By Nick Norton
World-renowned DJ and music producer Fatboy Slim has announced he is to bring his Big Beach Boutique series of dance parties to the home of his beloved Brighton and Hove Albion next year.
Hove resident Fatboy Slim, whose real name is Norman Cook, will be the first music artist to hold an event at the American Express Community Stadium, which received its long awaited opening at the start of the 2011/2012 football season.
Speaking after Brighton and Hove Albion’s recent home game against West Ham, Cook, a lifelong fan, announced that he would host two consecutive nights at the stadium on June 1 and June 2, 2012, with both falling under the Big Beach Boutique banner.
He will play the June 1 gig alongside legendary techno DJ Carl Cox, while June 2 will see him joined by popular dubstep duo Nero. Further acts will appear on both nights, but these have yet to be confirmed.
Although the Big Beach Boutique series attracted 65,000 people to its inaugural free event on Brighton Beach in 2001, it was the following year’s gig that saw it become the stuff of legend.
Word of mouth had obviously spread, and on a warm summer’s day in 2002, rather than the 60,000-odd people that had been expected, an estimated 250,000 people crammed themselves onto the beach and promenade between Brighton’s two piers.
After the road blocks, a massive (and expensive) clean-up and one fatality that occurred in the aftermath, Cook took a four year hiatus from playing in his adopted home town. When Big Beach Boutique returned in 2006, it had become a ticket-only event with a strict maximum of 20,000 revellers.
Speaking to the BBC, Cook said that holding next year’s events at the AmEx stadium would be a lot easier than staging them on Brighton beach.
He commented: “On the beach we had problems with closing the roads, the shingle and the wind bringing the weather in. At least here [the stadium] we know we have a lot of the infrastructure.”
Cook admitted he felt under pressure from the responsibility of being the first musician to play at the new stadium, but said he was still very excited at the prospect.
He added: “If we take the excitement of the beach parties, mix it with the excitement about this new stadium and add a little pepper of people who want to see the AmEx but don’t like football, on paper it looks like the gig of a lifetime for me, and definitely the event of the summer for Brighton.”
Tickets for both Big Beach Boutique nights at the AmEx are available here: http://bigbeachbootique.ticketline.co.uk