The guys behind Frantic take time out for HHA planning to tell us more!
Reported by saffysue
Submitted 03-09-08 10:00
Have you ever wondered what it takes to run a big event? How teams combine to create the massive shows that keep you dancing all night? As one of the biggest shows in the capital, Frantic has many a happy helper at its events to help things run smoothly for thousands of clubbers Ė people to do guestlist, people to collect DJs, people to put up posters and decorations, people here and people there. But the day to day running of the event is run by a team of just four! Will, Chloe, Elvis and Sue beaver away in locked basement offices to make sure your every dream comes true on the dancefloor only emerging when night falls and the beats start.
They took a quick break from organising Octoberís Hard House Academy to let us find out more.
Will: promoter, clubber, cleaner
Obviously, Frantic has been Will's baby from the start but how did the rest of you get involved?
Elvis: Back in 2004 I was running an internet radio show on the Harddance.net network. We got in contact with Will / Dickon to see if they would let us do ticket give-aways in exchange for me plugging their events on the show. Then about 6 months later Will asked me to come into the office for a meeting and here I am now!
Chloe: I met up with Will in June 2005 after a few Frantic vs Wildchild events. I was asked to be a stage manager at the Future event held at Brixton Academy and the rest as they say is history.
Sue: Iíd been doing door work, guestlist and other stuff for loads of Willís events for about 18 months and had known Will for years from going to Frantic. He knew how passionate I was about hard house so he asked me to go full time doing Frantic and some other things.
How long have you all been working for Frantic? Did you go to the events before you started working for them?
Elvis: Around Dec 2004 I started to officially work for Frantic. Hate to admit this but I wasnít a regular Frantic clubber. I think my first Frantic event was Convergence in 2003.
Chloe: Itís been over three years now and I still love every minute of it. Iíd been to a few HHAís and other Frantic events before I got involved. Iíll never forget Steve Hill on the main stage at the Academy, he sent goosebumps down my spine! Ooo err!
Sue: Iíve been here about 5 months full time. I used to come down from Leicester to Frantic nights from about 2001 onwards. I started at the Xmas party at Camden Palace (when it still was Camden Palace, ahh those were the days!)
What is it that you think sets Frantic apart from the rest of the big hard dance nights?
Elvis: Apart from putting on a cracking party! One main thing that sets us apart from other nights is that we learn from our mistakes and strive to make the next event even better than the last!
Will: Hopefully clubbers respect our commitment to take risks with the DJs and consistently break new and exciting acts. We use a range of venues so that each event is an adventure in the best venues London has to offer. We are now very excited about theming each event so that not only will there be different DJs, a different space, but also a new opportunity to dress up
Chloe: The time and energy that goes into selecting the best DJs, coming up with new and interesting themes and venues and supporting the best new talent there is out there.
Sue: The amount of planning that goes into each event and the diversity in the music Ė thereís a bit of everything!
Chloe decided the DIY route was better for her boob job
Whatís been your favourite Frantic event so far and why?
Elvis: Timeless 6 this year at the Colosseum, I felt every aspect of the event went so well, especially the dťcor (Nice one Chloe!).
Will: Iíve got so many fave events, but this yearís Timeless was right up there! I loved the effort everyone went to to wear white and the DJs were all on form with special mention to Andy Whitby, Frisky, Alex Kidd, Cally Gage and Steve Hill.
Chloe: Itís a toss up between HHA v HQ in 05 and Timeless in 08. Both stand out for me for a lot of different reasons. HHA because simply itís HHA and the production was second to none at that event. Cyberstein blew me away and the sets were interesting and unique. Timeless because I was let loose on the line-up and theming for this one and after a hard NYE party we came back bigger and better.
Sue: Hmmm, maybe Timeless this year, with the white theme & fantastic music. My least fave was probably the NYD event when I had to miss about an hour as a bottle fell on my head from a balcony & knocked me out! I was so annoyed as the music was spot on!
Franticís becoming more diverse, with hardstyle and filthy hard house DJís playing alongside the more traditional hard trance and bouncy people. What kind of hard dance really floats your boat?
Elvis: My taste in hard dance is all over the place, I either like a tune or I donít. It can be anything from hard house, hard trance, filth or even hardstyle.
