Velfarre (ヴェルファーレ Verufāre?) was a disco located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, Japan. Velfarre was the self-professed "largest disco in Asia" with a capacity of 1,500 people, with three floors above ground and three floors below; owned by Tetsuya Komuro and Avex Trax. Velfarre was, and still is, known for Trance, Eurobeat, Techno, Para Para, and Disco related events. Velfarre held concerts for Avex Trax artists, and was able to be rented for private events.
1994: December 1994 featured the Grand Opening of Velfarre with performances by opening acts: Bananarama and trf. Featuring a live performance by Donna Summer and Cheryl Lynn. Countdown event brings in 5,000 people, hosted by DJ John Robinson. Incidentally, John was responsible for bringing the Velfarre project to Avex. Whilst at Juliana's Tokyo, he was one of "gang of six" who planned to open an even bigger, better club in a more central location. John introduced gang of six leader Mr. Origuchi to then Avex president Tom Yoda.
1995: Featuring Live performances by Big Mountain and Real McCoy. Velfarre has first OLDIE'S NIGHT which brings in 1,500 people. This year brought Earth, Wind and Fire to Velfarre. The first velfarre album release "Disco Week in Velfarre" included on 2-CD set "avex dance matrix '95 Live". Every Sunday was Versace Jeans Couture night and veryine from the DJ, dancers & staff were clothed in Versace gear. Also features SEF (Super Euro Flash) that same year. Male idol group V6 announces their debut and performs their Eurobeat influenced debut single MUSIC FOR THE PEOPLE.
1996: Featuring "avex dance net '96 in VELFARRE" featuring performance by Nikki French and Los Del Rio. Also featuring NUYORICAN SOUL and MASTERS AT WORK. Also, Komuro Tetsuya brought together his TK family (TRF, Amuro Namie, hitomi, globe and many more) for his Countdown Live special.
1997: Featuring avex dance carnival ~SUMMER '97~ in VELFARRE. Album release featuring mixing of International artists and J-POP artists in a 3-CD album set. Performance by Elisha La'Verne, Mad Lion, KOOL & THE GANGE featuring JT Taylor Japan Tour '97 and more. Release of "Velfarre J-POP NIGHT DANCE WITH YOU" compilation.
1998: This year featured the Velfarre Renewal Opening. Bringing back Earth, Wind and Fire's vocalist, Philip Baily Life and Love Japan Tour 98. Also, live performances by Ricky Martin and J-WAVE NIGHT special guest MISIA which brought in 2,000 people. Also that same year was the "10th anniversary of avex" which they featured a "non-stop 150th presented by avex 10th Anniversary in Velfarre" event. Also, an Oricon–The Ichiban Night event featuring trf. John Robinson launches the PLANET LOVE after hours event ~ it became the longest lasting event at Velfarre & was held regularly until the club closed down. 1999: Featuring a Valentine's Special Live by DA PUMP. Kome Kome Club's Tatsuya Ishii has a Golden Disco performance for Oricon Night. J-WAVE Night vol. 5 featuring Towa Tei and near the end of the year a J.B's Japan Tour 1999, "HALLOWEEN 1999" event which brought 4,000 people and a MILLENNIUM COUNT DOWN 1999/2000.
2000: Featuring "After hours 2000 in the beginning" event. DJ TIESTO for PLANET LOVE. Go Hiromi performs live. EMMA HOUSE 2000 and avex COUNT DOWN event featuring Every Little Thing, hitomi, Do As Infinity and more.
2001: Featuring PLANET LOVE ~Slinky Japan Tour~ featuring resident DJs Tim Lyall and Grary White. Also, HYPER TECHNO MISSION presents JULIANA's 21. Also the beginning of Cyber TRANCE with a Cyber TRANCE 20 HOURS event in May 2001, an Oricon Night featuring Gospellers Live, avex rave 2001, Cyber TRANCE presents ayu-trance" release party for Hamasaki Ayumi, J-POP 2001 Final Live featuring EXILE and Koda Kumi and Cyber TRANCE COUNT DOWN to 2002 which brought in 6,000 people.
