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End Of An Era: Mint Club Memories

End Of An Era: Mint Club Memories

“All good things must come to an end” may be a bit of a cliche, but it certainly rings true of Leeds’ Mint Club, who revealed last year that they are to close after two decades of parties. The closure signals an end of an era not only for fans but the Leeds scene in general as it waves goodbye to a venue that has hosted the biggest names within electronic music, including the likes of Jeff Mills, Derrick Carter, Carl Cox, Ricardo Villalobos and every other DJ worth their salt in the industry.

To smark the closing of their doors for the very last time, the club has invited some of these incredible acts back to do it all again and will host four huge parties this weekend, 21st - 24th February, to showcase why Mint means so much to so many people. Part One sees Richy Ahmed say his goodbyes, Part Two hosts Derrick Carter, Inland Knights, Ralph Lawson and Tristan Da Cuhna for a Back To Basics throwback, the club’s penultimate event invite the likes of Seth Troxler, Apollonia and more, before Ricardo Villalobos and more shut down the venue for the final time on Sunday.

We spoke to the people that made Mint Club, the promoters, the DJs, the punters, all of the people that made this clubbing haven exactly what it was - an iconic place for good times to take place. So while it’s time to bid farewell to Mint Club, it’s memories will surely live on through them…

What does it mean to be a part of this end of an era?

“Mint Club is my favourite place for a party so there are many mixed emotions. I'm very grateful to be a part of the closing season & super excited to play. But also upset at the fact it will be my last time under the lights! I first experienced mint when I was eighteen and I fell in love the minute I entered and nothing has changed since. You will never forget a night in Mint Club and it’s an institution which will always be remembered. The impact it has had on both DJs & ravers cannot be put into words.”
Josh Baker (DJ) 

“I've been going to the Mint Club since I moved to Leeds in 2000 and it was one of the reasons I started DJing in the first place. I was so inspired by many nights there at Basics, Technique and Asylum, so to eventually become a resident at the club for System 11 years ago was and still is a dream come true. While I feel really sad about the fact that the Mint Club will be closing its doors for the final time, I also feel incredibly privileged and lucky to have had a part in it's long and important history. Likewise to have the chance to play at the final parties, considering the sheer amount of talented DJs that have passed through those doors, is a massive honour and something I'll never forget."
Annie Errez (Resident DJ)

"Obviously it’s sad to see the Mint club closing but everything does come to an end and the selection of artists who’ve all turned out to show their love for the ‘end of an era’ events really sums up the international respect that the club has brought to our city. Of course I’m proud to have been a part of it all." 
Ralph Lawson (DJ) 

"A proper mix of emotions is the correct answer. I’ve been involved the last eleven years and it’s where I’ve met my best friends, learnt how to warm up and had the best and blurriest nights of my life. To be part of this weeks is such an honour."
Bobby O'Donnell (DJ) 

How would you define the impact Mint Club has had over the last two decades?

“Mint has helped to put Leeds on the map internationally and nurtured a lot of important nights and brands within the city. It has imported some of the worlds finest artists and consistently represented the cream of the crop when it comes to music. There are some big shoes to fill when it goes."
Tristan Da Cunha (DJ) 

“Mint Club has been the most successful electronic music venue in Leeds history. It’s just a fact. It’s been there for a little over 20 years, as you mention, and hosted every single major artist in our scene, several times over. Nowhere else can claim the same lasting impact or longevity in Leeds, under the same roof. ”
Ralph Lawson (DJ) 

"It’s near impossible to define the impact Mint Club has had but you only have to look around. For club goers it’s shaped so many people's taste in music and enhanced their love of music. It’s also really put Leeds on the map. For music and its culture it’s mapped out so many nights, form system, through to Fuse and far beyond. Everyone has their own story with the Mint Club and that’s why it’s truly special."
Bobby O'Donnell (DJ) 

“It’s hard to put in words but it’s become an institution for clubbers up north. Everyone I know who comes up to Leeds for a night out is always asking about Mint Club. It’s one of the few clubs that people go out of their way to come have a night from out of town.”
Ray Mono (DJ) 

"The Club has put Leeds on the map as far as electronic music is concerned and has a huge reputation outside of Leeds and also the UK because of how great the venue, promoters and crowd are. I think it's one of those rare cases where everything just works together but you can't put your finger on why. The atmosphere can be incredible and you'd be hard pushed to find another like it, it's very special. ”
Annie Errez (Resident DJ)

Tell us about a fond memory that you have of Mint Club over the past twenty years?  

“I've got so many fond memories of Mint club. Some of it all blurs into one if I'm honest! One of my most recent favourite night has been Nightmares on Wax, I'd never seen him DJ and tried to book him for 10 years, so it was nice to finally get that box ticked. I was really blown away at how good he was, blending in and out of all the different styles, it was a really nice crowd and everyone just seemed to be in sync.”
Stuart ‘Foz’ Forsyth (Head Booker & Promoter, Mint Club)

"I remember the opening night being amazing with Derrick Carter blowing the roof off. Nice how things come full circle and I’ll be playing with Derrick again as we wave and rave goodbye to the Mint.”
Tristan Da Cunha (DJ)

"I’d have to say as much as Ricardo in 2010 was mind blowing, we first hosted a Kompakt records party and Michael Mayer played until about 8am, playing all sorts of techno and disco. It was when the we really saw the lights and the music come together."
Bobby O'Donnell (DJ) 

"Well there are so many fond memories but I’ll give you two. The first is walking into the club for the first time when it was called ‘Fiddlers’ for a Sub Dub night in 1997.  It was at time when I knew the current home of back to basics, The Pleasure Rooms, was going to close and we needed to move. I had seen the writing on the wall for the big 90s super clubs and grown tired of them. I knew the real scene was moving back into smaller venues and Fiddlers was the perfect space. I told basics promoter, Dave Beer, about the experience and he loved the place too. It was Dave that came up with the Mint Club name as well as the whole design concept from the mint green colour scheme to polo mint bar stools.

My funniest memory is ordering Dave Beer a stripper for his birthday at the club. Unfortunately he saw her coming and legged it straight out the venue, the poor lass had to make do stripping for a friend of ours called ‘Big’ Barry..."
Ralph Lawson (DJ) 

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