Will: I love all types of harder dance music, but if I had to choose I go for a mixture of hardstyle and faster bounce!
Chloe: Thatís a hard one to comment - I like it dirty as much as I like it bouncy!
Sue: I love filth and bounce, but these days I tend more towards the really filthy end! Iíll have a stomp to pretty much anything though.
Elvis tries to work out if it's a carrot or a hamster
Which bits of Frantic do you all work on? And how does it all come together?
Elvis: I mainly work on line-ups, booking DJís, set times and looking after Franticís little brother, HDS! Up until recently the line-ups were done by myself and Will, but now we all get involved which I really enjoy and Sueís knowledge of filth is an asset in itself!
Will: Iíll work on choosing and securing the venues, drawing up the budgets and talking through the line ups with Sue, Chloe and Elvis.
Chloe: Everything. It begins with a concept, setting the date, booking a venue, line-up etc. Everyone plays a part in doing this at some point throughout the process.
Sue: I help out with the line up, write all the interviews with the DJs, write the PR and the stories behind the themes, post a million and one things on our various portals Ė Facebook, Myspace, HarderFaster Ė and we all come up with ideas for future venues, themes, artists we should be using. I also help Elvis with bits for HDS, and write the interviews for the stars of tomorrow!
Will, Chloe & Sue all work in the same office, what else do you do as well as promoting Frantic?
Will: I help run Hidden in Vauxhall, which we are in the process of refurbishing throughout the Autumn. I also help run a range of warehouse spaces in East London. Lastly I help run Evolution99.co.uk, which is a graphic and web design company.
Chloe: How long have you got? Lol! Will and I also run two DJ agencies called UDJs (Hard Dance) and The Depot (House) where collectively we look after 12 artists, we also run Pixel Management; a photography agency representing 3 photographers. Alongside this there is also Spaced; a management company for different warehouse spaces in London & Iím involved in Willís nightclub Hidden in Vauxhall too. We also run various other events such as the legenday DnB event Moondance.
Sue: I work for Hardboard, which is an online portal management and PR company. I work with the biggest DJs in the hard dance scene as well as others, and look after all their online PR.
You'd better watch out at HHA or Sue will merk you
Elvis, you work full time Ė is it hard to find time and energy to devote to Frantic?
Elvis: It can sometimes be very hard to balance it all, have got better over the last year. Also it helps that I am a bit of a workaholic, hmmm thatís probably why I am still single.
Do you ever all fall out about which DJís to play or which venues to use? Any big squabbles with you all hitting each other with the huge Frantic inflatables in the office?
Elvis: I donít really think there has been any fall-outs with myself and the rest of the gang. We have our disagreements on line-ups sometimes, but most of the time we find a suitable compromise, or I just agree to whatever Chloe wants as she scares the hell out of me!
Will: We regularly disagree over DJs, but in the end we talk it through and agree our first 11!
Chloe: If we had one of the inflatables up it would take out the whole office! Thereís a lot of discussion about who we should book and why. We donít always agree but it never gets heated, well not yet anyway!
Sue: We all have very different ideas about which DJs we want to use, but it works out well as that means thereís something for everyone in the finished line up! No fisticuffs as yet though, but there was talk of a mud wrestle between me and Chloe for the AWsum v Kiddfectious promo!!
Hiding as a statue wasn't going so well for Will
A lot of people think promoting is a glamorous lifestyle, and not very hard work. What would you say to that?
Elvis: Itís a myth! Really thought working with Frantic I would be driving fast Italian cars and dating models with exotic names like ďMakeeda"! The reality is itís a lot of hard work. I do it for the love of the scene and the satisfaction of knowing that the clubbers have enjoyed the events.
Will: Even after 11 years it is still challenging putting on parties, but I love the hard work and the problems. Whether it is finding new venues, breaking new DJs, working on new sound and lighting or dealing with clubbers, I love putting on events.
Chloe: Bollox. Itís fucking hard work and a lot of long hours. At Timeless in Feb 08 I spent the entire event in a broom cupboard cashing up and sorting out wages etc. People have an impression that you put on these events then go out to them and get wasted. Unfortunately this just doesnít happen.
Sue: I can honestly say that the only time Iíve done longer hours was when I had 3 jobs! We all work really hard and do things in our ďfreeĒ time and at weekends to make the events a success.
