Guestlist queue outside of Ministry of Sound in 1991, its opening year. Image credit: Ministry of Sound.
“My concept for Ministry was purely this: 100% sound system first, lights second, design third (in that order); the reverse of everyone else’s idea.” Justin Berkmann, a founding member of the club, in The Manual: Ministry of Sound.
When it first opened in September 1991, inspired by the American East Coast 80’s club scene, Ministry of Sound opened with no alcohol license but fit out with the first Funktion1 Soundsystem on UK dancefloors. Its sound fit-out has been reveared world-wide ever since. On specially curated nights The Box, its original and most famous room, is now equipped with a Dolby Atmos 350 degree soundscape, boosting the number of speakers in the room by 22 to a total of over 60.
The club is ranked with the most prestigious clubs past and present worldwide, alongside the likes of The Hacienda and its original inspiration, Paradise Garage. The list of artists who’ve graced its DJ booth is long and very comprehensive, from iconic early 90’s DJ sets from Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, Todd Terry and DJ Harvey to Ibiza legends Roger Sanches and David Morales, to household names David Guetta and Armand Van Helden. Over the past decade, the MoS brand has expanding significantly, encompassing a magazine, video interviews and audio playlists, world tours, a record label and audio equipment range and merchandising. The club also hosts a fifth room on Thursday nights, The Gallery, with less established MoS has a back catalogue of over 200 label releases. In 2011, upon reaching its twentieth year, Ministry of sound held 20:20, an exhibition and tour celebrating the club.
The club remains at its original site off of Newington Causeway, located in a former bus garage. There has been increasing media coverage of the threats to the venue with the encroachment of residential developments in proximity to the club.