Update – I’ve been asked to point out that promoter Alex Lowes was not responsible for booking Booker for the festival – something he mentions himself in the comments section underneath Booker’s post. It appears to be part of a Mi-Soul Radio event. Exactly who is responsible remains unclear.
If you’re from the UK and you’re into house music, chances are you could well have heard of Booker T, one of many production and remix aliases of Gary Booker. I first came across him around 1997 – over the years, he’s remixed All Saints, Soul II Soul, Craig David, Jennifer Lopez, Sounds Of Blackness, Moloko and heaps more.
His schedule is picking up again as the pandemic starts to recede – but there’s one gig which you won’t be seeing Booker T at anytime soon. And that’s the Beautiful People Festival – it used to be known as the Southport Weekender – on September 4th. He’s pulled out, citing two reasons.
In what he referred to as a “rant” on Facebook, he said “I don’t do 30 minute sets. My name is so small on the flyer, I need a magnifying glass to see my name”. He then proceeded to talk about the “brand” he’d created and the sizeable amount of work he’d done for house music in the UK.
The comments section was filled with friends and colleagues giving support. For example, Mike Delgado told him “You put in the work brother. Don’t settle for nothing less.” and Brian Pope said “You… helped put where you live and country on the map when it comes to dance music from the late 80’s until now.”.
The flyer which Booker took issue with appears to be this one. Blink and you’ll miss it…
It begs a few questions – are all of the DJs in the third list being fobbed off with 30 minute sets? Quite how a DJ is supposed to make their mark in such a short amount of time is a mystery. And how long are the sets for the DJs in the other two lists?
Beautiful People Festival have not responded to a request for comment at the time of publishing.