Superstar DJs Judge Jules and Danny Rampling are just two of the names lined up to help reposition Flamingo on Queen Street as the prime mover in Blackpool clubland.
Both DJS are former visitors to the now defunct Syndicate, and will be making their Flamingo debut as part of a £1m boost Blackpool-based impresario Basil Newby’s In The Pink club and pub portfolio.
Judge Jules is lined up for a Boxing Day special with Danny Rampling and Michael Gray heading the line-up for a mammoth 12-hour session starting at 9pm on New Year’s Eve.
“We want to bring in big names at least once a month,” said Basil. “It’s partly that we are filling a gap left in the nightscene by The Syndicate being closed, and partly a development of the way Flamingo has been going.”
The once primarily gay-orientated club originally situated on Talbot Road celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, and now caters for all sexes said Basil.
“Girls started coming in because it was a safe haven for them, and then boys followed because the girls were there,” he said. “The night scene has changed drastically in recent years, and lot of people like the mixture of clientele.
“It’s the music and the atmosphere that people go to a club for – I don’t think they give a hoot any more about anyone’s sexuality.”
Some changes are planned for the club in the New Year - adding more seating and changing the DJ box.
In The Pink’s plans for the next few months also include some “tender loving care” being given to Funny Girls, which itself notches up 18 years in 2012.
“The last two years have been the best ever at Funny Girls – so busy in fact that there hasn’t been the chance to do anything to the place,” he said. “But once the successful Christmas show is finished we will be looking at giving the old girl a good going over.”
Similarly Roxy’s on the main club and pub run nearer the promenade on Queen Street is also up for a refurb.
“We’ve been a bit strapped as to what we could do because it was designed as the multi room and multi level venue Faye’s,” he said. “But it’s looking tired now so I have had the designers in to look at a few ideas for the place.” The In The Pink founder shrugs off suggestions that parts of his empire have quietly been put up for sale.
“The only one we could be selling is Pepe’s on Talbot Road,” he said. “It’s very small and below street level. A lot of its regulars moved to the Flying Handbag when it re-located and doubled its size, so we closed it. Even so, nothing is cast in stone and we might reopen it in a different format.”
Whatever changes are in store, he pledges that standards will not be lowered.
“In The Pink will not go down the cheap drinks route,” he said. “It attracts the wrong kind of people and creates the wrong type of atmosphere. We have a strict policy that if we don’t like the people who turn up to our venues we don’t let them in.”