The Milwaukees Night Club used to be at the Souldrop Turn between Rushden and Bedford at the Junction of Stocking Lane and the A6. It was formally known as ‘Castaways’.
An interview with DJ Breeze reveals that this DJ began his raving days at this venue!
He tells how the raves were put on by a rave organisation called ESP who hosted many outdoor rave events at the time. Milwaukees Night club at Souldrop used to open every Friday night, hosted by ESP one weekend, then Helter Skelter the next. ref 11 .
The small club on the outskirts of Souldrop used to be called Castaways before it was Millwaukes.
“The venue was perfect and due to rural location there was no noise restrictions, it had a low ceiling so it was hot in there and that made it a sweat box, but hundreds of ravers would travel there every fortnight see and listen to resident DJs Clarkee, Dougal, Matersafe and Swanee and guest artist like Carl Cox, Jumping Jack frost Frankie Valentine and Grooverider to name but a few. You had to get there early for a chance to get in, ravers would start queuing at 7 in the evening before the doors opened at 9pm”.
Those who went to Millwarkees will also have great memories of that Cerwin Vega Sound System, which was so loud when the bass kicked in you could feel your chest vibrate. It was incredibly tribal and the atmosphere was electric. This was the humble beginning
and start of one of the most successful and influential rave organisations of our time.
ESP (set up by Murray Beetson, Richard Clark and Craig Campbell) quickly out-grew Millwarkees and with ravers being turned away each week due to the limited capacity, it was time to find a bigger venue. Raves such as ‘Heaven on Earth’ (voted the best Rave of 1991 by Mixmag readers poll) continued, and grew to the famous Dreamscape dance events.
From a small root in Souldrop, the rave parties had become massive. Murray pioneered the multi arena concept at ‘The Sanctuary’ first adding Rollers and then the go-kart track, increasing the capacity to 10,000 people. Murray also arranged the first live satellite link between the Sanctuary and Shepton Mallet on New Years Eve 1995, setting new standards in this area of entertainment.
Sadly, in 1996 Murray was involved in a car accident near his home and passed away the following day. Dreamscape 22″ at Shepton Mallet was re-scheduled to give his family time to mourn Murray’s death. Then in memory of Murray it was renamed “The living Dream” and passed on to new organizers after this event. ref 12 .
A few images from the 1990’s of the ruins of Milwaukees Nightclub!
© Ella Jo Street