We spoke to Mike Starkie, the former Don of Fuzzy Ducks

He’s hanging up his repping hat


After running some of the biggest nights out for six years in Brookes, Mike Starkie is now moving on to bigger and better things (if there is anything bigger than Fuzz).

For those of you who don’t know, Mike Starkie left Brookes in 2013 but his career in the nightlife industry started as a fresher living in Warnford halls being the only rep in the entire halls for Regal.

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After this he worked as a bar back for the end of year ball and went out to impress his boss Imran Hashmi. This worked and Imran hired him to be a glass collector in Camera (now Emporium).

From then he quickly rose in the ranks and went on to be a bartender and then was invited to be the events manager for Klass. That wasn’t enough for Mike though. Mike, Callum Lovett and notable promoters such as Craig Pitson, Josh Small and Jack Hilliam formed Ace of Clubs towards the end of 2013. Bringing Brookes students Klass, Fuzzy Ducks and Eskimo.

Mike admitted to us that he had no intention of making a career out of the nightlife industry until he started living with Callum and found someone as driven as he was to throw an epic party. Once Craig bought the rights for Fuzzy Ducks, Mike was off setting up one of Brookes’ most legendary nights in the new location of Wahoo.

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AoC Boys

The Tab can now exclusively reveal that now Mike is stepping away from the Brookes repping scene Ace of Clubs, under a new young team of management, is rebranding as Encore Events.

It is clear that Mike is still a rep at heart as half an hour before our meeting he sent a text to push the meeting back by 45 minutes. But what more can you expect from an Oxford promoter?

Why did you leave?

“I felt like like I’ve hit my roof of what I could accomplish in Oxford and I had offers in the pipeline. So I wasn’t just stepping out into the big world with no plan.”

When did you know you were going to step away form repping?

“It was the start of summer and and my now new boss had been at King of the Ring and was really impressed. Although he didn’t come to the after party. Which I can understand being a busy man.”

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What has your proudest moment in Oxford been?

“It’s hard to choose between standing on stage at the Forbidden Festival or watching King of the Ring 2. But I know that Ace of Clubs is in very capable hands with Craig as it rebrands as Encore Events.”

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Do you have any regrets?

“No.”

What are your thoughts on the rivalry in Brookes nightlife?

“I wish people would take it less seriously, at the end of the day we are both throwing parties.”

What has your favourite night out ever been?

“I really can’t decide between the original Klass and Regal.”

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Klassic Klass

“Regal was the pinnacle of what a student night should be with £1.50 pints. But Klass would be amazing going from a formal night to 5 jagerbombs for £10 and a bottle of prosecco and a bottle of Absolute on the table paid for by the club.”

What would your advice be to this year’s freshers coming into freshers week?

“Become a promoter, even if it’s just for first year for the perks and free nights out. And go to the nights you enjoy and actually have fun there.”

What’s next for Mike Starkie?

“In 10-15 years hopefully retired on an island somewhere.

“Hopefully being recognised internationally for doing the same work and throwing the best parties.”

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Now that one of the giants has stepped down from the Brookes promoting world it’s skyline will be changed forever. Even though he’s left the scene Mike still can’t walk into a room without shaking hands with at least 10 people. Which is impressive when that room is the Cowley Retreat on a Monday evening out of term time.

Mike is now working for a company called Gaming International LTD which means he’ll be throwing parties in massive stadiums for huge stars. So not much different to hosting the Chuckle Brothers or S Club 7 really.