Fantazia Return of a Legend interview
Fantazia is one of Britain's longest-established, most ambitious and respected club promotion companies. Throughout the Nineties, James, Charlie, Nicky Jackson and co have been bringing club-goers and class DJs together across the country. On the eve of their massive gig at the GMEX in Manchester - featuring dozens of DJs and live acts from Carl Cox to Jon Carter - e.p. magazine asks publicity guru Nicky about the past present and future of Fantazia.
What was the first event you personally were involved in promoting?
We started doing a weekly club under the name 'Fantasy' back in 1989-90 using all the big name DJs of that time - I used to do the door, help with the concepts, the DJ bookings, and give out flyers! The club held about 450 people each week - but it was always packed. We then changed the name to Fantazia just before our first 'biggie' at the Eclipse in Coventry (3,500 people) in 1990, mainly because there was a London promoter around using the same name.
How long has Fantazia been around?
The name Fantazia was established in 1990 - but we were around doing things under different names long before!
When, where and what was the first Fantazia show?
The first Fantazia show was at the Eclipse in Coventry.
How much did it cost to put on?
It cost about £7,000 to stage
Did you make any money?
Yes - but it had to be split between 4, unfortunately!
Did you get involved in this as a businessman or a club-goer or both?
I think I can speak for us all when I say that we were all into the music and had been involved in various music-related activities including promoting and production - Fantazia evolved from the love of the music and the poor quality events being staged at that time - we were one of the first legal event promoters of this kind and became renowned for spectacular and quality productions which actually provided what the flyer said was being provided and gave the punter value for money.
What will be your schedule on the 31st October? When will you get up in the morning and when do you think you will get to bed?
We will be in Manchester the right before the event and will be touring all the bars and clubs promoting until the early hours. We'll probably be up around 8am and off to the venue to see how the production crew are getting on - they'll have been working through the night to get everything in place. Basically there will be plenty to do from promotion, media co-ordination and production to organising the VIP / Artist / Guest list passes as well as dealing with all the hitches that inevitably occur! I personally will be disappearing and switching off my phone at around 5.30pm until doors open so I can get my hair done and get ready! None of us will be in bed much before lunchtime on Saturday that's for sure.
Will you be able to relax once the doors are opened or is that only the beginning?
Definitely not! Hopefully around 2 or 3am we can begin to relax and party but we have to keep our wits about us in case of any unforeseen events
Fantazia Crew in 1997
is the head honcho - he's owner/director of the company and authorises all final decisions as welt as contributing creatively and overseeing all areas involved in the making of the albums and the organisation of the events.
is the money man! He controls the purse strings and sets budgets.
is head of marketing and implements many weird and wacky ideas to draw media attention.
is press officer and deals with all media for albums and events as well as artist liaison i.e.. artist bookings/requirements/press interviews.
deals with all licensing for albums, both national and international - he's the contract man!
is the A&R man. He's in charge of all incoming material and sourcing records, as well as compiling all the album track lists.
is James' personal secretary and basically sorts his life out - both business and private. She also handles all the tickets and outlets to do with the events.
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