DS? Dirty Secret? What?
Find out everything you need to know about us and where it all started...

From humble beginnings in the back room of a social club, onto a new venue and what is now widely regarded as the best trance night in Northern Ireland, Dirty Secret has come a long way. A treat for clubbers and DJs alike, the intimate venue generates an electric atmosphere unseen anywhere else in the Province bar the international-class superclub Lush! in Portrush.

What started out as a private party for friends, quickly snowballed into a viable club night, almost taking on a life of its own. “There was nothing trance wise on a Saturday night in Belfast at the time, and we were relying on Lush! bringing in the DJs we wanted to see” says promoter/resident Mark Burton, “But even at that, it was always the A-listers. Some of us wanted to see the newer guys who were just breaking through”.

As it turned out, Mark and his friends weren’t the only ones, and after pulling some strings with longtime cohort Greg Downey, he was able to book Greg, Bryan Kearney and then Simon Patterson: “Aside from the clubbers, those are the guys we have to thank most, they helped get the ball rolling and from that we were then able to go on and book other DJs who I admired and respected”. Another childhood friend, Dave Stock, has been present throughout the various incarnations of Dirty Secret, a talented DJ in his own right and a major factor behind the success of the night.

Moving to the The Rosetta in May 2009 turned out to be a masterstroke; bigger capacity and less restraints compared to the social club allowed them to expand, and DS went on to host the likes of John Askew, Agnelli & Nelson and Activa. The fruits of their efforts came to bear in October 2009 celebrating the DS 1st birthday, when a packed out Rosetta rocked it to the sounds of Simon Patterson. Mark: “We want to keep things a close knit circle. Greg played at the relaunch, it seemed only fitting that Simon played the birthday, and Bryan is a firm favourite as well. Most of the guys we have booked I have been lucky enough to know on a personal basis beforehand, so everyone knows what to expect from each other, and I really believe this has contributed to our success”. The birthday night then gave the guys incentive to hold a hugely successful New Year’s Eve party with Neal Scarborough, hosting a capacity crowd on a night that is usually only profitable for the big guns.

2010 sees much of the same planned; kicking off the year with a massive booking in The Thrillseekers, Mark & Dave have some surprises lined up along with the return of the more popular guests from 2009: “We’re not just about the more established names. Last year we gave Indecent Noise his Irish debut and he was one of our most requested to have back in 2010. We’ll have more debuts in the summer; keeping things fresh is crucial to the longevity not just of Dirty Secret, but for trance music as whole”.

The secret is out!