Planet Angel is a Vision
Reported by Agnes Klos
Submitted 02-03-10 12:38
Planet Angel is no ordinary party; it is a vision of like-minded people. This team of dedicated passion-driven zealots has been working together for over ten years to create an extraordinary event with a uniquely positive vibe. Built entirely on networking and reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations, Planet Angel is a not-for-profit organisation. It introduces a completely different attitude towards parties in the money orientated clubbing business. Agnes Klos put on her raving gear and headed off to discover the best preserved treasure in Vauxhall.
‘Live an ordinary life, in an extraordinary way!’ stands proudly as the motto of Planet Angel. Even before attending the party I had known based on these simple words that Planet Angel must be a mind-blowing party with a difference that had a potential of waking up mind and senses. I was not wrong. 5th February will stay as a memorable day in my clubbing diary as it was my first time at Planet Angel and I will never forget those who introduce me to that world of magic and beauty.
Planet Angel hosts free-spirited parties with a fantastic music spread over three rooms and the friendliest people you can find on Earth. It cares for a community of people with similar mindsets who treat you like family regardless of your age, physical abilities or looks. The moment I stepped through the door I was met with happy faces and surrounded by a warm vibe and waves of calming tunes. Immediately I felt at ease, which to be honest, does not happen often in the clubland.
The party resembled a paradise or Neverland from Peter Pan with girls dressed up like fairies and boys with painted faces. At Planet Angel a great emphasis is put on the creativity and self-discovery. There were huge sheets of paper hanging on the walls, simply waiting for clubbers to put their imagination into motion. It was a soul-uplifting view to see people sitting on the floor and letting their imagination take them away with different-shaped brushes and colourful paints.
Another concept which I loved was the idea of large white art canvasses around the club which served as contribution boards. If I were to strike a happy medium to express people’s mind, that would be it! Canvasses are genius; they give a chance to present different perspectives of different people on the world around us. Each clubber is free to leave a note, message or a drawing, using UV paint or markers. In the end each person can learn something exciting and take home a piece of newly acquired wisdom.
UV painting walls have over years become a trade mark for Planet Angel. The collection of them since 1999 makes the largest and longest running collective art project, claim the organisers. The idea came from one of the Planet Angel co-creators – Pete who had canvasses on the walls in his living room. He said: “It is an excellent way to take an artistic record of an event and keep it forever.” It was really heart-melting to see so much love and thankfulness spread over paper during the course of the party.
I began wondering how it all started and how a party which does not advertise itself can be so busy throughout the entire night. Moving back in time to find out about the history of Planet Angel we have to be introduced to two people who put the entire concept into reality: Angel and Pete. The ideas for the party were based on the summer outdoor gatherings at places like Primrose Hill which took place ten years ago. At such events inhibitions disappeared and complete strangers shared their creative talents, whether it was acrobatics, art or poetry. After a loss of her beloved job, Angel wanted to transfer the same values and the same concept into a clubbing space where people could feel safe, connected and inspired.
Turbulent years of the youth filled with a poisonous mixture of career success and feeling of sadness inside had not been easy for Pete as well. He had a growing desire to create a place where neither ego, money nor power was the driving force. When he united his strengths with Angel the dream became the reality and today is a phenomenon beyond the words.
The outlook of today’s clubland is truly upsetting with so many clubs corrupted by money and excessive commercialism. Therefore, I felt inspired when I began reading on a board in a toilet that Planet Angel removed the factor of anyone getting rich from the party. The organisers do not take any money from the bar. All money from the door goes to cover the costs of the party and to fund the future ones. This means that the party, from the very beginning, was built on passion instead of profits and thus enabling a happy environment where relationships are the priority, not drugs or money.
Planet Angel is all about creating something special, even exceptional. This desire is visible from every corner of the party. It's a real live breathing colourful blend of club and festival culture with art, music, creativity, performance, interactivity and a relaxed social vibe. Since Planet Angel grows through word-of-mouth, the environment is safe, social and in an inclusive environment which does not label anyone based on their background or ethnicity. Actually, it was the first straight club where I could dance freely on the dancefloor the whole night and was not bothered or chatted up by weird guys. It gave me an incredible freedom to be myself, compared with how limited I feel to dance the way I want to in some other places.
