A plaque has been unveiled in Birmingham to honour Tony de Vit, the late “Godfather of hard house”.
The pioneering Kidderminster-born DJ and producer, who passed away in 1998 aged 40, has become the first DJ to ever receive the honour, which is commissioned by the Birmingham Civic Society to recognise individuals who “achieved greatness” and “made [the city] what it is today”.
The plaque was unveiled this weekend (September 24) during the city’s Pride celebrations and sits at the Custard Factory venue in Digbeth, the site of the recording studios where he produced countless songs in the 1990s.
Of his influence, Jez Collins of the Birmingham Music Archive told the BBC News: “He was really influential, probably on a par with Carl Cox.”
Honoured to unveil a blue plaque in memory of Tony De Vit, legendary DJ and music producer of hard house & hard NRG @custardfactory, a musical legacy transcending generations. A joyous day of happiness, sunshine & smiles @NightingaleBrum @HeavenLGBTClub @BirminghamPride pic.twitter.com/k1HW6yVn45
— Birmingham Civic Society (@BirminghamCivic) September 26, 2022
Delighted to represent @BirminghamCivic for the unveiling of a Blue Plaque to the Godfather of Hard House, Superstar DJ Tony de Vit.
Fantastic turnout of more than 250 people as well!#birminghampride2022 pic.twitter.com/BbNkcgsDiY
— Chris Adamson (@C_J_Adamson) September 24, 2022
Full of Pride for Birmingham today. Just beautiful and welcoming and happy. @fergiedj celebrating Tony De Vit at the unveiling of his Blue Plaque on the day @BirminghamPride takes over the city in a cacophony of noise & colour. Oh Birmingham I do love you [email protected]💛💛 pic.twitter.com/44O6OksZu4
— jezc (@jezc) September 24, 2022
Collins added that he was “so delighted that a historic institution like the Birmingham Civic Society is recognising the contribution that Tony de Vit has made: not only to Birmingham’s dance and music culture, but also the influence he’s had on a generation of DJs, clubbers, promoters and audiences”.
“Not many people realise that Tony started his career in Birmingham DJing at the seminal Nightingale Club, where he would take his music from a predominantly gay audience into the mainstream,” he said.
“It was at the Custard Factory where he launched V2 Recording Studio with Simon Parkes, so it is fitting the Blue Plaque is on this site.”
After Saturday night’s ceremony, a special clubnight – ‘Are You All Ready?’ – was held at Digbeth venue The Mill in tribute to de Vit.