I read about this event and my jaw dropped. We've seen raves attempted just about everywhere in the past year. Holy Ship puts partygoers on a boat that travels between several islands. We saw Madeon DJ a party on the New York Stock Exchange. Sol Republic had DJs on their shuttle bus at Ultra Music Festival in Miami last year, and 19-year-old threw a rave on the Manhattan bridge, and was ultimately arrested for doing do with no permits. We've even seen art spaces converted for early morning raves as a workout. People are always looking for new ways to party, and promoters consistently rack their brains in an effort to find ways to accommodate audiences that are bored with their current club scene.
But a party on a moving semi sounds insane. Justin Myers of RaveATL is one of the two individuals that's organizing this rave on wheels, and has thought this through much deeper than you can imagine. The trailer is temperature controlled, sound and lighting have been figured out, padding will be added to the walls for additional safety, and he's mapped out how many people can comfortably fit on this ride. I felt the need to reach out to him to pick his brain a bit more, and the conversation was interesting, to say the least.
Justin, you've been a constant in the Atlanta bass scene for quite a few years. Can you explain a little bit about what you've done in the city?
I've done a little bit of everything. I started at one of Atlanta's largest nightclubs back in 2009 and liked the nightlife. I went to all sorts of parties until I found myself at my first rave thrown by horrible children... a "no pants dance." I fell in love with EDM and decided to get involved. So in 2010 I started one of ATLs first weeklies for this new wave of EDM lovers called Wobble Wednesday, which was a hip-hop meets dubstep party with no rules. It got big real quick, and I made some connections from there including Heroes x Villains, Mayhem, Mantis, MK Ultra, and a lot of other Atlanta locals. Since then, I've thrown shows with acts like Porter Robinson, Dodge & Fuski, SKisM, Marty Party. A lot of people say I really kicked off the dubstep fad in Atlanta, but to me it was all just one big party.
And how has your involvement in the industry changed over the years?
Over the years as my reputation has grown, it's been interesting. Like any "job," it has its ups and downs, those who hate, and those who love you. But it's been fun.
Now you're throwing a rave in a tractor trailer… I've never seen anything like this attempted before...
Yeah, in ATLANTA they have pretty much done everything. The other night at this warehouse party I was throwing, my friend Fang told me she wanted to do a show in a tractor trailer. I said we should look into it. She forgot to mention until recently that her uncle worked for a trucking company and that we could rent his truck. We hit him up, and he was down. My sound guy was down and the EDM fans of Atlanta were down so we are doing it. A semi is about the only place I haven't seen a rave or party or whatever you prefer to call it, but we are going to knock one of em off the list
How are you going to set the sound and lights up in such a cramped space?
Well, first of all, this isn't going to be some Jackass or Party Montser stunt... basically we plan to scale down production. One sub and one speaker. A couple lasers and a fog machine. We don't want to make it to crazy inside. We are working on how to secure the set-up now, but I'm seeing a lot of rope, plastic wrap, and duct tape being used to keep stuff from sliding around. We are still a month out. We are going to make some practice runs before we let any of our ATL family get on the truck for the real thing.
How many kids do you think you can fit on this truck?
Based on the size of a truck, we figure about 100-150. And that's giving everyone about three-to-four feet to dance and move around!
How much do you need to charge in order to make a profit? The Facebook page is buzzing, and it seems like this thing is going to sell out pretty quickly.
We are only going to be charging 10-15 dollars. Everyone in Atlanta is stoked about the idea for the most part. With all the support from the DJs it should be pretty easy to make a profit. We arent getting greedy with it. The people that will be riding are our friends and fans so we are going to make sure to do it right. Slip-resistant floors and cushioned walls will be just a few precautions. We could charge more... but it's about raging hard and doing something new, not the money.
What are the legalities with this venture? do you anticipate any trouble with the law?
We are hoping for the best, and planning for the worst. We plan to load and unload in a discreet location or a loading dock as to avoid anyone seeing us pack into a truck. We will then just cruise around the perimeter and a certain industrial area that is usually cop free in Atlanta. We figure if they don't see us load and can't here us raging inside.. how will they ever know? As far as legalities.. I'm pretty sure it's illegal as fuck. But so is not wearing a seatbelt, smoking weed, and underage drinking. But we do those anyway, don't we?
Why do you think underground parties are important to this culture?
I think underground parties are important because it gives a sense of unity... it's like everyone is trusting everyone else to keep a secret. And that secret will turn into memories that people will never forget. Like when you were little and you had your secret club house with your secret crew or posse with your secret hand shakes... it's special.
Is anyone we know going to be playing records?
Hopefully so. I've reached out to some of the DJs I mentioned above, Heroes x Villains, Mantis, and Mayhem. We've only been planning it for a day now so we are waiting to hear back, but I really hope one of them is brave enough and willing to take the risk and jump on it. I'm really hoping to get my boy Merchi (Kid Cedek) on it.
I know you guys have pit stops planned. Are you going to unload at another party, or keep this one contained?
We are going to have a bonfire party set up in the middle where only the people on the bus will be. People will be able to use the restroom, stretch out some, smoke, drink, and chill while others continue to rage in the parked semi as they please for a couple hours. Then we are going to drive around a bit and eventually end up back at the safe spot where hopefully there will be a crowd ready to after-party with us. We have to be careful loading and unloading, though, because that will be the easiest way for us to get caught.
You guys have balls. Is anyone taking video of this event? I'd love to see how it turns out.
Of course... photos and video! We have to show the people who are scared what they are missing out on. I think I'm going to wear a GoPro cam, too. It'll be too crazy not to share. Plus a lot of people are saying that it can't be done. We gotta record it to prove 'em wrong.
If people in Atlanta want to join you on this adventure, where can they sign up?
They can stay tuned into RaveATL on Facebook, and Event Brite. Or just watch the event page. We will be updating it daily with updates and changes. We are looking for liquor sponsors, too, so stay tuned for that also. Shit might get wild!
Amazing. Best of luck to you, Justin.