Superclub and global brand recognised for contribution to music industry

CREAM, the superclub that put Liverpool back on the world music map in the 1990s, has been given a 25th birthday present from its hometown.

It will receive the freedom of the city for the contribution it has made to the city's music industry.

The recommendation to add Cream to the council’s Freedom Roll of Association Award, will be made at a meeting of the city council at the town hall next Wednesday.

It was in 1992 that Cream was born in Wolstenholme Square, a place to party all night with Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfold and Peter Tong making their names there.

Capitalising on the appetite for dance music it took the European clubbing scene by storm, becoming a global destination with thousands of clubbers arriving by coachload every week.


Founded by James Barton, DJ Andy Carroll and Darren Hughes, it became the first nightspot in the city to organise all-nighters where revellers went home at first light to the sounds of the dawn chorus.

It also spread its wings internationally with Cream events in Ibiza, and it created the Creamfields festival, initially on the old airfield site at Speke before developers moved in, sending the event to Daresbury near Runcorn.

Creamfields has won the award for Best Dance Event at the UK Festival Awards a record six times since the awards began and in 2010 Cream won the highly coveted Music Week award for 'Festival Of The Year' beating off the likes of heavyweight festivals such as Glastonbury.

Meanwhile, Everton-born Barton sold Cream to Live Nation for £19m in 2012 and was made president of Live Nation Electronic Music.  Two years later he was named as the most influential figure in dance music by Rolling Stone magazine.  Not bad for a music fan who worked on market stalls as a teenager.

James Barton

Cream events at its spiritual home, Nation, in Wolstenholme Square, were always sell-outs.

Alongside the Kazimier, Nation was bulldozed last year to make way for a new trendy development, following a similar fate to the original Cavern Club in Mathew Street. The aim is to re-create a new music venue within the development.

Cream still inspires a party and last November it rebuilt its gigantic Ibiza Steel Yard (above) on Liverpool's north docks. 10,000 fans turned up, proving that the boom times, in every sense, are not yet over.

Just over a year ago Unesco declared Liverpool a world City of Music, the second British city to be granted the accolade, and one of only 19 in the world. 

Also being recommended for the freedom of the city at next week’s meeting are the 103 Regiment Royal Artillery, the Eldonians Community Association, Bradbury Fields, Medicash, Girl Guiding Merseyside, Liverpool & District Battalion of the Boys Brigade and Merseyside Scouts.

It's not the first time Liverpool has bestowed an accolade on Cream. Barton was made a Citizen of Honour alongside Hillsborough Justice campaigners and RLPO conductor Vasily Petrenko last November.

A city council spokesman said: “The award  are in recognition of their contribution to the city of Liverpool and its residents.”

It was later announced on Thursday that Steven Gerrard would be added to the same roll of honour.