Roger Michael, A Pioneer of London’s Vibrant and Eclectic Night Club Scene
Roger Michael, founder of I AM ROCKSTAR, is a multi-award winning British nightlife promoter and curator. The first ever London promoter to simultaneously host four notoriously popular club events during the 1990s, Michael’s contribution to the evolution of England’s capital’s night scene is an everlasting legacy.
As a pioneer in the nightlife industry, a recognised nightlife personality throughout the world, and a visionary promoter and marketer, he continues to be recognised as a thought leader within the nightlife and entertainment industry.
Roger Michael’s Winning Formula
Michael began his nightlife career in 1987. His first club night was in 1989 at the club, Wall Street, on Bruton Place, Mayfair. Described as one of “London’s most successful promoters” by The Independent in 1997, Michael curated notable nights, such as The Next Big Thing, Atomic Model and Eyeball-Arizona in the capital. Reinventing admission standards and guest list norms, his unique ability to mix a diverse crowd of Londoners to create a winning formula has altered London’s approach to night entertainment forever.
With a history of curating bespoke guest lists, hosting innovative club nights that have enjoyed unparalleled success over the past three decades, and introducing ‘’bottle and table service’’ to some of the city’s premier venues in 1992, much is owed to Michael for the contribution he has made to London’s nightlife.
In 2008, Michael received The London Club and Bar Awards first ever Outstanding Achievement award for his significant contribution to London’s nightlife, and has also been recognised as one of the London Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential Londoners in the nightlife field in both 2009 and 2010.
How it all Began
After the end of London’s Blitz Kids era in the mid-1980s, the UK’s club culture had become dominated by the underground acid house party scene. During a period known as the Second Summer of Love, raves in warehouses, acid house and electronic dance music were prominent and London’s nightclubs were becoming less popular.
Inspired by a peer group of promoters, Michael successfully reawakened a blasé night scene with four trailblazing club events weekly in some of London’s premier venues in the early 1990s. The four notoriously popular club events ran simultaneously in clubs across the capital from Chelsea to Mayfair to West End to Covent Garden.
Attended by clubgoers and stars from the film, fashion and music world, including Siouxsie Sioux, Bono, Prince, Terence Trent D’Arby, Bryan Adams, Mariah Carey, Brad Pitt, Pierce Brosnan, Bruce Willis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvester Stallone and Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana to name but a few, the award-winning events were:
Wednesday nights at Embargo in Chelsea; The Next Big Thing on Thursdays at Hanover Grand in Hanover Square; Atomic Model on Fridays at Iceni in Shepherds Market; and Saturdays at Browns in Covent Garden.
A number of key elements helped raise the bar for London nightlife at this time; Michael levied a hitherto unheard of £20 admission charge at his then hugely successful Saturday night at Browns and invented guest list and admission standards. As recognition, he was awarded The Piper Champagne London Club and Bar Awards 1992 “Longest Guest List” Award.
Michael’s club events soon became recognised for their style, glamour, and strong social atmosphere. With a reputation for recognising the ideal components to create a successful, memorable event, Michael formed his first company, Roger Michael Associates Ltd in 1995, a PR and marketing agency specialising in clubs, nightlife, bespoke guest list, and special events.
The Next Big Thing
In 1995 Michael launched The Next Big Thing, a house, speed garage, hip-hop, R’n’B and live acts concept with British rapper Derek B as his pre-eminent DJ on Thursdays at Hanover Grand. A ground-breaking concept that became instrumental in forging the capital’s famed vibe, TNBT rode the showbiz wave, playing host to a bevy of A-list actors, celebrities, models, pop stars, fashionistas, movers and shakers, and wannabes. Demand was high and The Next Big Thing ran successfully for over four years, with patrons showcasing the latest in designer gear and funky urban fashion whilst the club night itself retained its unpretentious ambience.
