Location: London, UK
Where would the world be without Ministry of Sound? The South London club has inspired whole music genres, spawned a successful record label and played host to some of the early US house heavy-hitters before they had anywhere else in the UK to call home. Early sets came from the likes of Larry Levan, Tony Humphries and David Morales — and word has it the venue was one of the last to remove its tape deck.
Heavily influenced by New York’s Paradise Garage, the Ministry’s founders struck out to build a musical arena dedicated solely to sound and some 30 years later it continues to attract top-tier underground talent and hold nights like Milkshake, the capital’s biggest midweek rave. The club’s four-room complex, large outdoor space and killer soundsystem have converted the likes of Richie Hawtin and Secretsundaze to its calling over the years and this December, Berlin’s techno titan Ben Klock will be taking over The Box.
Ministry has always been in a league of its own, pushing the UK dance scene with its legendary compilation series, well-branded nights and artfully-curated line-ups. In doing so it has earned a loyal following and weathered many storms, staving off threats of closure in the mid-’00s and outliving many of its contemporaries, both at home and abroad. It’s hard to tell where we’d be without this iconic club, but we’re so glad we haven’t had to find out. Long live Ministry.