Miniscule of Sound

The Miniscule of Sound opened in Hackney, London as the world's smallest nightclub in August 1998, in the changing booth of a disused outdoor swimming pool (Hackney Lido, in London Fields), as a parody of Ministry of Sound. The music policy is to allow anything that isn't too scratched or warped to be played. It entered Guinness World Records in 2000.

Currently in its third version, the nightclub has a maximum capacity of 14 people (including DJ) in an area of 4 feet (1.2 metre) by 8 feet (2.4 m), with a dance floor of 2 square metres. It has travelled the world, being a regular presence at summer music and arts festivals and in its time has refused many a supposed superstar DJ - most notably asking Fatboy Slim for a demo tape before considering offering him a slot. Ninja Tunes DJs have also been asked to prove their credentials before being allowed to take the decks, notably at their tenth birthday celebrations in London and Paris, to which the Miniscule was invited to attend.

In Australia the rebuilt club was "accidentally" thrown away after its appearance at a festival in Melbourne. In Beijing the nightclub was built from scratch, allegedly in a converted horse trailer. Although entrance is free, the doormen may eject anyone at any time. The Beijing club had a capacity of 8 people; however the record is 26, though not all of them could touch the floor at the same time.

As a theatre sideshow/comedy act the audience first have to negotiate their way past the bouncers, who, like their real life counterparts, control proceedings and issue arbitrary decisions on who might or might not be allowed entry or offered preferential treatment. Bags and coats can be left in the cloakroom though failure to show correct tickets on exit may mean a significant delay in return of property. A complimentary bar is sometimes run depending on the licensing regulations of the host event.

Representatives of the Ministry of Sound approached the Miniscule of Sound in 2001 and applied pressure to force the club to rename itself and hence avoid confusion with the superclub. However, a press campaign orchestrated by Guff PR and supported by various DJ magazines, combined with a more tolerant attitude by the actual owners of the Ministry of Sound resulted in the abandonment of a cease-and-desist order. The parties agreed that the Miniscule of Sound could continue to ply its trade as long as disclaimers on future publicity material clearly identified the tiny nightclub as not being associated with the superclub. From this point on all publicity material has included the text "We're not big, we're not clever, and we're not the Ministry of Sound".

Now in its tenth year of operation, the Miniscule continues to globe trot and play various festivals around the world, when it's not being stored in the back of a van parked in a service station on the M25.

The owners have a long standing dream to play in Japan, Siberia, and Timbuktu, and although weddings, birthdays and bat mitzvahs have all so far been catered for, they are still awaiting a good funeral.

External links

  • World's smallest nightclub hits Beijing. .
  • Disco in miniature. Beijing-International. .
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