Brazil, everywhere we can, with Dubai being the first part of the tour.’ Ministry of Sound’s anniversary party is at Sanctuary, Atlantis The Palm on April 14.