Andy Hoe: An exclusive interview with the most popular man in Nottingham

‘We catch people pissing a lot’


With the plans to expand Broadmarsh centre approved and the future of Ocean teetering on a knife edge, we caught up with the Friday night Goliath, who put all our fears to rest. Its been three years since we sat down for a chat with Andy Hoe, so it was about time for a catch up to talk about his stellar highs, deepest lows and a chance to win two free tickets for the next Big Five Ocean Fridays.

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Where are you from?

“I was brought up in Yorkshire in Barnsley, ’til I was about 6 then moved to Nottingham, so I’ve got a bit of a mongrel accent now. ”

How long have you been the Ocean boss?

“I brought the Friday night back in 2003. I’ve been a DJ all my life, since I was 17. This was the first place I worked back in 1989. I started then, when I was at college, doing the lights and annoying the DJs at the time.”

Proud Andy with his fake honorary degree this April Fools

Proud Andy with his fake honorary degree this April Fools

Why do you and Ocean have such a cult following?

“I think it runs on its reputation, we don’t really promote it. We let people enjoy themselves more and perhaps get away with a little bit more. You’re all students, you all like to have a drink and have fun, if people are being a bit daft we’ll tell them not to be daft rather than throw them out. We don’t really tend to throw people out unless they’re being aggressive. Also, I think the music is a big pull, people know what they’re gonna get when they come here, you either like it or you don’t.

“It’s reputation is important, even the new students might have heard about us from brothers, sisters, cousins… it kind of spreads that way as well. Part of it is also that fear of missing out, you think why are these tickets selling out so fast? Why is that queue so long? That’s promotion in itself.”

Andy and some fans

Andy and some fans

Do you think being the face of Ocean has helped it become as popular as it is?

“I think I’ve personalised it. That kind of happened by accident, mainly through Facebook because I got on it straight away, Nottingham was one of the first Unis to get Facebook. In the past few years it’s just blown up, I’ve had to get two accounts now because I’ve maxed out on friends.

“I like that if people have a complaint or a compliment they can come directly to me. I get people doing both, more so about how much they like it. I think the fact that there’s a presence here that everyone knows is worth a lot. Don’t get  me wrong, if someone comes here talking rubbish I’ll tell them they’re talking rubbish.”

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Is there a formula for each night?

“You kind of play it by ear really, if you’re playing dance music and it’s going down like a shit sandwich you just change it up. That’s the beauty of having such variety in the music.”

What’s the worst thing you’ve seen in Ocean?

“In fact my wife once told me a story whilst in the queue for the ladies toilets, she was disgusted by it. The girl standing in front of her just stood there and peed. She didn’t make any effort to hide it, just stood there and went for it. She came downstairs and said “some girl’s just pissed right in front of me. She would have been in in two minutes.”

“We catch people pissing a lot. My other favourite story is when I opened my office door and someone was pissing on it. I just kind of frogmarched him down the stairs while he was fumbling to put himself away.”

What’s been your highlight?

“When the Hoff came down that was a highlight of twenty-odd years. You could see he was absolutely loving it. He got his top off, he was swinging his red coat around, tore the buttons off his shirt. When we went upstairs he said to me ‘that was the best club appearance I’ve ever done, I’ve done thousands and that was something else'”

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Where did the Baywatch trend come from?

“Originally when I was DJing this group kept coming up to me and asking me to play Baywatch. Every week they’d come and I’d ignore them, then one week I gave in and they went absolutely mental. People saw them swinging their shirts around and it just spread. I don’t think it’ll ever go now. In the past thirteen years, I’ve only not played it twice and I’ve got crucified for it after.

“Anywhere else you’d get thrown for taking your top off, stripping is definitely frowned upon.”

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He’s always there

Uni of or Trent?

“More people get turned away on Trent Wednesdays. I’ve been with Uni of longer so I’ll have to say you lot.”

According to our survey you’re the most popular club promoter in the UK. How does that feel?

“It’s quite ironic really because I don’t really do that much promotion, well not really generic promotion anyway. Its kind of me just being me, posting things on facebook, stuff like that. I take it with a pinch of salt, I still had people from years ago sending me messages congratulating me, it was like I’d won the X Factor or something. Its nice to know that people can actually be arsed to click and vote on it. It’s better than coming second.”

How much Jäger do you go through in a month?

“We’ll order 450 boxes of 6 bottles… thats 2,700 bottles of Jäger with each order. That’ll last us a few weeks. Our average order is usually about £20,000. I’m on the third one for this year.”

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Do you have the best job in the world?

“I don’t really think of it as a job because it’s so much fun. I worked at an insurance firm for six months when I was 21, thats the only proper job I’ve had really. I spend most of my time replying to messages now.”

How many Ocean-related messages do you receive a week?

“On a good week a few hundred. Busy week, maybe five hundred messages. I reply to all of them.”

With the Broadmarsh centre expansion approved, what does the future have in store for Ocean?

“Are we getting knocked down you mean? No.

“At one point we would have been, now the plans have changed and it doesn’t affect us. You can all breathe a sigh of relief.”

To be in with a chance of winning two tickets to the last Big Five Ocean Fridays keep an eye on our Facebook page this week…