Big 30

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1997:THE BEAUTIFUL OCTOPUS CLUB GETS BIGGER

Photography: Franklyn Rodgers

We have been looking back on each year of Heart n Soul, as we count down to our Big 30 Summer Takeover this July.

The year 1997 saw The Beautiful Octopus Club getting much bigger. In just two years the club night went from attracting 100 people, to attracting over 300 people! Due to its popularity Heart n Soul started running the club over two nights back-to-back, four times a year, and also started taking over more of The Albany including the café and the garden, rather than being confined to the main space. The performances also became more varied, as Heart n Soul began inviting acts from around the UK and beyond to perform.

We also started to inspire other clubs to start their own nights and we were delighted to see the Wild Bunch start their nightclub in 1997 – and they are still running today!

However, the stars of the club continued to be the audience. The Beautiful Octopus Club was, and is, all about the people and it was important that they had ownership of the night. It’s the kind of event that broke down barriers, liberated people and got everyone – parents, carers and ‘clients’ – involved.

Franklyn Rodgers, who is now creating the portraits for The Big 30 project, was then working with Heart n Soul on photography at events. On the left you can see photos from a photobooth Franklyn set up in The Albany’s studio for the audience to use throughout the evening.

Read about what came before 1997 at Heart n Soul on our News page, and look out for 1998…coming soon!

maySandra Reynolds