Ringing in 2016 with a bang, EVOL Chicago had the opportunity to partner up with REVERSE Events for the premier of their new Freshly Baked series last weekend! It was such a great experience and unlike anything we’ve seen yet. This new series kicked off to an amazing start!
REVERSE Events flawlessly brought together a truly unique location, beautiful vibes, and incredible featured artists, such as Gene Farris, Bisharat, Mia Wallace. This event was nothing short of amazing! EVOL Chicago proudly experienced a REVERSE Event first hand, and what a meaningful and exciting opportunity it turned out to be for us! The astounding amount of passion and detailed work that went into the organization and overall production was more than evident in the unique atmosphere and flow the whole way through.
As people started making their way over to the location, disclosed to them only hours before the start of the event, the whole place sprang to life. REVERSE Events transformed this unique venue so completely with their vision and creative touch. Best of all, as you received your event wristband, you were also surprised with delicious baked goods! With a start like that, we knew the night was sure to have many more great surprises (and we weren't disappointed)! You couldn’t help but feel this amazing sense of unity, as the deep bass permeated from the glowing stage, while you indulged in a decadent cupcake. These were just a few of the details that added up to make the event welcoming and unique.
As Gene Farris, global ambassador of Chicago House music, was rocking the decks, a massive light-up robot captured the dancefloor, and everyone on it! The large LED robot danced atop stilts to the beats of Gene Farris, while blowing CO2 across the crowd. This was yet another sign that Reverse Events once again outdid themselves! Check out the video below to see this incredible robotic master in action!!
After the Event, EVOL Chicago got a chance to sit down with Andrew DalPino, managing partner, to ask him a few questions about REVERSE Events and Freshly Baked. Check out what he had to say!
Hey Andrew, so was the premier of FRESHLY Baked a success? Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect for the next event in the series?
Hey Misha! I would say that the premier of FRESHLY BAKED was a big success. It was hard to keep some of the surprises we had in store for the opening party a secret, but seeing the look on people’s faces at the show made it all well worth it. Some things to expect for future FB events will be a continued focus on cutting-edge artists, a sample of visual art as well as music, and of course, more baked goods!
That is awesome to hear that! Can you tell us more about Reverse Events? How long have you been around and what is your main mission in creating all these events?
REVERSE is an independent Electronic music event organizer and promoter out of the great city of Chicago. We launched in 2014 as a small startup company funded entirely by myself and my partner Yegor. Since then we’ve grown to produce 3 event series’, many club shows, an annual Masquerade, and a New Years Eve show entitled ZERO-DAY. When my partner and I first got together, we made a promise that we would never compromise on a show that was less than our own expectations. I personally saw a lot of things that could be improved upon in the Chicago scene both from an experiential and business standpoint and we made it our mission from the get-go to produce the best shows we possibly could with our budget.
So can you tell us more about the TECH series, Zero-Day New Year's Eve, and the Freshly Baked series?
The TECH series was our flagship event series when we first launched the company. We saw that Techno had been a genre that was underserved in our market and, paying close attention to how trends in other markets developed historically, felt that Chicago was ready for our sound. We are now on TECH[NO.15] and the excitement for the series has no signs of slowing down.
As organizers and promoters, New Year’s Eve is always a majorly competitive night. ZERO-DAY was our first entry into the ring and it couldn’t have turned out any better. We wanted to do something unique with the opportunity so we came up with this post-apocalyptic sci-fi themed concept which essentially is the time in between the end of the former year and the start of the latter which counts as ZERO-DAY. We had a 10 hour party with Miami-based COCODRILLS which sold out in presale. Like I said, it could not have been any better.
FRESHLY BAKED is 1 of 2 new event series’ that we are launching in 2016. The idea is to procure the best forward-thinking talent we can find across multiple genres - the bakery theme, and associated puns are just a bonus! The opening party on January 30th featured 3 cutting-edge artists that are making major moves in our city - Gene Farris (Farris Wheel, Dirty Bird), Bisharat (The Pool House), and the ever weird, ever enchanting Mia Wallace. Having that said, FB is a major step for us because it proves to our followers that we aren’t just a one trick pony.
The production value behind your events definitely has people talking, can you tell us about the planning and production process you and your team go through?
Absolutely! Production, or lack thereof, was one of the major things we felt was missing in a lot of shows in our market, especially the underground ones. I can’t tell you how many times I went to see a big artist only to be underwhelmed by the sound and lighting experience. Simply setting up a couple speakers and calling it a day has never been our style - but it doesn’t have to be “in your face” either to be exceptional. First we set out with each show by asking ourselves, “How are we going to blow minds with this one?” Prep work usually starts a couple weeks to a month beforehand and involves designing the stage, curating visuals, practicing the run of show, and adjusting and adding in small but powerful details along the way. We handle 90% of production internally so, unlike other organizers, we have a greater ability to attend to detail and create a holistic experience.
This is a competitive business, how are you continuously growing and innovating your productions?
You are absolutely correct. It is a competitive market but, like I always say, if you are unique enough, you avoid competition by making your own path. This has largely been our strategy. Aside from doing things that other promoters are NOT doing, we also do the things they ARE doing better and in unique ways. Chances are, if you have ever been to one of our shows, you can tell the difference without us having to put our name on it. In the end, it all boils down to having great ideas, the best intentions, and a solid business plan.
As Reverse continues to grow and gain popularity, what unique locations are Reverse Events excited to utilize, and who are some possible artists we may see?
Our search for unique off-the-grid places is ongoing and, although I cannot give out the finer details, I feel that the spot that we chose for the FRESHLY BAKED launch party is one that people are really going to flip over. Having that said, we are in the midst of planning some bigger outdoor and 1000+ capacity stuff which requires permits, and the graces of the local authorities among other things. The choice of location for these shows becomes more difficult although I’m confident that attendees will find them suitable. As far as artists are concerned, we will continue to book artists that we feel fit the experience. As the rooms grow larger, so too will the artists.
Any last thoughts or words of wisdom for our readers?
First of all, I absolutely love your brand and what EVOL Chicago stands for. I respect the time and effort you put into your craft and it’s great to be working with such driven individuals. As your business is art, I suppose I’ll offer some advice for aspiring artists, primarily DJs and musicians. I’m asked on a regular basis what it takes to make it big and my answer is always the same. Take the time to develop your art, to hone your craft, and if you are truly talented, things like bookings and record deals will follow. Artists sometimes get the idea that they need to push themselves out to get noticed when in reality, artwork, that is to say good artwork, is constantly being sought out. It’s been that way throughout history. All too often, I hear artists talk about their marketing, what bigger DJs they are opening for, how they play gigs Tuesday through Sunday, the new merchandise they just came out with - all without mentioning anything about their music, their ART. It’s not a bad thing to take a step back from playing gigs to focus on making music. In a sea of people all playing everyone else’s music, the only way you are going to truly stand apart is by making your own; and in order to sustain enough of a following to make it big, you need to be able to rest on your art.
Huge thank you to Andrew and the REVERSE Events team! Make sure to check out their website, social media and next event!