Once upon a time not that long ago not everyone went out every Friday and Saturday night to see their favorite DJs and producers who were always doing gigs in New York; if you don’t catch them this time round they’ll be back in a month vs omg they’re coming to New York for the first time. Not everyone based their whole existence on which was the best event to head to, best sound, best visuals, best crowd. We sometimes had pretty slim pickings when it came to a good night out if you were a lover of underground dance music. Promotors come and go, the nightlife industry is just as unstable and unpredictable as it ever was, but I do see a pattern prevailing in this scene that I’ve been thinking about often recently, not just as it applies to which event I’ll enjoy most but also to the rest of my life as I’ve come to recognize what I like and more importantly what I don’t.
In the many hours, years, decades of dancing, socializing and sometimes even organizing and promoting parties, a persistent problematic issue endures, that of scale. So many of the fledgling promotors I supported years ago are now hitting issues caused in some degree by their own success, or mismanagement of it. Now I am no business guru, far from it in fact, but surely scaling up your business is not just about getting bigger, it has to be about getting better too? A promotor’s popularity and growth can seriously outpace the ability of the organizers to maintain success consistently across all events. Which brings me back to the nightlife fairy tale from my past weekend . . .
It could go along with a storyline similar to the Three Little Pigs only being the old git that I am I skipped afters on Sunday morning giving me only two “little piggies” to work with, but the point is the little pig that survives the Big Bad Wolf’s huffing and puffing is the one that builds his house from bricks, have I lost you yet?! Let’s assume bricks in this case are a metaphor for strong community, solid communication, trusting relationships built on the success of past events, an most importantly an authenticity at the event which is impossible to impersonate. The other very popular piggy from my weekend was somewhat disappointing. I guess this little pig built his house from sticks or worse still from straw and it disintegrated on the wolf’s first puff, merely a facade of a well built house. Things went wrong, big things, some of them beyond the control of the promoter, but many were foreseeable and avoidable and sadly conveyed a lack of respect to those gathered. Despite the music still being superb I discovered that for my personal taste this was not the house I wanted to stay in any longer.
All in all I had a great weekend, and I’m by no means a hater, just on my own journey of figuring out where to spend my time and money with like-minded people. The end of the story is that I know I like small over big, inside over outside, crisp sound over crowd noise, dancers over wanderers, smiles over k faces, vodka over red bull, but mostly I love techno way more than man-trance.