Adam Rivera has been promoting parties for 16 years now and he has no plans of stopping. He started out in ’89 with small house parties catering to the Latino population, then moved on to the rave scene in ’94, up until today with his legendary loft parties.
So why did the loft parties end? It was all because of one person. Or shall we say two people. Two people decide they don’t like each other, get into a conflict, the conflict escalates, and bamgoodbye party. The cops come in to see what’s going on, equate their authority with their masculinity, and put an end to the festivities.
Underground parties aren’t the only casualties of personal drama. Look at clubs such as Red Dog, Kaboom and E2. Many stories point to personal fights gone out of hand that led to the clubs closing down.
The loft parties Adam threw from the Fall of 2004 to Spring of 2005 brought in an average of 500 people a night, two Saturdays a month. I remember Légo tearing it up, and Xaviera Gold and Donna Blakely singing live. But at the last one I was going to attend, in March 2005, word spread that cops came and raided the place. In a nutshell? One person gets into it with another, is asked to leave, gets angry and decides it’s his duty to call the police about the party. Adam went to jail, and to this day has difficulty obtaining licenses and permits.
So why bother throwing a party when there is such a high risk factor? Why take a chance and incur thousands of dollars in fees because of a few knuckleheads? Simply because Adam is one of those promoters who isn’t in it for the money. It gives him a certain happiness and satisfaction to see hundreds of people come into a space to dance and enjoy the music. “It is satisfying to see all races and creeds there expressing themselves” he says. “And when you know you’re the one who helped bring this all together, it’s worth it. Authorities and naysayers should experience these parties for themselves before condemning them.”
With that in mind, here are Adam’s do’s and dont’s of throwing a good loft party.
1) Hire a selection of DJs and talent whose music and style vibe together. You want the sonic landscape to flow, and not mix genres from one extreme to the next. Légo and Mike Serafini, yes. Légo and Tiesto, no.
2) Get all your permits and licenses (entertainment, PPA, liquor) together before any sort of promotions begin. You need to be secure that you’ve done all the necessary legwork to show that your party is legal.
3) Promote, promote, promote. “I was out seven days a week, putting in up to 60 hours handing out flyers, posting on websites, text messaging, calling peopleeverything,” Adam says. Get those people in there because it’s the people that make the party.
4) Give them something clubs can’t: good music, an open dress code and later hours provide an environment where they can feel free to express themselves.
5) Be passionate about what you’re doing. It takes a lot of work to put together a party, so really do some soul-searching about why you’re doing this before embarking on a very huge and overwhelming task.
1) Don’t promote to the bad elements, those that will put a negative vibe to your party. You aren’t required to give your flyer to every person in front of you, so use your judgment when promoting. This may be a little hard because it’s almost like profiling, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
2) If an officer needs to inspect your event, show them your compliance. Let him walk around and judge for himself.
3) Don’t burn yourself out. Yes, work hard in promoting, but also make sure you get enough sleep and rest prior to the event.
4) Don’t tolerate drug abuse. When you see drug use going on, immediately have the people escorted out. Your security should be on their toes about this. The people you want at your party should be there for the music and the community, not as a spot to drop their stuff. Not to mention that should the police come, those folks’ guilt is your guilt.
5) Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Anything can happen. Double check all the details of the party and have a backup plan. Take the proper precautions such as tight security, all permits procured, DJs confirmed and extra sound equipment.