It was only a matter of time before the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to a major clubbing venue, and today’s announcement that Lush! nightclub at Kellys of Portrush is to close after more than 25 years is sadly not likely to be the last.
As Kellys owner Peter Wilson told the Belfast Telegraph, the past year has been “extremely difficult” for the sector, leading to a re-evaluation of the Kellys brand.
“We have always been proud of our well-known Lush! brand, however, the changing times have brought about new trends. The nightclub business model simply isn’t sustainable in its current format. The market has changed, demand is still there, but not as we knew it.”
Indeed, Kellys has been packing them in since long before the Lush! brand was founded (in 1996), as this video shows.
Wilson added that the future for Lush! Is likely to include a number of large-scale events, similar to those of other mainstream clubbing brands.
“It absolutely still has its role to play in our brand, it will simply ‘change and evolve’, like many other iconic clubs such as Cream and others have done successfully,” he told the paper.
With this in mind, 909originals presents ten epic DJ sets from Kellys’ illustrious clubbing history (some of which pre-date the Lush! brand), which saw the biggest names in dance music – not to mention a myriad of mad ravers – converge on the County Antrim coast over the decades.
Oi Oi!! 🙂
Carl Cox – 28 August 1995
Deep Dish – 16 April 2001
Fatboy Slim – 17 June 2006
Harry ‘Choo Choo’ Romero – 13 July 2002
Judge Jules – 19 November 2005
Mauro Picotto – 30 April 2005
Paul Oakenfold – 23 October 1998
Sasha – 14 February 1999
Seb Fontaine – 1998
Tony De Vit – 23 May 1995
Thanks for the memories, guys!
[Main picture taken from official Lush! website]