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Pleasuredome Organisation - Skegness

The Pleasuredome organisation was born in 1988 by two close friends, Gary and Bogey. Fed up of travelling miles from their homes in Skegness, Lincolnshire to attend events such as Sunrise and Biology in London during the early Acid days, they decided to form a partnership and promote events closer to home. They set about the task of searching for a venue to hold their rave parties.

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Venues were easy to find, but when the venue owners found out about the nature of the parties Gary and Bogey wanted to hold, they pulled out. Not to be outdone, they approached a venue they liked called the Manhatten Bar. They stretched their story a little by telling the manager of the venue were using it for Bogey’s engagement party. They got the venue, they held the party and it became a huge success. Impressed by the response Gary and Bogey continued to hold events at the Manhatten Bar and it soon became a regular once-a-month feature and the event became known as ‘The Promiseland’. These events regularly featured DJ’s such as Micky Finn, Kenny Ken and Jonathon from Arcade Records, Notts.

In October 1991, The Promiseland finished when the Manhatten Bar venue was sold onto another owner, who unfortunately didn’t like to see people enjoying themselves, well on the rave side of things anyway! After three years of parties and the sad demise of the popular venue, Gary and Bogey decided to take a few months to chill out but with a promise to return with something new.

The following year in April, Gary and Bogey were back on the scene with a new venue called the Festival Pavilion, which was situated right on the seafront at Skegness. Starting a-fresh, they decided to rename their event, and so was born ‘The Pleasuredome’. The first event under the new name also coincided as an Easter special and just like their first Promiseland event, became a sell out as hundreds of people were being turned away. Top DJ’s were regularly on the bill with such names as Top Buzz, Carl Cox and Dougal gracing the decks. Whey they approached myself to MC for The Pleasuredome and I was told the venue was in Skegness, I thought it was only going to be a small club. How wrong could I be! The first time I went there I witnessed an 1,800 strong crowd going for it to the max!! But, unfortunately the events only played until 2am owing to the police’s reluctance to grant an all night license even though trouble had never been experienced at any of the events.

The Pleasuredome at the Festival Pavilion ran successfully to the end of 1993, up until December’s event, which fell foul to the interference of the authorities. On the night of the event the police blocked off roads that led to the venue and were turning cars away giving lame excuses to the ravers. Police presence inside the venue was over the top, creating feelings of paranoia amongst the people who had managed to gain entry.

Top of the bill for the event was Carl Cox presenting his PA The Carl Cox Concept. The venue should have been rammed wall-to-wall, but because of the police activity the crowd was limited to only 500 people, leaving the event looking rather empty.

That night was sadly the last event to be held at the Festival Pavilion, as The Pleasuredome crew disappeared into the background, with no events, no flyers, no word on the scene, this really did seem to be the end of the road. Then Gary and Bogey came across some good fortune in the form of John Woodward, owner of Raffles nightclub, and incidentally the 400th richest man in England!! He, together with Gary and Bogey relaunched The Pleasuredome, using the Raffles club as the venue. The events were held on a fortnightly basis and the crowds flocked in as Gary and Bogey were back with a vengeance, whilst sticking a swift two fingers up at the police who had tried to put them out of business before. During the interview Gary and Bogey explained why they were so persistent in making The Pleasuredome a success.

“We aim to promote events for like-minded people, party people who want to have a good time in a safe environment with value for money, we do not aim to sell out at the expense of the raver, we achieve satisfaction out of seeing people having a wicked night out!!”

The Pleasuredome crew also staged three one-off events at Venue 44 in Mansfield, Notts. Tow of them were Pleasuredome events, with the first being an instant sell-out, but the second event not as successful. They also held a third event under the Crème-de-la-Crème promotion, which also wasn’t as successful as it could have been.

After a successful year at the Raffles venue, John Woodward made a suggestion to Gary and Bogey. How would they feel about moving to a purpose built complex that specifically catered for music and leisure and especially incorporating The Pleasuredome events? They didn’t need much persuading and together they formulated a design for the complex based upon a 29 acre site in Ingoldmells, Skegness. The aim was to make it the complex themed like places such as Alton Towers and Euro Disney and to make the largest indoor leisure complex in Europe!

Now the dream has become reality with the Fantasy Island complex opening its doors earlier this year.

Five million pounds has been spent on fun fair rides at the complex, including a log flume, roller coaster, amusement arcades and a virtual reality cinema simulator, which is only the second of its kind in the world, (the other being in Las Vegas USA). The British astronaut who walked in space only a few months ago used the simulator as part of his expedition training and described it as ‘the nearest thing to actually walking in space’.

All these attractions will complement any musical event which takes place at Fantasy Island and The Pleasuredome will be no exception.

It will be a ravers’ paradise, a place of pure fantasy and happy vibes! In arena one ‘The Funhouse’ music policy will be across the rave spectrum with Happy Hardcore/4 Beat. Hardstep Drum ‘n’ Bass/Jungle and Techno and the arena features a huge 20 foot clown face. The DJ box is actually situated inside the clowns mouth and the MC stands on the tongue which protrudes from the mouth! Also there are lasers that do battle from the clowns eyes and smoke that is released from the clowns ears; it really has to be seen! In addition the Funhouse has a balcony which goes round the entire room allowing the ravers to stand behind the clown and observe the DJ and MC in action from the above!

Arena 2 is ‘Club Apollo’ the House room, and incorporates a Roman theme with marble pillars and statues and will play host to such DJ talent as Carl Cox, Ian Ossia and Al McKenzie. Arena 3 is the ‘Camelion’ from which will vary its style of music for each event, providing one specific style chosen for the event. For instance one night it could be a 100% Techno room, then for the next event is could be a 100% Jungle room and so on!! The interior of the ‘Camelion’ room follows an Egyptian theme compromising statues of the Pharoes with the DJ box set inside a pyramid!

When the boys are not organising The Pleasuredome they stage a House night called ‘Zoom’ at the Fantasy Island venue every fortnight. Also they are hoping to experiment with some alternative sounds, such as weekday Indie nights featuring big bands like Blur and Oasis to utilise the venue in between the main events.

The Pleasuredome will feature over the forthcoming year DJ’s like Dougal, Slipmatt, Grooverider, Mongoose, Ian Ossia, Al McKenzie, Dave Angel, Kid Paul and more plus MC’ing from myself; Magika and MC, MC. Resident DJ’s are DJ Rush and Fergus plus MC’s Peta Pan and Natz.

Finally, all I can say is this venue has to be seen to be believed, if you are true party maniac then The Pleasuredome and the new venue has to be checked out! Millions of pounds have been spent to give you the raver the ultimate night out!

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Unfortunately the venue was shut in 1997 after a couple of people died.

 

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