Whatís the high & low points of doing this job?
Elvis: Highs - Working on the line-ups and dealing with ďHappyĒ Clubbers
Lows Ė DJs wanting to change their set time at the last minute (You know who you are!)
Will: The highs are many, but the key one is the rush you get as clubbers are going off to Cally Gage or Frisky or Pickup & Rise. I donít really focus on the low points, but it is sometimes stressful!
Chloe: The high of Frantic is spending months working on a particular event and then seeing it all come together. I try and find about 10mins throughout the night at an event to pop into a room and spend some time seeing all the smiley happy faces. Thatís a feeling that you just canít beat. The lows I suppose are the long and unsociable hours. I wouldnít change any of it though.
Sue: Being at an event and seeing hundreds of people loving the music, knowing youíve helped get them there, is the most amazing feeling ever! I end up with a huge cheesy smile on my face. The lows are the long hours and the unpredictability of this industry!
When Elvis was around everything was 'radical'
What are you most excited about with regards to HHA?
Elvis: The Main Room, canít wait to see the sound and production in there.
Will: Definitely the Filth Foyer! We have tried to move away from the traditional filth DJs and work with some new DJs. We are also planning a very special rig in the Foyer which will have the foundations shaking!
Chloe: Being back at the Academy baby!
Sue: The Filth Foyer of course, if I wasnít working Iíd spend the whole night in there! I was lucky (or maybe just stroppy) enough to have a big say in the DJs weíre using in this room, so I canít wait to see how it turns out.
What would you say to someone whoís not been to HHA before?
Elvis: GO! Simple as that! Out of all the Frantic events this one is my favourite. If I had to describe this event using some 80ís slang I would say itís ďAWESOME TO THE MAX!Ē
Will: 4500 Ravers and You!
Chloe: Be prepared for one of the most amazing nights out you will ever have. And donít forget to get into theme!
Sue: Watch out for the sloping floor in the main room, especially after a few shandies! And get involved in the theme.
The theme for this one is Medieval Knights, Back to Black. What will you be wearing?
Elvis: Shame it isnít Jedi Knights - I could have worn my Darth Vader t-shirt and taken my lightsaber with flashing lights and sound effects! Ah well I will probably see if I can borrow some armour from a Knights Templar and start a crusade to spread the word of hard house!
Will: Something Black! Lol! As Iím running around Iíll have to keep it simple, so I donít think Ill be wearing a full Knightís outfit this time.
Chloe: Iím going as a wench!
Sue: Something cheap & easy (ooh err) like a bin bag.
How will you be winding down after the mayhem of organising the biggest hard dance event in the world?
Elvis: Probably go home, put on some soothing jazz with a nice glass of Red Wine. Might actually push the boat out and buy a bottle that costs over £10.
Will: Iíll be working on Franticís next event!
Chloe: Catching up with the clubbers and DJs to see what they thought of the night over a nice chilled beer. That and some much deserved sleep.
Sue: First of all, how girly does Elvis sound? Iíll be going back to mine with my boyfriend & a few friends to chill out & recover!
Sue was confused about exactly where her olive had just been removed from
Now, favourite DJ?
Elvis: Andy Farley
Will: Andy Whitby or Cally Gage for hard house. Hazard for DnB. Randall for jungle.
Chloe: I have 12 of them! I couldnít possibly choose only 1.
Sue: Hmm, gotta be Andy Rise and Pickup & Rise for filth! Iím glad to see Anne Savage making waves again and outside of hard house I love Touche!
Favourite non-clubbing past-time?
Elvis: Computer Games Ė Currently playing Medieval II: Total War, itís a superb strategy game! Actually ties in nicely with the HHA theme! How strange.
Sue: Eating! Or just catching up with friends.
Elvis: Between the Fridge (99 Ė 03 era) or the Carling Brixton Academy.
Chloe: Koko, I used to go nearly every Friday when I was 18 so it holds a lot of memories for me.
Sue: Not to follow the crowd, but I love Koko too Ė the layout, the grime, the dťcor!
In less than 10 words: "Frantic is my life becauseÖĒ
Elvis: I have nothing else except my computer games.
