a history by Dave Mumblist
Room 303 was born from the many late night, early morning, post party, smashed out our faces conversations which myself and my housemates/band of reprobate friends found ourselves having over and over again while playing music and eating disco biscuits.
The situation was thus it was about 2007, we were all in our early 20’s and fresh out of university without a clue what we were doing. What we did know was that our taste in music was fresh, deep and completely underrepresented in Sheffield. We were into acid techno (that was rapidly dying on its arse everywhere in the world), dark drum n bass, old skool hardcore, dubstep (before it turned into an obnoxious bassline war) and breakcore jungle. What we wanted was to go to a night which played some or all of these things but specifically didn’t just play the same thing all night (we had short attention spans).
So one Sunday morning I found myself talking to a stranger I had just befriended while waiting for some form of transport in surprise view car park after a free party in the middle of the peaks. I was bending this gentleman’s ear about how we could put on an epic night that was fully underrepresented in the city we lived in, the reply was that this person owned the Redhouse (I had discovered the redhouse several months earlier for a Tinnitus night, when it still looked like an old man’s pub, full of teenagers moshing to gabber with their shirts off). I asked how much it’d cost to put a night, free he said and they would pay us if we filled it.
Room 303 was born, the name was a mixture of Room 101 from 1984 and our love of the Roland TB 303 acid synth. I banged up a poster on the photocopier at work and we postered, flyered and facedbooked our hearts out. We made a banner, took our decks, mixer and laptops down to the redhouse and waited nervously to see if anyone would turn up (The first night was billed as surprise view car park dave presents a night of….. due to me neglecting to tell Jeff what we were called). No one showed for the first hour or two and then smack bang in the middle of my set the place was rammed. The flyer said seven hours of banging music for free and that’s what our lovely crowd got.
We continued in this vain for the next 12 months (Jeff made us start charging money on the door), booking whoever of our mates we thought were mint in whatever style of music they wanted to play (we liked for people to play what they were into). In Summer possibly 2009 we got summoned to see the owner of the Harley who invited us to do a regular Friday night gig once a month, which would allow us to be able to book actual DJ’s at a bigger capacity venue, so went for that. We booked a slew of class acts including Warlock, No Yeah No, Zomby (Worst and funniest booking- 2 hours late and so smashed he couldn’t DJ), Ant, DAVE the drummer, King cannibal, Stormfield, Scan one and Altern8 to name a few. We got loads of people down for the first 6 nights then numbers started to drop, I have no idea why, some of us fell out with some other of us and left the night, then the owner said that he didn’t want us to continue!
At this point it was pretty much only me keeping the 303 flame alight, so I went back to the Redhouse and put on a couple of sparodic half-hearted gigs. In about 2011 my good friend A.R.D. pushed me into putting Room 303 on more regularly and because he was into the harder end of dance music the BPM of the night increased and it slowly morphed into playing UK hardcore, hardcore techno, really hard drum n bass, core and bass, breakcore and gabber. Our mate Scott Kemix (orifice) moved to Sheffield and with him a bunch of contacts in the nails end of dance music which meant cheaper bookings of higher quality and more extreme music! Towards the end of 2012 I decided to move to Leeds and left 303 in the capable if not slightly deranged hands of A.R.D. who brought on board Bee log (Neil) and they have since put on the most forward thinking, hard as balls DJs they can muster.
Going into 2014 Room 303 is keeping in good health, still putting on aggressively independent music which you wouldn’t see if it wasn’t running. It’s put on for the love of it, with passion and largely cos we want to stomp our feet to fucking mental music and stay up forever!