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Regression Sessions

How Regression Sessions dragged London out of the doldrums

We break down one of London’s silliest and most influential nights out

By Marcus Barnes
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With all the pomp and flamboyance of Mardi Gras combined with a discerning music policy and a wild, permissive, fun-inducing atmosphere, Regression Sessions has become one of the capital’s most monumentally silly nights out.

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The party celebrates five years of service to London’s clubbing community this week. In that time, it has cornered the market in immersive, interactive shindigs – delivering a healthy dose of high-production, glitter-filled madness to thousands of smily happy people along the way.

Back in 2012, after a summer spent at festivals across the country, club-runner Michael Mouch and his team came home with one simple question: ‘Why couldn’t clubnights replicate the weird and wonderful vibe you get at festivals?’

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The answer was to go hard on production. Walk into a typical Regression Session and you’ll be greeted with the sight of a ballpit full of 30-yearolds going on 13, face painters, glitter-smeared ravers, a smorgasboard of silly fancy dress and enough inflatables to fill Clapton Pond. All this fun has seen Regression Sessions evolve into a highly influential and much-loved event that has helped drag London’s nightlife out of the po-faced doldrums.

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Its influence on the capital’s nightlife is undeniable. Just look at the sheer number of ball pits in the city, for example, like Ballie Ballerson: Dalston’s bonkers bar which combines upfront club music and a huge ballpit.

The success of RS has also allowed it to take all this fun back to the source of all the frivolity. Regression Sessions now reaches beyond London and holds court at festivals around the UK. Its motley crew tours the country and hosts its own stages at festivals including Secret Garden Party, Rise Festival and WeAreFSTVL. There’s also an RS record label.

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Parallel to production, the music at RS is always bang on and given equal standing to all the crazy shenanigans. A multi-room policy means different tastes are catered for, harking back to a time when all the biggest raves would put house, garage and drum ’n’ bass on during the same night. To complement their team of resident DJs, which includes Jack Swift, Hutch and Devstar, RS is renowned for booking contemporary and heritage acts to smash their kaleidoscopic dancefloors –including Roger Sanchez and Marshall Jefferson.

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Its fifth birthday takes place at the Bankside Vaults with headliners Ninetoes, Toyboy & Robin and a colourful cast of characters taking ravers into the Land of Nod for a good old knees-up. It marks an important milestone and will cement Regression Sessions’ place as one of the capital’s best immersive club experiences. Just expect any birthday cakes to be inflatable rather than edible.

Five years of Regression Sessions in numbers:

Regression Sessions is at Bankside Vaults on Thu Apr 13.

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