WE use them for storing tools or the lawnmower, but a pair of Oxford music-lovers have come upon a far more inventive use for their garden shed – turning it into a mobile disco.
Starting life as a convenient place to play records during parties in an East Oxford garden, the Disco Shed has become a popular fixture at music festivals around the country with owners Paddy Bickerton and Aidan Larkin spinning tunes through an open window.
Now the wooden shack – which has graced fields from the Isle of Wight to Scotland, and the county’s Truck and Cornbury festivals – has become a finalist in the Shed of the Year competition and is set to be featured on television.
The contest aims to find the country’s wackiest sheds, with more than 20,000 members of the public voting for a shortlist of the nation’s hottest huts.
The Disco Shed, equipped with turntables, lights, a smoke machine, giant rooftop visuals, disco ball and a record sleeve-lined roof, is among 10 contenders to have been chosen from 2,000 entries.
It will now be judged against other imaginative structures in a bid to be declared winner.
The shed will feature in a three-part TV series called Amazing Spaces: Shed of the Year, presented by George Clarke, on Channel 4 starting next Thursday.
The winner will be chosen by a panel of shed experts including Andrew Wilcox from South Wales, who set up the competition to celebrate the best of British sheds.
The interior of the refurbished Disco Shed
If successful, the two DJs will win £1,000, a commemorative plaque, £100 in products by contest sponsor Cuprinol, and a giant crown for their shed.
Mr Larkin, 35, from Cowley Road, Oxford, is currently DJing in the shed at Latitude festival in Suffolk. He said: “The original disco shed stood in the garden of my old house. I discovered it when I moved in and it seemed the perfect place to play some tunes. We set up speakers on the roof, opened the window, put a pair of turntables on the counter and had a party.
“It caught on so well that people would turn up at midnight with bags of booze even if we weren’t having a party. So we decided to take it on the road.”
With Mr Bickerton – who DJs under the name Peepshow Paddy – the pair had a replica shed made up which could be transported.
The Disco Shed is up against competition in the ‘normal’ shed category from garden structures converted into a diner, a wartime Blitz museum, an outhouse inspired by the Titanic, and a mini vintage fairground.
- Do you own a spectacular shed? Send a picture of your shed to newsdesk@ oxfordmail.co.uk
- Watch: disco Shed in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBeXOldIV9Q
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