The club resembled a labyrinth with hidden rooms upstairs. My favourite space was the game room where one of the DJs, HF's own Adam Symbiosis, who played his debut set in the the Funky Lounge, dragged me for a playstation game. We sat down comfortably on a soft sofa and began the tournament. Straight away someone came along and asked if he could join us. At first I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my character on the computer screen so I was pressing all buttons on my console like a child. After a while I got hang of it and I kicked the boys about a bit but in the end the game was of course lost. It was heaps of fun though.
Filling every inch of the game room were mountains of games. Teenagers and older clubbers, all equally, indulged themselves in activities such as lego, plasticine and board games such as Backgammon. The room also featured super cool giant versions of connect 4, jenga and also noughts and crosses. I never had so much fun in a club by playing games or simply observing what people can come up with, some creations were truly hilarious and revellers left the club wearing them.
Every party is different and has new exciting things to offer. It promotes budding artists, DJs, musicians and performers. If you have a talent and no place to show it off Planet Angel is a place that will give you a warm encouraging hug to kick off things started. In the past Planet Angel has helped people gain exposure by showing their photography, painted art, computer generated fractal images and even organising a book launch.
At around 3am there is a special part of the night called ‘The Happening’. In the Funky Lounge crammed with clubbers who were dancing to crazily fast breakbeats, the music was gradually calmed; the lights were slowed and brightened. A man wearing brownish clothing and innocent glasses came up on stage. Suddenly there was silence in the room and the most empowering sound of didgeridoo blasted away. It was so beautiful, reverberating through the entire space, with no voices to be heard. Fresh fruit was served while a short but intense performance by Sandy Yidaki seemed to put everyone into a trance-like state.
Planet Angel always chooses a venue which offers the space of at least three rooms, reasonably priced drinks, pleasant toilets and management with a non-aggressive attitude. In this way the party caters for various musical palettes, making everyone leaving happy and begging for more. For those who prefer slamming harder tunes the Funky Lounge was the place to be as some proper genre defying beats were delivered by Pigeon Cake, Adam Symbiosis, Wingnut, Dave Vice and resident Tequila Slammer.
On the way to Meltdown Room I was stopped by some funky tunes at the Ibiza Bar. The dancefloor might have been small and limited by clubbers passing by to the loos or to the smoking terrace but it still rocked each time I entered. Although I preferred the mix of trance and progressive house in the Meltdown Room quite often I could be found in the Ibiza Bar. Smashing grooving tracks and positive house tunes served by Alex Leppert, Rob Castle, Jammes Simmons and resident DJ Custard transported me onto a sunny white isle beach with waves splashing against my knees.
The Meltdown Room was the most visually stunning space in the whole club. Brimming with fluorescent butterflies, beaming lasers and tribal drawings, the room became a vision when reached its full capacity. An ocean of hands reached for the ceiling and roar of happy clubbers cheered every time a new tune came out from the sound system. And no wonder when such DJs as Mark Landragin, G.A.Z, residents: Jurrane and Sly One took over decks. Things were wrapped up beautifully by a euphoric set from Neil Moore.
Planet Angel gives people an opportunity to explore their creative side. The party like no other seeks to be of social value and assistance to people, and environmentally responsible. It is a place which instils the confidence to be different and promotes a message: ‘Do not be afraid of who you are’. Planet Angel attracts artistic souls who do not care about brand clothes or society stereotypes. Instead everyone is accepted, without creating categories of inferior humans.
By keeping clubbers’ hands busy with activities the party shifts the main focus of clubbing from drugs to being a better human being. What can be better than that?
Planet Angel does not publicly advertise the location of the party. Because Planet Angel only promotes the Party by word-of-mouth you won't be able to see the details of the next Party unless you go to their website at www.planetangel.net and click on the angel logo (top left).
Photos courtesy of Glen Dunwell & Dan Nucem . Not to be reproduced without permission.
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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.