The Scene Column: Unit Nine is a local dance Sanctuary

Music reporter Vicki McCarthy speaks to Jamie Stimpson about how Unit Nine has become one of the most vibrant music venues in MK…

On one of the many hot days last month, just hours before England made history progressing to the semi-finals of the World Cup, I caught up with local music promoter Jamie Stimpson.

Along with business partner Dom Rampello, Jamie runs the Unit Nine venue in Old Wolverton and we wanted to
talk about history too… local music history.

Because last month marks 14 years since The Sanctuary in Bletchley closed its door to ravers for the last time. A historic venue, it was the go-to club for music-lovers, especially fans of dance music and its myriad of subgenres.

While looking back with fondness at the legendary nights spent at this much-loved venue, it’s worth noting
that Jamie and Dom are keeping its memory alive, by hosting nights in The Sanctuary’s honour, where it’s
almost guaranteed that you’ll see a face or two from back in the day!

After Jamie and Dom met ‘through music’, they teamed up in July 2016, to ensure that converted warehouse Unit Nine was firmly placed on the map of MK’s local music scene.

“We have some great live music venues in MK,” said Jamie. “But there was a gap in the market for a place that could offer regular, handpicked events aimed at dance music-lovers.”

With a plethora of DJs and MCs gracing the stage of Unit Nine, it very quickly established itself for a place to go, to have a night out with like-minded people, where attitudes are left at the door.

“It’s not just dance music nights that we run,” interjected Jamie. “We book rock, indie and pop events all the time too, even music events aimed at children. But it’s our dance music nights that we’re most known for.”

So the next Sanctuary event on Friday 24 August, what’s happening?

“We’ve got Fabio and Grooverider!” smiled Jamie. “A new booking for us.”

The self-titled legends of Drum and Bass!

Jamie revealed that there’s other soon-to-be-announced DJs and MCs too, so it sounds like it will be a great night.

Jamie added, “Yeah, it will be. People are getting hyped about this event and we plan to keep on growing, attracting more touring bands, DJs and MCs. The future’s exciting.”

Awesome to hear! Looking fondly at the future, as well as the history, makes perfect sense to me.

This column was published in the August 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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