2002: Featuring SEF MACH. Also the beginning of the Velfarre Cyber TRANCE TOUR. ViVi Night featuring EXILE and Koda Kumi. a-trance 2002 spring in MESSE and Cyber TRANCE 1st Anniversary which brings in 5,000 people. GTF meets Cyber TRANCE 2002 Summer and Velfarre celebrates 8th Anniversary and Countdown Event.
2003: Featuring system F "TOGETHER" Japan Tour", J-WAVE Night featuring Sowelu LIVE, Codigo:Tango at Velfarre and club celebrates its 9th anniversary.
2004: Featuring After Hours—PLANET LOVE. Also, the renovation opening of velfarre feat. BODY & SOUL Live in Tokyo 2004. Also, Mickey Fickey Mix Japan Tour Pt. 8 with special guests XZIBIT and KRONDON and [GIGA] YOJI BIOMAHANIKA, LAB-4. Featuring LOUD Autumn House, PLANET LOVE with Johnny Vicious and "HALLOWEEN WEEK 2004. Velfarre celebrates its 10th Anniversary.
2005: Featuring DJ DRAGON and DESTINY'S CHILD Official After party. SEF GOLD, velfarre celebrates 11th Anniversary, ViVi Night features O-ZONE, DJ KAORI and more. Cyber TRANCE Count Down to 2006 brings in 5,000 people.
2006: Featuring MINISTRY of SOUND in TOKYO, DJ OZMA release party, SEF GOLD, JUNIOR VASQUEZ in Tokyo 10 hours set, 2006 FIFA World Cup Public Viewing, Special PIA SUPER LIVE GROOVE #18 feat. Live Dept.4 #10, ViVi night 13—Summer Carnival 2006—featuring Rinka and MINMI and the announcement that velfarre will be closing its doors. Final release with "Velfarre Complete Best 1994–2006" and "Velfarre Cyber TRANCE COMPLETE COLLECTION" on November 29, 2006. Final performance nights leading up to COUNT DOWN event which would be the final for the club. Doors to close at noon on January 1, 2007.
Velfarre played a significant role in the Para Para scene. In 1998, velfarre hosted its first Para Para event called SEF HYPER; SEF being an acronym for Super Euro Flash. The weekly Para Para event at velfarre underwent two name changes over the years, first changing to: SEF MACH! (from the 3rd Para Para boom); and ending with SEF GOLD.
Hi-NRG Attack Studios produced several Eurobeat songs dedicated to Velfarre, including:
- Velfarre 2000 by Bazooka Girl
- Hey Hey Velfarre by Bazooka Girl
- Super Euro Flash by Franz V.I.P. Tornado & Bazooka T.C.V. Girl
- Everybody Velfarre by Bazooka Girl
- The Class Of Velfarre by Bazooka Girl
- Velfarre 2006 by Garcon
- Velfarre 10 by Franz Tornado & Bazooka Girl
TCV stands for The Class of Velfarre; the nickname of Velfarre's VIP Floor.
Velfarre hosted many world-class Trance DJs, such as Johan Gielen and Ferry Corsten. Trance was a fundamental part of Velfarre. John Robinson first introduced it at Millenia and PLANET LOVE. Cyber Trance was a natural evolution from the movement started by John Robinson at PLANET LOVE. Johan Gielen also played a significant role with Cyber Trance at Velfarre. When he was working under John as a resident DJ from 1995 to 1997 - trance was a major part of their sets. Gielen was at the final Cyber Trance at Velfarre; John was the DJ for the final New Year countdown, Johan played after John ~ there then followed a succession of DJs who had played at Velfarre over the years before John returned at 11am and played the final set before Velfarre's oversized mirror ball was dimmed for the very last time.
Avex released its first Velfarre CD "Velfarre Volume 1 - Welcome To The Future" in February 1995. This release was the first in a series of discs, which was the replacement for the "Juliana's Tokyo" mix CDs. The importance of the mix CDs cannot be understated ~ without the Juliana's Tokyo series, there would be no Avex or Velfarre as that was what provided the seed money for the rapid growth of the company. (Both series were mixed and produced by DJ John Robinson who was also the head DJ at both clubs. He was later rewarded for his efforts by being appointed to the board of directors of Velfarre). "Disco Week in Velfarre" also released in 1995 was bundled with an Avex J-POP concert album titled "TK DANCE CAMP" to make up a 2-CD set titled "AVEX DANCE MATRIX `95 LIVE". "Disco Week in Velfarre" was also the first velfarre video release in VHS/LD featuring performances by International and Japanese performers. And additional performances not found on the CD version. In 1997, with the success of the "J-POP NIGHT" events at Velfarre", Avex released "VELFARRE J-POP NIGHT presents DANCE with you" which featured MAX, SPEED, D&D and many others singing a Eurobeat rendition of classic J-POP songs by Pink Lady, Finger Five and more.
Velfarre's influence in the Cyber Trance genre prompted Avex Trax to release a moderately successful series of non-stop Trance mixes bearing velfarre's name. Interestingly enough, the first album in the series did not bear the velfarre name, released simply as "Cyber Trance" on July 4, 2001. The first album bearing velfarre's name is actually the second album in the series, "velfarre Cyber TRANCE 01 ～BEST HIT TRANCE～", released November 7, 2001. Whether series will continue after velfarre's closing is unknown. The most recent release in the series to date is a 2 CD+DVD box set titled, "Velfarre Cyber Trance Complete Collection" and "Velfarre complete best 1994-2006" which is a 6-CD box set featuring the different types of music from velfarre past broken down to groups such as "Hyper Techno Floor", "Hyper Trance Floor", "Dance Pop Floor", "Eurobeat Floor", "Disco House Floor" and "After Hours Floor" and including a booklet detailing the history of velfarre.
Velfarre opened on December 2, 1994 and closed their doors on January 1, 2007. After 12 years of operation, velfarre cited considerable losses and an inability to find a new buyer.
On December 31, 2006, velfarre hosted its final countdown event, "Countdown to the Future", and on January 1, 2007, featured "the LAST DANCE", the final event for velfarre and the first dance of 2007. Velfarre closed its doors and ended its 12-year history at noon on January 1, 2007.
At the Cyber Trance FINAL event on 30 December 2006, Komuro Tetsuya stated on stage that, "Velfarre will be back!".
Although velfarre's schedule varied, velfarre hosted the following weekly events:
- Every Thursday from 7pm-12am: TOKYO GO NIGHT (until 2000) (Classic Techno)
- Every Thursday from 7pm-12am: SEF GOLD (Para Para/Eurobeat/Hyper Techno)
- Every Thursday from 7pm-12am: MILLENIA (Trance) (until 1999) / REGGAE PUNCH (Reggae)
- Every Friday from 1am-5am: SOUND BASE (R&B/Hip Hop)
- Every Saturday from 7pm-1am: PLANET LOVE PM (Trance)
- Every Saturday from 7pm-1am: CYBER TRANCE (Trance/Cyber Trance)
- Every Sunday from 5am-12pm: AFTER HOURS (PLANET LOVE, LOADED, END UP↑) (Trance)
Other regular events included: CLUB IBIZA, HAWAII NIGHT, SALSA LIBRE, TOKYO DISCO NIGHT, KOI NO OTACHIDAI (恋のお立ち台), SUPER RAVE, SCREW, J-WAVE NIGHT, a-NATION and others.
- A Special Tribute to Velfarre April 8th, 2007, by Dennis A. Amith, Michelle Tymon, Hiroshi Tagawa and Mamiko Kubota, retrieved April 8th, 2007
- "Eurobeat-Prime 3.0". Eurobeat-prime.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "velfarre". Velfarre.avex.co.jp. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "CyberTRANCE - DISCOGRAPHY". Cybertrance.jp. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "CyberTRANCE - INFORMATION". Cybertrance.jp. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "TIMEasia.com: Japan - Ayumi Hamasaki". TIMEasia.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Live at the Velfarre (Japan) Album Review, Songs, Ratings". Starpulse.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Velfarre.|
- official velfarre website (English and Japanese)
- official John Robinson website (English)
- velfarre: the last dance
- velfarre: Closing the curtains on 12 years of history (Japanese)
- velfarre to close on New Year's Eve
- Velfarre's Cyber Trance FINAL
- J!-ENT Special Tribute to velfarre - 50-page special feature (2007) (English feature article + post-velfarre interviews with MAX, m.o.v.e, John Robinson, Ferry Corsten and Yoji Biomehanika)