Gatecrasher's Sheffield story grew out of the ashes of the glam-house club boom of the early-to-mid-Nineties. In summer 1995, 'Crasher was resident at The Arches, a club built into the viaduct crossing the East End of Sheffield town centre heading out of the city. The venue was small and basic, and the entire club night was a watered-down version of Rise - the Steel City's attempt to outdo Cream and the Ministry Of Sound.

Losing money rapidly, Gatecrasher moved to the Adelphi nightclub in the redeveloping industrial wasteland of Attercliffe. A much better venue, The Adelphi saw 'Crasher continue to ape Cream and Rise in its choice of playlist - including Annie Nightingale in the chill-out tent.

As the glam house scene imploded and Rise died a painful and drawn-out death, Gatecrasher escaped much of the flak - for a start, it was a smaller operation. But more importantly, 'Crasher had begun to evolve. The move to the then-in-receivership Republic nightclub had given the event the perfect venue - and the new DJs playing there were showcasing edgier, progressive trance tunes.

To those inside the imposing surroundings of the Republic on a Saturday night, Gatecrasher's stock was visibly rising by the week. By the time Paul Van Dyk ripped up the dancefloor on the first of what would become the most euphoric nights in club history, Gatecrasher was rammed with what would become known as 'Crasher kids', increasingly dressed in outlandish, techno clothes and borrowing heavily from rave fashion, with lightsticks, flouro facepaint and silver hairspray all staples of the Gatecrasher look.

The summer of 1999 saw Gatecrasher cross over as trance swept all before it. The explosion had been brewing for some time, with 'Crasher anthems such as Paul Van Dyk's 'For An Angel' and Energy 52's 'Café Del Mar' having some pop chart success. But it was the tune of Gatecrasher's Spring '99 that burst the floodgates. ATB's '9pm (Till I Come' reached Number One in the pop charts, and even though hardcore clubbers abandoned the tune wholesale as soon as it was caned to death on the radio, the rest of 1999 saw trance rule the music world - and Gatecrasher was the byword for the entire scene, releasing 4 massive compilation CDs of the tunes that mattered.

Inevitably the heightened consciousness of Gatecrasher and everything it stood for led to a diluting of its power and attraction for those who had been there at the start. Gatecrasher is now a global brand, and like Cream and Ministry Of Sound, the orignal message has been lost somewhat. Still, when I put on Disc One of Gatecrasher Wet and hear Lost Tribe's 'Gamemaster' drop, it's as close as anyone can get to the weekly euphoria that Gatecrasher provoked between April 1998 and September 1999.
A gatecrasher is someone who enters a venue or attends an event without invitation or proper credentials. Examples include that guy eating all the hors d'oeuvres at your party who you didn't invite, and that girl that sneaks into the concert while you paid Ticketmaster some ludicrous service fees.

The word is sometimes seen hyphenated, but has been in sufficient common use since the 1920's to warrant promotion to a non-hyphenated compound noun.

Gatecrasher is also a character in the Marvel Comics universe. She is a large, blue humanoid being, who is either an alien from this universe or from another dimension altogether. She was the leader of a bounty hunter group known as the Technet, who made appearances primarily in the USA in Excalibur comics, but have appeared in UK comics as well. She is sufficiently strong for her size and wields wrist blasters. She always has a green creature named Yap on her back, who provides information to her and has teleportation powers.

Gatecrasher, the Sheffield club, is now sadly no longer a weekly occurrence, instead limiting itself to regular but infrequent nights and one off events around the UK, and the world.

Saturday nights at the Republic are now dedicated to yet another student orientated cheesefest.

Some people think that the decline of the established superclubs in the UK is due to clubs not making enough money from the sale of drinks, partially due to the extortionate prices, but mainly because of most people being too pilled up to drink anything except suspect water from the club toilets. I asked a Gatecrasher employee about this though, and they said it wasn't the reason. As pointed out by FastEddie, the increasing commercialism of the club, as well as what was to some people a too rigid music policy is likely to have been the main cause.

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