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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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BUNKER MENTALITY: We catch up with Alan from Bunker Bar as it celebrates 24 years!

The team behind Bunker Bar is celebrating 24 years in the biz this month. GLL spoke with MA1 owner Alan to hear a little about the eventful history.

Hi Alan, Happy Birthday! Tell us how MA1 got started back in 2000.

MA1 got started as a joint venue with the then Worldskins (Recon) and my old dungeon equipment business called CXI. Me and Worldskins hosted a number of events based at the old Crash in Vauxhall (SKIN500) that was meant for 500 people and in fact over a 1000 turned up on the night. We had to do a bit of DIY by knocking into a vacant arch! However the origins of my club life go way back to 1986 with some very secretive clubs and parties in The Midlands, mostly Leicester.

In the end my company salvaged and/or reopened about eighteen nightclubs and three pubs, something that part of the company still does to this day. In the end MA1 has owned or joint-owned venues such as Factory (Bloc South), Union (Crash), Bloc Bar in Camden and East Bloc (Now The Bunker), plus a number of others that I can’t mention for legal reasons.

What’s been your favourite part of the past 24 years?

The total mix of people and events! You really couldn’t make it up. I should write a book on it one day, it would be a real eye opener. I suppose the best part is when you get the keys to another venue and put your stamp on it! Bunker is the most diverse club in the capital with everything from bears, S&M/CP, Tv & Ts events and everything in between. Some events work, some don’t. But since I managed to get total control of the Bunker it’s gone from strength to strength.

You’ve well and truly settled in your home on City Road now — what’s coming up in the next few months?
As some of you who come to the venue, we’ve been slowly making alterations to layout. However we are limited to what we can actually do as the core of the building is 270 years old! Also visitors to the venue will notice how thick the walls are in some parts. Well this is due to the fact that parts of the Bunker are actually an old WW1 bunker, hence the low ceiling heights in some places and the old vent ducts.

We also have blocked up tunnels going out of the club behind the cabins and other welded up doors hidden behind panels that go into the underground. If you visit the club sometimes you can hear the tube as it’s only eight inches below the floor. Now you know why it’s called the Bunker!

And finally, got any birthday plans?

Yes. During April and the Summer we will be hosting a number of parties as some of our parties like ClubCP and Buff have been going since 2004. Also there might be another surprise with Bunker 2! But that’s a work in progress…

FIND OUT ALL ABOUT BUNKER BAR >>> HERE

 

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