I AM ROCKSTAR
In 2003 Michael founded I AM ROCKSTAR, the creative agency and nightlife brand under which he masterminded the eponymous, award-winning Tuesday night at Boujis in South Kensington. The idea for I AM ROCKSTAR was conceived when Michael was approached by Parisian promoter Nick Blast to co-host Chris Cornell’s rock group, Audioslave’s, London pre-concert party in 2003. Michael and Blast recognised a need for a rock-music night in the house music dominated West End club scene.
Known as London’s first rock, hip-hop, and R’n’B night, I AM ROCKSTAR Tuesdays ran successfully for nine and a half years and played host to notable internationally acclaimed artists and DJs such as Marky Ramones, Glen Matlock, Kid Rock, Roger Taylor of Duran Duran, Mark Ronson, Josh Madden, and Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas.
Touted as one of the most sought after and widely attended mid-week nights in the capital, regular attendees included Kate Middleton, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Camilla Fayed, and it won The London Club and Bar Awards ‘Best Night’ 2006 and 2007, ‘Greatest Night’ 2008, and the ‘Best Longest-Running Night’ in 2012.
It was also attended by young British Royals including Princes William and Harry, and a whole host of international A-list celebrities such as Quincy Jones, Prince, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Dr. Dre, Slash, Will.i.am, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Schwimmer, Mickey Rourke, Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, David Furnish, Scarlett Johansson, Avril Lavigne, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Sienna Miller, Eva Herzigova, and Nicole Scherzinger. Michael expanded the I AM ROCKSTAR brand internationally, took it on tour, and licensed it to premium venues in Paris, Cannes, Dubai, and Croatia.
By 2005, Michael was running three consecutive weekly nights on each side of the channel, Tuesdays at Boujis, Thursdays at Kabaret’s Prophecy in London, and Fridays at the Man Ray restaurant bar and club in Paris, part-owned by American actors Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, John Malkovich, and British singer Mick Hucknall of Simply Red.
Roger Michael, Curator of Bespoke Guest List Events
In 1998 Michael took on a new, game-changing role to provide bespoke guest list services for the international launch of Vivienne Westwood’s first fragrance ‘Boudoir’ held at Gatliff Road Depot in London. In 1999, Westwood enlisted Michael to be part of the team that launched her first U.S store in New York, Manhattan, as well as the inaugural dinner and party, to coincide with her first U.S fashion show and Red Label debut.
In 2001, Michael also provided a bespoke guest list for Moët and Chandon’s first Fashion Tribute at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London when Vivienne Westwood was the first designer to be honoured.
Michael has since co-produced, produced and curated bespoke guest list services for numerous internationally-acclaimed red carpet events, such as Puff Daddy’s first album ‘Forever’ launch, London (1999), Next Model Management London inauguration reception and After-party (1999), Cathy & David Guetta’s ‘Fuck Me I’m Famous’ compilation, Vol.1 launch, London (2003), Private 40th Anniversary during Cannes Film Festival, Cannes (2005), Fashion TV’s Reality Series ‘Shoot Me!’ launch, London (2005), Liya Kebede’s 24th birthday coinciding with the launch of Nick Blast & Chris Cornell’s club, Black Calavados, Paris (2006), UFC 120 London inauguration party (2010), David Wertheimer’s 24th birthday dinner reception (2012), and Club Bud Team USA’s ‘Two Nights Only’ London Olympics closing parties, which took place at the Roundhouse in 2012.
Roger Michael Today
Michael shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
In 2015, Michael took on the role of Advisory Board Member and City Ambassador to InList, a revolutionary mobile app for booking upscale nightlife, event ticketing and one-in-a-lifetime experiences in over 45 cities across the globe. And far from resting on his laurels, 2016 saw Michael apply to be London’s first Night Czar, an endeavour that was recognised by the Evening Standard.
Michael looks forward to 2017, having recently joined the Founding Committee Team of the ground-breaking boxing gym partly owned by Anthony Joshua, BXR London, which is set to revolutionise the city’s fitness scene. He will start work on his biography this year, which details his upbringing and his journey to becoming one of London’s most influential nightlife promoters and curators. I AM ROCKSTAR is due for release in 2018.
For a full list of events and press inquiries contact:
I AM ROCKSTAR Agency
+44 (0) 203 290 6061