WHAT IS TORTURE GARDEN?
Torture Garden is the worlds largest Fetish / Body Art Club. Events Attract 800 - 2600+ people monthly to various London venues.
TG is also a top Latex Fetish Fashion Label and a Production / Performance Agency.
Check out Torture Garden's official webpage: http://www.torturegarden.com
Alan Pelling and David Wood formed Torture Garden as a Fetish Club in Oct 1990.
Alan's background was as an alternative club promoter & DJ new to London, and David's was a conceptual art & film graduate who had been going to fetish clubs since 1984. Together they were bored with the existing retro alternative clubs and suburban style fetish clubs. They wanted to create a new kind of radical alternative fetish club that combined diverse & progressive music, multiple environments, fashion, performance, visuals, installations, market area and more.
100 people came to the first event at the Opera On The Green venue in a shopping precinct in Shepherds Bush on a Thursday night, but by the 5th there were 500 and it was rammed! By this time TG had developed it's own unique crowd that combined the Alternative post Goth / Industrial, hard-core SM, Fetish Fashion and Gay & Straight scenes, with the totally new Body Art / Piercing scenes.
Early shows included body ritual by Thee Temple ov Psychic Youth, experimental percussion by Zev, music by Death In June & Boyd Rice and performance by Archaos Circus. There was no other club in the world like it!
WHY TORTURE GARDEN & TG?
Torture Garden was named after the turn of the century novel by Octave Mirbeau, which was set in a Chinese Garden of Torture. We chose it more because of the exotic and mysterious images that it evoked, rather than the specific novel itself.
From the beginning we often shortened Torture Garden to TG, because it was shorter and didn't scare the Bank manager! But it was also a reference to an earlier TG - Throbbing Gristle the seminal industrial experimentalists and founders of Psychic TV, Temple Ov Psychic Youth, Coil, Chris n Cosey etc.
TG's circle logo was literally inspired by the back of a lorry! Keep an eye out in France?
Following the Opera on the Green, TG found new long-term homes at legendary industrial factory The Electrowerkz and the 4 floor Paradise Club (later changed to Complex) before celebrating it's 4th Birthday at super club Ministry of Sound. As the crowd grew from 700 to 1200+ this was TG's most innovative and original period as there was an explosion of talent and creativity. Fetish was now fashionable to the mainstream, and it never looked back. Other important TG venues included the Leisure Lounge before it found it's most long term home at Mass from the late 90's until the present. In 2002 & 2003 TG celebrated its Birthday event with 2500 people at London's biggest club venue - Brixton Academy, and since then has sold out SeOne to 2600 and established it's Birthday Ball as a international weekender of 4 parties in 3 days!
ACCEPTABLILITY OF FETISH
In the 80's and early 90's Fetish & SM was still taboo and very underground, and even dressing in Rubber and going to a fetish club seemed a dangerous activity. As TG's notoriety grew, so did the `shock & scandal' reports in the tabloids, resulting in the Police frequently forcing venues to close events in 1991 - 1993, and the shadow of the Spanner Case also hung over the scene during the early 90's.
However, as numbers attending grew at prestigious venues such as the Ministry of Sound, and fetish fashion and creativity influenced the mainstream, fetish became trendy and venues actively wanted us at their venues.
As British society opened up to sexuality in general during the late 90's, the media also changed in their attitude to fetish. From tabloid to channel 4, fetish was now generally depicted in a positive light.
In the new millennium it seems that everyone knows someone that's been to a fetish club and it's generally becoming acceptable. However fetish and fetish clubbing is not for everyone, and we don't want just any-body at our events.
TG's multi-dimensional events cater equally for a huge range of open-minded individuals from young fashionable clubber to alternative arty weirdo and burlesque cabaret fan to sophisticated SM regular. Providing something for every-body from any age group (18-60+), sexual orientation and gender. Creating an environment that accepts and encourages individualism, diversity and free self-expression.
