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Terry Turbo - Profile & Interview

Terry Turbo pulls up in his brand spanking new Porsche Carrera 911 with personalised 'T U R B O' number plate, my first impression was; what a flash bastard, but when he got out of the car and began to talk about what he has done over the last ten years my attitude rapidly changed.

 

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Turbo Interview 2009

Terry Turbo has often been described by people in the club scene as the dance scenes answer to Richard Branson as he has his hands in everything!!! Terry cuts an impressive and towering figure, his physical presence, fearless straight talking and obvious ability to hold court combine to give the impression that you are in the company of a forthright, larger then life character.

His story is a real rags to riches one, and began in a flat on the Old Dean Council estate in Camberley, Surrey. He was a builders labourer and spent all his wonga on clubbing,  after a couple of months he finally found his true vocation in life.   He began in 1990 by joining the Flying Squad who distributed leaflets advertising rave and club nights.   They got Terry and his pals into the clubs for free and paid them 10 each to give out flyers at the end of the night.  

Now bearing in mind Terry used to go out clubbing with 10 - 15 friends every week, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   His friends all gave out the flyers for free (they did not mind as they were not paying to get in the clubs) so Terry was having it large both clubbing wise and financially!     He was also a major ticket agent for all the big events and would regularly sell 300 tickets for one single event and he was earning 10% on the ticket price,  he was sometimes clearing a grand a week!!! A Lot better than 150 per week on a poxy building site.

In 1992 he had a fall out with his employers and then decided to set up his own flying company and called it 'Turbo Promotions'.  On from this a few months later his company became the biggest club promotions company in the south of England and at its peak Terry had over 40 people working for him around the south of England 4 nights a week.   He gave them all bright RED MA2 flight jackets with 'Turbo Promotions' logos on the front and back so that everyone would notice Terry's people flying outside the various dance venues.

His next venture was to set up a clubbing magazine called "The Scene" it started off as a 12 page black and white magazine and over the next 2 years grew into a monthly 128 page full colour magazine which was sold for 1 and was distributed all over the UK.  Terry at this point had been in The Rave scene for over 4 years and had always wanted to put on his own event.  He dreamt up the name "One Nation".

My first event was financed with an Abbey National Home loan, as I really couldn't be fucked to do a business plan and sit in front of some old fart who thought that clubbing was an excuse to take drugs and would have probably told me to fuck right of anyway!   My first event was on the 11th of December 1993 at the Rollers Express in Edmonton, North London.  We have about 1500 people attend, this was an outstanding achievement in my eyes.  So I found out my true passion in life was putting on large scale dance music events for thousands of clubbers in large warehouse type venues.

Terry then started an event called Garage Nation in the year of 1997 with DJ/Producer Jason Kay and then they both decided to do two other events "Rave Nation" which was an Old Skool Rave music event and "Inspiration" which was UK Garage Music.  In March 1998 they bought Dreamscape which meant they owned 5 of the biggest all night dance events which put them at the top of the tree.

In the space of a normal year they would do 20 large events for up to 3000 people per event and a further 80 small events for up to 1000 people per event. This then lead onto America, Switzerland, Germany, Ayia Napa and Ibiza which then made their dance company international.

My best experience has to be standing on a stage at one of my events with a full venue with the whole place rocking that takes some beating. The 3 most outrageous things I have done is to blow up a police car on stage at Wembley in front of 10,000 people, imagine that!!!  Getting a Queen lookalike and then a few months later a Prince Charles look alike to walk around a rave giving out copies of our albums and then going on stage stopping the music and then making a speech, now that is pretty outrageous!!!

My worst experience was at the Sanctuary in Milton Keynes, we had a firm of twenty black guys from Manchester who came down to fuck up our rave and terrorise us, so us being the perfect gentlemen, kicked the absolute fuck out of all of them!  The only downside to this was when they went back to their cars to get their guns so they could shoot us!  At this point we called the Police armed response unit and they arrived in seconds, thank fuck!!! The Manchester Boys fucked off and we got an armed escort home.

We have won 2 awards since we started promoting, the first was from Kiss FM for being the best club promoter and the second was from Knowledge Magazine for being the best large venue promoter.  A lot of people do believe that all promoters have the best job in the world, but the real truth behind the myth is that there is a lot of long hours and hard work behind any dance event, no matter how big or how small. There are big financial risks and when things can go wrong they always will when you are promoting.

Any promoter who just takes drugs and lays in bed all day shagging podium dancers will not last very long!  So do not think for one second that promoting is easy.  The best thing about being a promoter is definitely the money.   I could not think of another job that could pay me what I earn as a club promoter.

 

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