Judge Jules' Worst New Year's Eve Experience

The police, booing and a raver climbing a pole. These are just some of the things that emerged when we asked Judge Jules to regale his worst ever New Year's Eve experience.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 29th Dec 2015

I've played many, many NYE parties over the years and there are certainly plenty of minor incidents and anecdotes that I could point to, but none stand out on such a grand scale as much as the Millennium New Year's Eve. 

The year 2000 was a huge date in every clubber's diary, but it was also a great example of how out of kilter most promoters were with the commercial reality.

The Millennium NYE was marketed as being a once in a lifetime night, when in truth it was no different to any other New Year's Eve. Ticket prices were inflated to five or ten times the normal NYE price, and as a result many shows failed to sell.

However, that wasn't the problem in Sheffield, where I played at Don Valley athletics stadium. It was a sold out 25,000 person event inside a big top-style tent erected in the middle of the field. An outdoor location was an unusual venue to host a New Year's Eve considering the time of year and the temperature, but the crowds were out in force.

Everything seemed to be going well until mid-way through the night, presumably once the alcohol or other substances had taken hold, when somebody decided to climb to the top of the 20 metre main vertical pillar that was keeping up the tent.

What was meant to be a great night suddenly turned into a bit of a nightmare. The safety of an inebriated reveller at the top of this pole was obviously a big concern for all involved, and particularly South Yorkshire Police who shut the music down.

Not unsurprisingly, the crowd began to boo, and rather than welcoming in the New Year we were facing the possibility of finishing early. I made my way from the DJ booth to one of the sound pits at the other side of the venue, found a radio mic and began geeing up the crowd and encouraging them to persuade this person down from the pole. A responsible act, or so I thought.

It was then that I heard a second mic over the PA, this time directed at me. “JUDGE JULES, CAN YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING. THIS IS SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE!”.

It turns out that perhaps I'm not all that well trained to deal with emergency situations. I shut up and eventually, after further persuasion from the police, the person climbed down and the party was allowed to continue.

I heard that one of the other DJs punched him for ruining such a significant gig. Even to this day I meet people who attended that night and remember the whole situation.

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