Dreamscape celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with The Big Reunion at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes in September.
The brand became one of the biggest movements in the dance music world during the 1990s,with thousands of fans flocking to parties at The Sanctuary nightclub in the town.
ESP promoter and Big Reunion organiser Jim Tang spoke to WOW247 about the forthcoming festival. For full details, visit www.dreamscapeevents.co.uk
Dreamscape The Big Reunion is under a month away. How’s preparation going?
Really well. There has been a massive response from people across Milton Keynes, Northampton and the surrounding areas. It’s great to see so many people buying tickets.
Explain how the idea for the show came about. Was there always a plan to mark the 25th anniversary?
Dreamscape hadn’t done any events for about 10 years and in early 2011 there was some talk on social media sites about doing a reunion to celebrate its 20th anniversary. I was approached by the owner about organising a club event. He had heard about my connection with Dreamscape and how I designed all the promotional material back in the day and being close friends to the late Murray Beetson, the founder of Dreamscape. We organised a one-off event and donated all the profits to charity. The event sold out within two months of the ticket release. Having seen the reaction and love from that event, we carried on to do a few other club events. I always wanted to return back to Milton Keynes, but there weren’t any suitable venues. In spring 2013, I bumped into our old license manager from Milton Keynes Council at a Madness concert. We had a great catch up and reminisced about The Sanctuary days. It just seem perfect timing as 2014 saw the 25th Anniversary of the second Summer of Love where rave all started.
There’s quite a diverse line up, how much input did you have into who’s playing?
I wanted to try to book as many of the original artists who performed for us back in the early days, as well as giving some of the more recent artists a chance to perform to give a whole spectrum of different genres and era of music to cater for the old skool as well as the younger, nu skool dance music enthusiasts.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing?
I am looking forward to seeing as many artists I can, but I must admit I can’t wait for Grandmaster Flash to hit the stage. Flash was always a childhood hero of mine and to have him perform at one of my events is a dream come true.
Dreamscape obviously has a long-standing association with this region. Was the intention to always make sure the reunion was in Milton Keynes?
I did look at venues around the Northamptonshire area, but I always wanted Dreamscape to return to Milton Keynes because of our connections and how we were the first organisation to be granted an all-night dance license in Milton Keynes.
What’s your background with ESP and Dreamscape?
I had a graphic design company called The Adrenalin Corporation and I used to design most of the flyers for all the big organisations. I met Murray Beetson in 1992 and he asked if we could design a flyer for Woodstock 2, the first Dreamscape weekend rave event. Sadly it was cancelled but we became close friends and worked on all Dreamscape merchandise design until his sad passing away in 1996.
How do you think the genre(s) have adapted and changed over the years?
Drum and bass has now crossed over to the mainstream and can be heard on most radio stations as well as being featured on television commercials. It has all become the norm. It was rough and ready, fresh, new and very exciting back in the early 90s as music was much harder to make. Today it’s much easier with faster computers and a lot more software out there. I think the kids now are a lot more savvy and clued up on producing new music.
What does Dreamscape means to you and why is its name so intrinsically linked to dance culture?
I think most people who listen to dance music will have heard of Dreamscape. We were the biggest organisation in the mid-90s and the younger fans who were too young to attend our events would have certainly all heard the stories from their older siblings or maybe even from their parents. We were famous for all our tape packs and I’m sure a few have been handed down the generations.
What are your hopes for the show?
Milton Keynes has been quiet on the dance scene for a while and we are coming back with a bang! I just want everyone to enjoy themselves.
What’s the future for ESP and Dreamscape?
Hopefully we can make this an annual event and maybe turn it into a weekend festival. We hosted our first club night at the famous Es Paradis in Ibiza earlier this year and have been asked back again for next year. There are talks about going to Asia and the States where there is a massive market for old skool brands. There have been many offers of different projects but I will choose them very carefully.
Organisers have announced Dreamscape will now take place at Willen Lake, in Milton Keynes on Saturday, September 20 from 11am–11pm (not August 16 at Milton Keynes Bowl as previously advertised).