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Charlie Fantazia Interview 2006

It has to be said that when you think of dance music you don’t automatically think that Scotland might be the best place to go looking for it and Glasgow doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a clubbing hot spot.

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All this is gradually changing though since Fantazia has proved to be such a hit with clubbers in Glasgow and further afield.

The next Fantazia will take place at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow on the 27th of January 2007 and up to 7000 fans of Old Skool, Hardcore and House Classics will be turning up to this ever popular event.

And what a treat they are in for!  Frankie Bones and Lenny D are headlining the main, Old Skool, arena alongside Bass Generator, Scott Brown, Altern-8, Hixxy (doing an Old Skool set) and Stu Allan with MC’s Robbie Dee and Storm.

Hardcore til I Die can be found in Arena 2 where Hixxy and MC Storm, Tommy Knocker, DJ Unknown, Sharkey, Gammer, Vibes & MC Livelee, DJ Smurf, Pulsator, The Doctor and DJ Twista will be pumping out the best hardcore you’ll find anywhere.

And in the House Classics Arena you will find Graeme Park (who played a blinding set in the VIP Arena at Creamfields 2006). Also dropping clubbers favourites old and new will be: Jon Pleased Women, Michael Kilkie, Kris Keegan, Jon Mancini, Robbo, Lisa Unique, Janie Mac and Keaty.

Add to this live appearances from Ultrasonic, Bizarre Inc, N Joy, Q Tex, Chill FM and X Control, thrown in a stunning laser light show and a capacity crowd and this really is going be a night to remember.

Get plenty of sleep the night before because this 9 hour dance extravaganza is going to keep you on your feet and out of bed from 7pm on Saturday until 4 on Sunday morning. Tickets are only £25 (plus booking fee where applicable) and will almost certainly sell out.
Older readers will remember Fantazia events going back to the early 90’s when James and Gideon Dawson put on the first ever Fantazia in Coventry. Since then Fantazia has gone from strength to strength with parties been held all over England and Scotland and as far away as Ibiza and Australia.

No serious clubber can be without at least one of the groundbreaking series of albums the company have issued. Their first release was ‘The First Taste’ back in 1992 and it is still one of the best selling Old Skool albums of all time. Another album release is currently in the planning stages, though a release date hasn’t been set as yet.

The driving force behind Fantazia, these days, is Charlie Fantazia who has been involved with the company since its inception back in 1991.

Now married with young children, and a very successful property developer, Charlie has never lost his love of, and enthusiasm for, the music and when I asked him whether he would attend Fantazia events even if he was not the organiser, or if he treated it as just another business opportunity, he had the following to say:

"I would of course attend a Fantazia event. From the earliest days we have been renowned for putting on great parties and the fans we get at our events are excellent, really up for having a good time and very friendly. As for the money side of things we plough most of it straight back into the company.

As I said to you earlier we moved into property at a good time and have been very successful. The profits of which an underground dance company just cant compete with! Saying that I got bored with it all and am glad of the time I have put into Fantazia since setting up the website…..
"Our parties are brilliant. We put on a great show, old skool music is full of anthems that make you want to party and mainly the people who attend our events are the best. So friendly.

"We have a forum meet on the night (I will be there so come and say hello) and it was amazing to see all these people hugging each other on the night even though they hadn’t met before."
When I asked Charlie what his motivation was, given that he has other extremely successful businesses, he told me that it’s all about trying to build an underground community of like minded people who love having a great happy time and he went on to say:

"We have met some great people via our forum and we get lots of emails from people saying how much they have enjoyed our parties from past and present and how they have enjoyed reading the information on the website and watching the video clips etc."

Amongst Charlie’s favourite DJ's are Slipmatt (true professional) Carl Cox (who’s set at Fantazia Big Bang in 1993 is legendary – what a shame he wont play that style of Old Skool anymore) Scott Brown, Top Buzz and N-Joi.

I went on to ask Charlie whether Fantazia was going to remain a Scots affair since the last 3 have been held there and this is what he said:

"Fantazia is not only Scotland based, we have been offered a number of venues over the last 4 years since setting up the site, however we are at present only interested in putting on events of the scale that people would expect from Fantazia.

"Braehead Arena (Shopping Centre and Ice Hockey/Basket Ball Stadium) is fantastic, and probably the best venue we have ever used. The raised seating really gives a great panoramic view of the stage and audience.

Fantastic atmosphere, you will love it. It is also a nice size not too big, not too small, and in a central City location. If we get offered the right venue in England we will be there."
So, the legend goes on.

Fantazia just gets better and better and I can think of no better way to blow away those winter blues then to be at the Braehead Arena on January the 27th.

If you’ve been before you will already know how brilliant it is going to be.
If you’ve never been before I urge you to get your ticket as quickly as you can because you will have the night of your life!

Ian Russell
 

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