Torture Garden (fetish club)

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Performer of the club at Olympia Exhibition.

Torture Garden (or TG) is a fetish club in London, UK. The club started in 1990 and is now Europe's largest fetish club. It features dance floors, musical acts, performance art, fashion shows, and an S&M 'dungeon'.

Initially threatened with closure by the police,[1] it is now described as "legendary" and "a capital institution" by Time Out magazine.[2] It has also been described as "a combination of a fetish, S/M, body art, Modern Primitives, straight, gay, performance art, body ritual, fashion, techno/industrial/atmospheric music, multimedia, and cyberspace club".[3]


The co-founder of TG described the experience as "like entering a scene from a movie", and said that "we are basically about the celebration of sexuality and fantasy in a safe environment".[4] A lack of intimidating or threatening behaviour is characteristic of the club, in contrast to most nightclubs.[2] One journalist reported the "welcoming, liberating, anything-goes atmosphere".[5]

There is a strict dress code: "Fantasy Fetish, SM, Body Art, Drag, Rubber, Leather, PVC goes, but no cotton t-shirts, street wear, or regular club wear".[4] This has been summarised as "if what you’re wearing wouldn’t get you stared at in the street, don’t bother even queuing up to get in".[2]


TG has hosted club nights in several other cities and countries, including Edinburgh[6] Russia, Greece and Japan, and it also runs a Fetish fashion label.[2] TG ran a live stage show as the centerpiece of the Erotica exhibition at Olympia in 2004,[7] and hosted a night at the Barbican Centre art gallery to coincide with the "Seduced" exhibition.[8]

Rubber Banned, an exhibit of photographs of TG club-goers taken by fashion photographer Perou was shown in London and Paris in 2005.[9]

Celebrity attendees[edit]

Marilyn Manson, Dita Von Teese (who had her UK debut at TG),[10] performance artist Franko B,[11] Jean Paul Gaultier, Boy George, 90's punk band Fluffy, Jack Dee, and Marc Almond[4] have all been to TG nights.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sharkey, Alix (17 February 1996). "Flexible friends". The Independent. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Woolgar, Andy (10 November 2006). "Torture Garden". Time Out.
  3. ^ Perlmutter, Dawn (Fall 1999 – Winter 2000). "The Sacrificial Aesthetic: Blood Rituals from Art to Murder". Anthropoetics. 5 (2). ISSN 1083-7264. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Chambers, Catherine (2001). "It's Not All Whips And Chains, You Know". LondonNet Clubs Guide. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  5. ^ Price, Simon (26 September 2004). "Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, kiddywinks!". Independent.
  6. ^ Fettes, Miranda (9 October 2002). "Inside the Torture Garden – where anything goes". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  7. ^ Paine, Andre (12 November 2004). "Sex exhibits set to draw thousands to Olympia". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  8. ^ Newman, Rebecca (12 November 2007). "Rubber fetishists come out of the closet". The Times. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Review: up the Torture Garden path". Design Week. Centaur Publishing Ltd. 17 February 2005. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  10. ^ "GOD OF FUCK 1 GOD 0". NME. 23 January 2001.
  11. ^ Halliburton, Rachel (26 April 2000). "It's a bleeding liberty". The Independent. Retrieved 12 March 2009.

External links[edit]