Ultimately it is the crowd above all that generates the energy and atmosphere of an event, and the TG crowd is the most diverse, radically dressed up and cutting edge crowd in the world wide scene. It is they who have made TG what it is.
At TG the crowd are the stars and everyone is a celebrity, but famous visitors have included Marilyn Manson, Dita Von Tease, Jean Paul Gaultier, Boy George, Courtney Love & Marc Almond. Unfortunately Adam Ant was turned away for not dressing up enough!
SHOWS / PERFORMANCE / ART
More than anything else TG has become world renowned for its incredible & theatrical performances and fashion shows. As well as staging extreme artists that no one else would put on, or discovering future big names when they were unknown. Dita Von Tease made her UK performance debut at TG in 1999, and all the scenes biggest names have appeared. Including:
Fashion: Torture Garden Clothing, E Garbs, DeMask, House of Harlot, Conflicto, Inner Sanctum, Murray & Vern, Manuel Albarran, So Hip It Hurts, HW Designs, Northbound Leather & Puimond.
Music: Tiger Lillies, Avenue D, Death In June, Boyd Rice, Genitorturers, Test Dept, Minty, Lab 4, Flesh Fetish, Von Magnet, Discordinated, Noblesse Oblige & Dynamo's Rhythm Aces.
Performance: Dita Von Tease, Archaos, Ron Athey, Franko B, Divine David, Lukas Zpira, Midori, Kumi, Marissa Carnesky, Masuimi Max, Porcelain Twinz, Suka Off, Psycho Cyborgs, Ryan Styles, Paloma, Scottee, Gawkagogo, Lucifire and Empress Stah.
TG is a progressive clubbing concept, it's never been tied to one style of music or fashion. As our tastes changed with the times, so TG evolved, fusing fetish with whatever clubbing sub-culture we were into. From the very beginning TG always wanted to be more than just a one room - one music club, and it's established club lands most diverse music policy, with 3 to 6 rooms currently ranging from Hard-on Dance & Electro House to Dirty Breaks & Drum n Bass; Glamour Trash & Disco Punk to Electro Clash & Booty Slut-core; Vegas Beats & Neo Swing to Lounge Exotica & Sleazy Rock n Roll; and Eastern & Ritual to Experimental & Film Soundtracks & almost anything atmospheric in the Dungeon room.
Many have described their first experience of entering a TG event as like stepping into another world. Like a scene from a film, a fantasy, it can be anything that you want it to be. TG events are about fantasy and role-play, and fully themed events can create a complete experience, including themed dresscode, club decor, visuals, music, performances and installations. Themes have included: Crash, Animal Love, War, Circus Side-show, Turning Japanese, Mid-Summer Nights Dream, Arabian Nights, Medical, Uniform, James Bond, Summer Beach Party, Halloween, Masque Ball, Heaven & Hell, Sci-fi, Jungle, Moulin Rouge, Carnival and Sex!
TG IN THE MEDIA
As well as the fetish & underground press, TG has also been featured throughout the mainstream media, including: The South Bank Show, Arena, Jack Dee, The Girlie Show, Fantasy Channel, HBO, MTV etc, as well as in Time Out, The Face, Sky Magazine, FHM, GQ, Virgin Atlantic, Loaded, Spectator, Ministry, Wax and MixMag to name just a few.
TORTURE GARDEN ON TOUR
Boy George at TG Brixton Academy (2003)
As London is the world's capital for fetish clubbing and Torture Garden is the worlds largest and most famous fetish club, the TG style of fetish clubbing has proved a popular export. With a small team providing DJ's, Visuals, Fashion and Performance, TG has staged regular full events or been guests all around the world, including: Tokyo, Moscow, New York, SF, LA, Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio, Portland, Croatia, Rome, Athens, Helsinki, Berlin, Amsterdam & Naples. TG has also toured the UK with events in Brighton, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Manchester and Milton Keynes!
And now TG will add Montreal, Quebec, Canada to their list of international cities in which they will have performed! Mark your calendars as TG comes to Montreal on November 25-26-27, 2011!