Will: Frantic is my life as I live for hard house
Chloe: I feel a bit gay answering this question!
Sue: Itís simply the best!
If youíre going to the bar, Iíll haveÖ
Elvis: Paulistano Beleza, hold the umbrella please!
Will: A Diet Coke
Chloe: A Grenade (Jager bomb with Tequila, my new favourite shot. Thank you Heinrich!)
Sue: Tough one, probably some form of cider though, Lemon flavour Brotherís Cider rocks!
Thanks guys, itís good to hear what goes on behind the scenes. Will hopefully see everyone at Hard House Academy on 18th October at Brixton Academy!
Photos coutesy of Frantic. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Hard House Academy 8
Saturday 18th October
Brixton Academy [map]
21:00 - 06:00
From usual outlets, £12 for a limited time...
The rumours were true Ė the greatest show in Hard House is coming back!
On Saturday 18th October, Hard House Academy will rise from the ashes to bring you the biggest Hard House party anywhere in the world this year!
The world-beating event will be celebrating its 8th Birthday Ė exactly 8 years to the day after it first blew everyoneís expectations out of the water!
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Other Features By saffysue:
Check Out Council House With Ian M
Andy Farley & BK - secret cheesy music fans - play Abba this Xmas.
Back to the Future with the ever controversial Pickup & Rise!
DJ Yoshi spills the beans on Frantic worldwide
Get About Town with Kevsey D
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: saffysue on 3rd Sep 2008 22:12.13|
I like the cheeky captions!!
From: Caz Wood on 3rd Sep 2008 22:27.59
Haha love the pics!!! Great read, cant wait for HHA!!xx
From: Dean Zone on 3rd Sep 2008 22:54.07
Good read, cant wait for HHA!
From: Phil Lacerda on 4th Sep 2008 00:20.41
I had the best time in my life with frantic in 2001...BK, Farley, Sentience, Lawson, Bourne, Hill, Freeland, Real, Peters & many more introduced me to the real powerful sound that is HARD DANCE!!!My life changed!!!I wish I could rave with you on this HHA!!!Party it hard!!! PHILL
From: Nicky D on 4th Sep 2008 09:24.07
Brilliant read, it's great to know what goes on !! Good work x
From: Mizz_behavin on 4th Sep 2008 12:52.05
Excellent read although I will agree someones comment outside Koko the other week that Chloe looks like Bette Midler
From: ~deleted5181 on 4th Sep 2008 16:35.24
Will is the man!
From: kevsey.d on 4th Sep 2008 23:06.22
wicked read!! keep up the good work guys...
From: anushka007 on 5th Sep 2008 11:05.31
Will looks 12 years old!!!
I havent been to one in ages, its a MUST!
From: Jennie B on 5th Sep 2008 12:35.11
at Will's answers....reading, a diet coke.....and his love of hard house....there is something that is just wrong about those answers?
to frantic for bring around for 11 years though. Can't wait to go to HHA and will be my first frantic since timeless! Gutted I missed the bday but after being in a car crash wasnt really up for partying!
See you at the academy!
From: Anja on 6th Sep 2008 08:12.38
I hope the hard house is played in the main room....
From: TONY DUZZIT on 8th Sep 2008 12:06.30
Well done Frantic and you there!!!
From: high tower on 10th Sep 2008 14:03.01
What a wicked read, cant believe ive not been to a frantic for 3 years.... Thats gotta change with HHA
From: VinDiesel on 20th Sep 2008 11:42.28
Fantastic interview guys..Hard House Academy is my favourite party ever.....and I really cant wait for this one...So glad that its back!!!
From: *charlie*! on 20th Sep 2008 15:03.24
Hahaha I remember taking that pic of will polishing the funktion one while we were setting up for a frantic event, ahh the passion he had for those speakers
Frantic has gone from strength to strength, I remember back in the day with the old skool lot when it was Me, Dickon, Amanda, Benz, Gary and Maxine - Fun, Fun days!
Can't wait to get back to the academy... Rock on!
From: Dickon Laws on 14th Oct 2008 15:41.09
Er, I am not that much of has-been to be called Old Skool Charlie! ;-) (well actually thats not totally true!) Awesome club, awesome promoters, awesome experience. I wouldnt be doing what I do now without it. Big love.