A guide to club promoters in Scotland
Featuring Highlife, Trouble, Musika, Slam and Optimo
Scotland’s most credible and internationally recognised underground club until it closed its weekly Sunday nighter at the Sub Club a couple of years ago, Optimo, aka JD Twitch and JG Wilkes, still promote a bi-monthly collision of post-punk, electro, techno and ludicrously wide-ranging styles at the same venue, as well as DJing internationally and promoting occasional one-off dates.
Founded by Scots house duo Slam alongside their record label Soma, Slam Events promotes two high profile, guest-led events in Glasgow – Pressure at the Arches and Return to Mono at the Sub Club, both monthly – and also programmes the dance-led Slam Tent at Scotland’s T in the Park festival every year.
Run by Glasgow DJ and promoter Brian d’Souza, who also produces music under the alias Auntie Flo, and Andrew Thomson of the now London-based night Huntleys & Palmers, Highlife’s monthly dates at the Sub Club in Glasgow and occasional one-off dates elsewhere are musically forward-thinking, drawing influence from South American and African dance music.
Originally a single regular club night, Edinburgh-based Trouble is now an umbrella for the activities of DJ and promoter Andrew ‘Hobbes’ Richardson, who has run a variety of genre-specific nights, including Wonky and Devil Disco Club, as well as highly regarded local band night Limbo Live and a range of gig promotions for Trouble-friendly artists like Alice Russell and The Black Seeds.
Edinburgh’s current largest club music promoter, with a regular monthly party at the Liquid Room and occasionally at other venues around the city. Special Hogmanay and Edinburgh Fringe events and a regular monthly night brought guests including Carl Cox, Simian Mobile Disco, Julio Bashmore, Visionquest and John Digweed to the city in 2012.
One of the biggest promoters in Scotland and the country’s go-to organisation for trance and commercial house parties, Colours runs a regular special guest night at the Arches in Glasgow, as well as one-day festival event Coloursfest at Braehead Arena and the new Party in the Park at Strathclyde Country Park as of September 2012.
Bigfoot’s Tea Party
A relatively young promoter staging regular events in Aberdeen and occasional parties in Glasgow, the latter including a bunch of exclusive large-scale outdoor shows next to the former home of the Tall Ship on the banks of the Clyde, with a selection of cutting-edge house and techno guests also appearing.
Since 2005, the premier promoter of drum ’n’ bass nights in Edinburgh and therefore Scotland, the style being much more prevalent on the east coast than on the west. The regular, guest-led Xplicit night has been held at various venues and has latterly drawn dubstep into its remit, giving big names like Pendulum early Scottish exposure.
Although it has scaled down its operations from a recent rate of multiple weekenders per year, Electric Frog still holds occasional parties at feted underground warehouse venue/art gallery SWG3, welcoming expertly chosen guests including Adam Beyer, Surgeon, Jeff Mills, Frankie Knuckles and occasionally touring live bands.
With a dedication to global music alongside styles such as dubstep and hip hop, Astrojazz’ Chris Knight (aka DJ Astroboy) is one of the promoters behind popular monthly Edinburgh night Four Corners, as well as organising occasional events, festival stages and DJ appearances around the country under the Departure Lounge and Samedia banners.