“Liverpool is full of the kind of people who go out on a Monday night and couldn’t care less about a Tuesday morning”. – George Harrison
Liverpool is a city that likes to party. A city full of people living for the weekend and paying for it even more the next day. We may not be the biggest city, but we make a lot of noise and we’re constantly painting the town red (and blue, of course). A huge cornerstone of Liverpool’s nightlife is Chibuku, a club night that is much more than a club night. They’ve just announced their biggest line-up to date for the coming months and it seems, whilst 15 years in, they’re looking stronger than ever. Ahead of Bonobo headlining Camp and Furnace this evening, we caught up with Richard McGinnis, founder of Chibuku, to find out if he ever thought a club night would ever turn into a culture that is the very heart beat of Liverpool’s night scene.
What were you doing before Chibuku?
There were two parties towards the summer of 2000. I had just finished my degree at LJMU when Cream rang me up the day I finished and asked me to go to Ibiza to run the party at Amnesia. I stayed out there all summer with the rest of the Cream team and then that autumn was when Chibuku really started to kick off. By that winter we had got the bit between our teeth.
What is Liverpool as a city like to put events on?
Utterly unique. Whilst often overlooked for Manchester by the bigger talent, what it loses to its neighbour it makes up for in an incredible atmosphere. The council are also much more progressive than they ever were with people like Claire McColgan and Yaw Osawu forging ahead with LIMF. When I started out we were up against Cream, Bugged out! and Voodoo and still today there is a healthy competition in the city as ever which leads to probably one of the best club scenes in the UK.
Have you got a favourite event?
Too many incredible moments. Highlights have to be Ian Brown singing ‘I am the Resurrection’ on Easter Sunday at Nation; the 4th Birthday when John Peel played in the bar at The Masque which was immortalised in his autobiography. More recently I think Skepta’s appearance at Arts club was a good reminder of why the club is still as important all these years on.
Did you ever think it would become something so big and ingrained in people’s lives for 15 years?
When we read some of the tributes around the tenth birthday, we couldn’t believe it. Something we have devoted our lives to had really cut though on both a national and a international level. It’s great to be able to take my daughter to the Liverpool Museum to see our cartons there hanging up side by side with the Cream signs and the exhibition on other great Liverpool clubs like Eric’s.
What does the future hold?
We have had a massive refocus of late. The advent of dubstep was in hindsight really damaging for the club. That particular wave of music forced the focus away from the more curated and interesting styles of lineup that we had been famous for. There was 18 month period where the only thing people wanted to hear was heavy bass music which pushed us away from our house music roots. Following on from that era has been a glorious resurgence of house music and lots of great leftfield music. It’s a great time to be promoting with so much great music around a the moment.