It was S.T.D.'s 5 year anniversary where we began the story of Arkham’s immaculate conception. After failing to secure a used movie set from the movie “Her”, the S.T.D. promoters were rummaging through every venue in Shanghai to find a suitable destination for their annual debauchery. Halloween was quickly approaching, and the rug had been ripped from beneath their feet. Time was running out. Then…a call…an answer…some mumbling…”Wei?”….some bad reception and the words “OLD UNDERGROUND CLUB”. It was like music to the ears. Sweet, sweet, delicious, tasty, underground, dusty, mouldy, warehouse, no air-conditioning or ventilation music to the ears.
After an initial inspection, it was clear that the once dormant club was a gem buried deep in the loins of the French Concession. Loins that S.T.D. were ready to pry open once again and fill up.
The stage was set, the production and sound checks complete and before the big hand had even reached twelve, Cinderella was already at the ball. Droves of people in full costume started pouring into the club and on to Wulumuqi Road. Mummies, zombies, Mona Lisas, Jokers…lots of Jokers and pretty much everything else you could imagine. It wasn’t before long that the music was loud and the place was at full capacity. People were getting acquainted with this strange new place, and the place was getting well acquainted with them.
From the top balcony of the club, S.T.D. looked down in awe of the majestic and somewhat grizzly view of people covered in blood lunging towards the stage. It was mental. Completely mental. Completely fucking mental. So mental that lighters spontaneously stopped working. Not a single lighter would spark in the entire place. Was it because of some strange manufacturing problem? No, it was because there was just simply not enough oxygen in the air. THAT fucking mental.
It was here, from this vantage point on the balcony, where the realisation of the name Arkham came to be. The merging of two worlds. The decrepit, soulless walls much to the depiction of an H.P Lovecraft dystopian city and the unspeakable, festering fervour locked away in an asylum in Gotham. At this moment, the realization came of a word that perfectly married these two worlds - Arkham. A city in an H.P Lovecraft story and the infamous asylum holding Gotham’s most notorious.
After a night of celebration and recovery, our S.T.D. team knew there was something special about that little place on 1 Wulumuqi South Road. Something exceptionally vibrant but not bright, familiar yet mysterious. After many months of negotiation, renovation, new sound systems, new A/C and ventilation systems, the once dormant club opened it's doors once again, this time as the club we know today as Arkham. And the rest, as they say, is history. History in the making.