When Leo Bedford founded club night Itchy Feet as a student back in 2007, he was just looking for some good old-fashioned fun. Today the brand and its fans are all grown up – but the fun continues.
Leeds University in the mid-noughties was notorious for excess. Most students know how to party, but here it was practically part of the curriculum.
“The scene at that time – and anytime over the last 10 years – was getting quite serious,” says Leo. “A lot of people were taking a lot of drugs and listening to EU dance DJs. I wanted to put some old-fashioned fun back into parties as an antidote to all that.”
“Itchy Feet was all about old music – think Etta James, Louis Prima, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones – getting dressed up, drinking a lot of beer and rum and dancing around.” Before long the night had evolved into a multi-room show with rotating DJs and live music.
Leo says: “The high watermark was five to six shows per year in 20 different cities simultaneously. Every show hosted about 1000 people and was sold out everywhere. We routinely – and by that I mean five to 10 times every single night – had people coming up to us saying ‘this is the best night of my entire life. I’ve never had this much fun – ever.’”