NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!
Also known as: Propaganda, G.A.Y., Smile Bar, Cruz Nightclub (?)
Location: 88-90 Lichfield Street, Central Christchurch
Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake, site now part of the Christchurch Bus Exchange.
Active as a live music venue: 1992 – 2011
Bar Manager: Bruce Williamson
Bookings: Old Bookings Email
Capacity: 800 / 180 / 100
Large 3-room warehouse-style nightclub on Lichfield Street – a big part of the local dance music scene until the Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. The building was acquired by the City council and incorporated into the new Bus Exchange.
Opened by Bruce Williamson and named after the UK’s Ministry of Sound, the Ministry Nightclub (plus the additional spaces – which seemed to have changed names several times of the years) were a HUGE part of both Christchurch Dance Music and Gay scenes for over 20 years, before falling victim to the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2011.
I saw just a handful of shows at Ministry so my memory is not particularly clear – I do however remember the cavernous industrial interior and the stifling heat on a busy night.
The most notable shows I witnessed would have to be British Sound-system group Rockers Hi-Fi in 1999 during their ‘Overproof‘ tour, plus turntablists like (member of the legendary X-Ecutioners) Rob Swift, and Canadian whiz-kid A-Trak.
- 1875: Original Building built on Lichfield site
- 1992: Ministry Nightclub opens at 88-90 Lichfield Street
- 2011: Damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes