paul 'dizzi' saunders

Raised from a young age by London’s underground culture, with over 30 years of promoting & events experience starting in his teens, paul has consistently investigated and reinvented the cultural scenes of London. Now behind award-winning concepts and ground breaking events, with a long history in the rave and club scene, his roots, has built many successful establishments, bringing together many different strands of urban culture and artistic expression and combining them into a greater movement.

Starting in the early ‘80s with several successful UK events, Paul packed up and moved to Tenerife, pioneering the first large-scale raves on the island, from the famous Cactus Park to a disused circus.

After 5 years away, Paul returned to London and got straight back to running some of the best parties of that era in venues varying from the normal nightclubs to disused warehouses, farmers’ fields to recording complexes and theatres.

Dizzi bought his own club in Soho – the velvet room – forming a focal point for the scene and establishing the majority of the dance music trends for the next two decades.

 

With sadness in his heart, and with his many links as a regular face in Ibiza since the ‘80s, Paul decided to move there full time. Paul noticed a trend happening in the nature of contemporary art and noticing the lack of quality visual art on the island, Paul began to build the brand for an art gallery, by running large parties, which took on a life of their own, forming what is today known as Urban in Ibiza, a season of events featuring creative work across the board of contemporary culture – music, fashion and visual art – winning prestigious awards each year and becoming a mainstay of the Ibiza calendar, now in its 6th year running across several of the island’s best venues.

Breaking out yet again, Paul bought a bar in Ayanappa and took the Velvet Room on a 16 date club tour of full to capacity venues which included live broadcasts with Radio One and the Radio One weekender, smashing all previous attendance records and bringing a whole new heavy, urban sound to the island.

After four years Paul returned to London to concentrate on the Velvet Room’s London club full time. A few years later the site surrounding the area was demolished to make way for the Crossrail Project. The Velvet Room closed its doors on a high with months of wall-to-wall roadblock nights featuring the many prominent artists who had started their careers at the Velvet Room.

Urban in Ibiza’s operations became so notorious on the island that it became clear that it was impossible to run an all year round art gallery in the baleriac.

After searching for some time for a suitable London site, a neoclassical semi-derelict bank in the heart of west london was uncovered and the london westbank gallery was born, working not just as an exhibition space but as a creative center, the catacombs housing a fully multi media production complex, the gallery working as a studio space where the public can engage with the actual process and ongoing evolution of street / contemporary art.

Putting on a relentless schedule of over 20 gallery shows a year in addition to quarterly high profile touring / pop-up shows of urban art in unorthadox high profile locations, london westbank closed 2013 with the the first street art auction to be held in the houses of parliament, raising nearly £100,000 for charity.