A few months ago my FB friend and fellow ChicagoHouseFM.com DJ Ed Marco from Glasgow hit me up about throwing a party in Chicago. He told me about his FIASCO parties, globe trotting fiestas that have touched down on London, New York, Miami, Ibiza and in two days… Chicago. I don’t know how he did it, but he has managed to put together a pretty kick ass lineup of DJs all playing for an 11-hour party this Saturday at Output Lounge!
Ed started spinning house records in 1998 and has never looked back. His signature sound is an upbeat blend of deep, jackin, techy funk and downtempo. Ed regularly travels the world playing alongside some of the Chicago House scene’s big hitters, such as Mark Farina, DJ Heather, Johnny Fiasco, Honey Dijon, Inland Knights, Jason Hodges, Gene Farris and Phil Weeks (to name but a few). He is one of only a handful of promoters pushing the Chicago House scene in Scotland.
First off explain to me the logistics of the Secret Location party… 3 venues and 2 bus journeys in between? Details please!
For our Secret Location parties, 200 people meet in a bar in town at 4pm, we have warm up DJs playing there for two hours, then buses arrive and take everyone to a secret venue. We bring in a big sound system and decorate the place, then as the buses arrives, the first of our big name DJs start playing. We party there for 4-5 hours then are collected by the buses and are taken to the club where the next party continues until 3am.
Doing parties in other cities is always such a big undertaking. How do you go about finding the key people in each city and booking the DJs? There must be a lot of internet investigative work going on!
It’s always hard to plan parties in other cities, especially when you in a different time zones. You have to find good people that you can rely on. I do spend an unhealthy amount of time online discussing the various different venue and guest DJ options, but if you get it right, it’s totally worth it!
Our international House Music Allies are Hiz n’Herz in London, SOUP in NYC, Ibiza Groove in Ibiza and HAWT Music in LA.
So I take it this will be your 3rd time in the US since the beginning of this year? Will this be your first time in Chicago? What were your impressions between the party scenes in Miami, New York, Ibiza, Glasgow and London?
Yes I did mini tour in March with gigs in Miami, NYC and Boston, then came back for a one-off gig in NYC in July.
I have been to Chicago a couple of times before and I love it. It’s my favourite city in the States by far because it has a very similar vibe to Glasgow. Plus the people are genuinely friendly and the nightlife is amazing. I’m really excited about doing the party there.
I love going to Miami for WMC, however what you see during WMC week is not the real Miami, as every bar, club, restaurant and hotel lobby has a DJ in it (most of them playing House music) so it’s great, but I know Miami would not be like that for the rest of the year.
The venue we used in New York was a real underground spot in a “speakeasy” type of place. In the basement of a bar under the stairs there was a secret door which just looked like a stack of Corona boxes. You pushed the boxes and suddenly a club which held around 150 people appeared, but only with people who had come out to go specifically to that venue.
Ibiza is just Ibiza, it is the dance music mecca of the world and is unlike any other place on the planet. I first went in 1996 and many of the parties that were underground 10 or 15 years ago have become more and more mainstream over the years. There are also still plenty of small underground parties if you know where to look. Ibiza Groove are always pushing that kind of intimate vibe.
London is a massive place, so if you want to do a small party down there, location is the key. Your event must be in a good venue that people can get to without having to pay £50 in a taxi. The people there are always up for a good party so if you get a good spot, you’ll pack them in and the crowd will love it!
Glasgow is one of the underground electronic music capitals of the UK. It is often compared to Chicago and Detroit because the people here know their music well! There is a huge choice of clubs in the city every weekend catering to all styles of music. The Sub Club has been at the forefront of the House music scene for nearly 25 years and is well known as a favourite venue of both Derrick Carter and Mark Farina.
I was really impressed by the talent you’ve brought to your FIASCO events in Glasgow! And I see you’ve forged good relationships with some of your guests… you’ll be attending DJ Mes’ wedding the week after the Chicago party yes? Will you be playing out in Cali as well?
We always try to show a bit of Glaswegian (glaz-wee-jin) 🙂 hospitality to our guests.
They all stay at my house, I show them around the city and they party with us after the gig, so they leave as close friends.
I am heading to SF for the wedding of one of the guys who came and played in Glasgow in 2008, I’m really looking forward to it as there will be a lot of friends there that I don’t see very often.
As for a party over there, we are teaming up with SF based promoters Nonstop, to throw a “Nonstop FIASCO” at Wish the week after Chicago.
You’re a tour operator trying to get more people to come visit your beloved home city. Tell us a little bit about it… the people, the food, the clubs, all that good stuff!
Glasgow is an amazing city, full of culture, history and banter. The people are genuine, friendly and always up for a laugh. You can ask anyone in the street for directions and they will always be happy to help, on the same note, if you ask for someone’s opinion, they’ll speak from the heart and have no problem telling you if they don’t like something.
The food in Glasgow is great, we have the best of everything including a wide variety of international cuisine which you can enjoy at sit in restaurants or at fast food take away joints.
Glasgow is also one of the best cities in the UK for nightlife. Whether you are into mainstream commercial music, R & B, Indie, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, or of course Underground Dance Music, the city has something for you.
What are your plans for the coming year? Will you be doing another major party at WMC again? By the way what did you think of this past year’s WMC?
We are now running weekly parties in Glasgow called “FIASCO On Air”. These are every Saturday night with local guests and we broadcast everything live on chicagohousefm.com. The other Fiasco residents, Pete, Lach & Steph run these parties when I am away, although when I am in Glasgow, I am there every week.
WMC is 90% at this stage, however the venue is reserved so it is looking very likely that we will be there! For me 2011 was the best WMC I have been to, there was so much positive energy down there and of course throwing my first party there made it extra special.
We’re all looking forward to the party this Saturday! What do you think makes a FIASCO party so unique?
I think one of the main things that makes a FIASCO unique is that we don’t do this for the money. All we want is good music and big smiles. Everyone involved has a day job and we run these parties just for fun. I think that shows at our parties.
As long as everyone has a good time and the events cover costs, it’s a success to us!
Will you be wearing a kilt? 🙂
I will be wearing a kilt to the wedding, I haven’t decided about FIASCO yet. 🙂