David Wood (David TG) has announced that he is to cease his formal association with Torture Garden at the end of May 2019, in order to relocate to New York this summer.
As a result, he says, “I will cease being a director and partner of Torture Garden Events at the end of May 2019.
“I may co-organise an annual TG New York event,” his statement continues, “and I may work on TG archive projects such as future books/videos. But overall I will no longer be involved in TG events.”
David Wood, who co-founded Torture Garden with Allen Pelling in October 1990, adds that while he is primarily moving for personal reasons, “perhaps you manifest change when you need it”.
“As TG events increased to 24-plus per year, meaning 160-plus shows (with five massive Coronet events in 2017), it became a relentless cycle and I’ve felt burnt out,” he explains.
“I estimate we’ve staged 520 Torture Garden events in 37 cities around the world in 28-plus years and I’ve been at 500 of them. There have been 624,000 attendees and I’ve curated 3,120 shows! I think I’ve done my bit!”
Torture Garden has never been just a business or a job that you could turn off, he observes.
“It was our whole life and our second names until Facebook made us change that! It was a direct reflection of my personality and taste, and I put my heart and soul into its content.
“It was my head on the chopping block to keep it fresh and exciting month after month and year after year.
“I now feel that I’ve given TG all I can give and personally I’ve taken the concept and format as far as I can in the current dynamic. I’m proud that I leave it still as successful as ever and still top of the tree.”
The TG concept has always been bigger than any individual organiser, and ultimately the crowd and those who participate make TG what it is, the statement continues.
“So get involved,” Wood encourages TG fans, “and keep TG fresh, edgy and current. Become the TG of the future.”
“It’s as current as ever and there are still new creative generations getting involved and making the event their own.”
While hopeful that there’ll be “some fresh ideas appearing”, David is confident that generally the TG experience should remain as good as ever.
“When Allen and I came up with the idea of the club in 1990, we thought it might last six months,” he recalls, “so it’s crazy that we’ve been business partners for 28-plus years.
“We were always completely different characters, and that was TG’s strength. It wouldn’t have been the same club without the two of us together.
“Our relationship is more like a family after so many years, and even Charlotte and Riki have now worked with us for 16 and 20 years respectively.
“Thanx to them for putting up with me through all the ups and downs,” says Wood.
“Also special thanx to all the freaks who have attended, all the crew, our collaborators around the world, and all the amazing performers, designers, artists and DJs.
“It’s been the best job in the world — creating the best club in the world, in the best nightlife city in the world, with the best crowd and performers in the world.
“I was even lucky enough to travel the world with it. It’s been a dream life. But now I want a different life,” his statement concludes.
“Enjoy TG without me, and don’t fuck it up! Good luck to Allen, Charlotte, Yasmin and the events team.”
David Wood’s last scheduled appearances at Torture Garden — for his ‘Just One More’ TG Goodbye Tour —will be on March 16 in Tokyo, May 17 in London, May 25 in Rome and June 29 in New York.
Published March 13, 2019