WHAT MAKES THE BEST PARTY? A KILLER TEAM. FOR OUR LATEST EDITION OF POWERHOUSE, MEET THE CREATIVES BEHIND THE MOST MAGICAL NIGHTS OF YOUR LIFE
BUY V95 SUMMER 2015
8MM MUSIK, BERLIN
Age: Eight years
Frequency: Every couple months
What makes a great party? When the stars align, and the right talent (in our case, bands) fit with the right crowd who come from a variety of scenes and cultures, young and old, by word of mouth, and the music flows and everyone is lured deep into the night, and no one can remember where the time went, or where they are.
Do you ever find inspiration in other parties or legendary parties of the past? Always. The moment we fail to allow ourselves inspiration, we can go ahead and pack it in. Specific inspiration range from five-dollar Fugazi concerts in Washington DC in the '90s to Motherfuckers in NYC back in the early '00s. Rio back in the day in Berlin also always shines bright. And lets not forget all our other favorite bars around the world.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen at 8MM? I doubt it's the craziest, but one Christmas our Oscar walked into the bar unexpectedly, buck naked. He had walked all the way down Schönhauser Allee that way and it was snowing. Let’s just say he’s got something to be proud of. Anyway, turns out he lost a bet.
What makes this party different from all others? Good taste in music.
SHADE, NEW YORK
Age: A decade
Frequency: A few times a year
Founders: Ladyfag and Seva Granik
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen at your parties? Crazy is subjective. Blow jobs in the corners of the dance floor aren’t crazy, that’s natural! We’ve had people returning expensive items they found, and while not crazy, in some ways it’s not natural, and that amazes us and gives us faith. On the crazier side of things there was this one time (a long time ago, we swear!), Seva did an illegal party in an abandoned, condemned building and the cops came to break it up. Seva was scared he was going to get arrested so he was hiding in a closet and they found him, shoved a gun in his face, and dragged him out. Parties aren’t worth dying for, but I guess we almost had that once.
What makes a great party? This is the hardest question to answer in nightlife as there’s not one definitive answer. You could spend millions on a terrible party or a few hundred bucks on an amazing one. Throwing parties is always an experiment that you can’t—and shouldn’t—try to fully control. You put together all the right core elements and then let it loose and see what happens. It’s sort of inexplicable, that moment where all the elements fuse and the crowd comes together. The energy is palpable, it feels like you can actually cut it with a knife. It’s like a collective orgasm where everything comes together and for that moment nothing else matters, and everything makes sense. Those moments are what a “perfect party” is about, it’s those moments that are the dragon we’re always chasing.
What makes this party different from all others? We really do believe that it’s our crowd: they are the most inspiring, most diverse bunch of people who truly live and breathe nightlife. Anyone can have incredible installations, or amazing sound, or good DJs, but you can’t buy our crowd. That said, we are proud of the level of production that goes into SHADE. People are always asking us when we’re going to have a baby together, and we laugh because we already do: her name’s SHADE!
HOLY SHIP!, THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
Age: Four years
Location: MSC Divina (a ship)
Frequency: Once or twice a year
Founder: Gary Richards
What makes a great party? There are three main ingredients to making a great party: amazing location, great people, and the best music from around the world.
The cruise lineup? HS! February DJs [pictured here] included Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, Baauer, DJ Snake, and suprise guest Kaskade.
How did you get your start? I used to pass out flyers and DJ in the early ’90s. I started my own thing way back in the day.
What other parties do you throw now? HARD Miami, goHARD, HARD Red Rocks, HARD Summer, and HARD Day of the Dead.
Celebrity sightings? We like to keep that stuff confidential in Lalaland, but Jared Leto, Dita Von Teese, and Sarah Hyland are fans of HARD Summer. Katy Perry has also come to our HARD Day of the Dead party.
Age: Six years
Frequency: Every three to four months
Founder: Zaki Silverman
Celebrity sightings: Strictly confidential, for obvious reasons
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen at Unleashed? Our parties are fetish fantasy events so I’ve seen many kinds of crazy things, from astonishing costumes and breathtaking body art, hair, and makeup to shocking sexual behavior, jaw-dropping role-plays, and outrageous fetishes. In each event I get stunned by how creative people can be—the imagination and humor. Human beings are amazing and limitless creatures if you just supply them with the safe conditions of acceptance. The craziest? I would go for an extraordinary show by an aerial artist working a trapeze with a laser lightsaber flashing from her posterior—a prismatic intersection of sex, circus, and special effects.
What makes this party different from all others? Fetish events in general are sexier, and more extreme, extravagant, daring, sensational, and wild than other parties, and within our niche we put a big emphasis on a high production value and select crowd. We try to bring new elements to every party and to make sure we tickle all the senses of our partygoer during the night. I believe that sexuality is one of the fronts our society still has a lot of taboos and false impressions about. When you diffuse this tension in an event you get people in a much purer form of themselves, allowing them to have true fun and to connect on completely different levels than what they are used to.
ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL, WORLDWIDE
Age: 17 years
Location: Nevada, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the U.K.
Founder: Pasquale Rotella, head of Insomniac Records (pictured here with wife, Holly Madison, their daughter, Rainbow Aurora Rotella, and the rest of the Insomniac team)
What makes a great party? No one thing makes a great party. Everything has to work together—the art, the production, the venue, the music, the logistics, and most importantly, the headliners (aka our fans), who are ready to have a good time and bring positive vibes.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at EDC? The strangest thing I’ve witnessed is some people being against something that is so beautiful; something that is so needed for the soul and body. Coming together to celebrate life, escape your everyday problems, and dance like nobody is watching is a necessity, and it’s good for mental and physical health. People thinking that we’re strange to promote love and togetherness? That’s crazy to me.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen at any party? There was a party in 1991 called Paw Paw Ranch and they had a full-on petting zoo. I also adopted a cat at Winter Music Conference one year. That was pretty strange.
How did you get your start? I threw my first party in 1993 at a warehouse in Los Angeles and have been doing it ever since.
NIGHTSWIM, LAS VEGAS
Age: Seven years
Frequency: April to September
Founder: Managing Partner of XS Nightclub, Jesse Waits
Celebrity sightings: Rihanna, LeBron James, Prince Harry, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Jonas, Ryan Seacrest, One Direction
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at Nightswim? We allow 5,000 people in the pool at a time, so over the course of eight hours we will have around 12,000 people throughout the night. People are flowing in and out, so you can imagine what the place looks like and how much energy is out there. There are literally hundreds of pool toys flying around and water being splashed every time the DJ hits the climax of a song.
What makes your party different from all others? You have the combination of being outside at night, perfect weather in the high 80s into the low 90s, a massive heated pool, and to top it off you are inside a 5-star resort, under an open sky full of stars. For this particular party it’s about adding elements to the pool to make people want to go in the water and have fun. So we threw a bunch of toys inside, inflatable rafts, beach balls, etc. We predict that 2015 will be the most successful year to date for us, because of the 10-million-dollar technology enhancement. We have added more than 14,000 new individually programmed RGB LED lights to animate the pool and bring it to a new level with our production on every wall, tree, and cabana throughout the club. We have added another element with lasers, 20-foot pyro flames, hazers, and confetti.