Cream's is a story which has touched millions, and changed the lives of the people who work there and the DJ's who have gone on to be some of today's most influential musicians. It has helped shape the thoughts of the media, police and government. In terms of contemporary dance culture, the thoughts of James Barton and Darren Hughes set the agenda.
Since it's humble beginnings in 1992 as a 400 capacity club set in an unfashionable, derelict part of Liverpool the brand has not only gone on to become one the most potent youth brands in the world, it has also been recognised by Liverpool City Council as having played a key role in the economic regeneration of the city over the last 14 years. A whole section of the city that was once desolate is now a thriving cultural quarter, packed with restaurants, bars, artist studios and cafes. The majority of these enterprises acknowledge that their business success is directly linked to the activity generated by Cream.
Launched during the dance music boom as a haven for young people to spend their Saturday nights listening and dancing to music. Cream soon grew to attract over 3000 people every week from around the country who saw it as a lifestyle and not just a source of entertainment.
Over the last 14 years, the company has built its reputation on delivering innovative, creative and popular appeal to youth audiences. Cream has a voice and credibility within the youth market both in the UK and internationally, which is ordinarily very difficult to reach. During the clubs weekly night heyday Liverpool John Moores University carried out an induction survey, 70% of students questioned gave Cream as their main reason for choosing to study in Liverpool.
Not wanting to keep the success story exclusive to Liverpool in 1994 Cream staged its first international event in Ibiza and has continued to host a weekly summer residency there every year. With Ibiza's cosmopolitan crowd the Cream story soon began to spread around the world and the company was soon organising events in places as varied as Buenos Aires to Moscow. The company now stages over 200 club events annually. This activity has gone on to become one of the company's greatest achievements, this is best illustrated by the impact the brand has made in the South American market. In 1997 the company was approached by the Buenos Aires City Council to organise an event to coincide with the city's Millennium celebrations.
1995 saw the release of the company's first compilation record 'Cream Live'. Released through BMG UK, it was the first record of it's kind and was a clear indicator of how strong the Cream brand had become in a relatively short period of time. The album went on to become one of the biggest selling records of the year with sales approaching 300,000 and spent over four months in the top ten albums chart. In 1998 the company signed to Virgin Records and have since released over 20 albums both in the UK and Internationally. The combined sales of all Cream albums is now well over 4 million units.
Buoyed by the growth of the brand the company decided to attack the outdoor event business. During 1998 Creamfields was launched into the festival market. Bringing a unique and innovative attitude to the market Creamfields very quickly established itself as one of the leading outdoor music events in the country. Now in it's 9th year the event continues to grow both in the UK and internationally.
After 2 years of development November 2003 was the chosen month for the launch of the group's latest concept 'babycream'. Spotting a shift within the leisure market the company created a JV relationship with respected restaurant and bar operator Lyceum Group to create a national chain of bars and restaurants. Re-defining how we eat and drink babycream is an exciting new concept that operates on two levels and delivers on style, contemporary design, good food and unrivalled music. Positioned within the super cool Albert Dock complex in Liverpool, it has already been voted as one the best bars and restaurants in Europe.
With a clear vision and direction which has successfully blended elements of the UK's diverse youth culture with style and sophistication, babycream has already opened its second unit in Leeds which has exceeded all expectations. With sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Swansea also planned, babycream is primed to take the UK by storm. Over the past 14 years the brand has gone from strength to strength demonstrating it's ability to stretch beyond it's beginnings as a small underground club brand into one of the most instantly recognisable youth brands in the world.