Know when to say yes, & then scream it. Know that there will be nights when the best move is to go home and crawl into bed. Know when the party is going to get better, and then stay out later. Know that you deserve it.
What do I mean by this? It means don’t waste your time, money or energy attending a show or event that isn’t exactly what you’re craving.
We’re extremely lucky in Toronto.
There’s a dance music subculture for everyone- disco deviants, the house heads, the techno snobs, the AM Acid listeners and everything in between. I urge you to explore all these subcultures and find the one that fits you and your tastes.
So, after years of attending, hosting, reviewing and promoting parties, this is what I look for.
Music: What’s being played? Do you like it? Does it make you want to flail around like a madman without any regard for what you look like to others? Is it that can’t eat- can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence world series kind of feeling? If yes, stay.
People: The people at events matter. Look beside you, now look to the other side of you. Are they your friends? Are they smiling? Do they look as excited as you are about being in this space, listening to this music, and being in this moment as you are? If you answer yes, you’re probably with who you were meant to be with.
Price: Yes, I like free/cheap events as much as the next person, but good events cost money. In order to ensure the organizers can continue to throw parties, they have to make back their costs. What does this mean? Pay for a ticket. If you want to support a culture, the first thing you can do without much effort at all is pay for a ticket. This shows more support than you know. Selling tickets in advance help organizers plan a better night for you. So while you may want to message this ex girlfriend or your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend to put your name on list- don’t. If you want to attend an event and see more of those events- pay for it.
Venue: Make it cool, and abstract. There’s so many great spaces and venues in Toronto, but often we get stuck thinking inside the box. I don’t have any time for that- pretend the box doesn’t exist. Then think about where you want to go.
Sound: I want to feel it. I want the sound to be clear, crisp, and bold. if you’re paying money to see an artist, a label showcase, or anything in between and the sound isn’t of the highest quality, I suggest you re-evaluate. Make sure the highs are as noticeable as the mids, and the lows you can feel in your soul. This is good sound. Don’t settle for anything else.
Production: What are the visuals? Are you inspired? I’ve seen shows play old black and white movies, moving shapes and graphics, minimalist videos, lights and everything in between. Sometimes the show is presented in conjunction with an art exhibit or gallery opening- which I’ve always loved. Creativity fosters creativity. It turns the event from a concert, or an art show, to an artistic and creative experience. These are the little extra bits that you’ll remember and tell your friends about a month down the line , when you can’t really remember the full set or have trouble remembering who was there. The extras will remind you why you loved the whole experience.
These are the factors and characteristics I look for and think about when at an event. These are what I think about when I first contemplate going home. I think about the music, the people, and the space. I ask myself will this event or show ever happen again to this degree. Sometimes, the answer is yes, and you head home. But most of the time, the answer is no, so you put your phone back in your pocket and surrender your soul to another dance floor.