The Eden Experience Interview with Dane Stirrat
What is The Eden Experience and where do they come from?
You’d be forgiven for assuming that this event production crew are a gang of life-long friends who decided to take their love for parties and electronic music to the next level by throwing kick-ass events.
You, like me, probably also assumed that The Eden Experience are a collective of individuals with years of eventing experience, yet they tell a different story!
The quality of their productions belies a level of professionalism and intuition to the wants and needs of the party-going masses, proven by the massive season they had last summer.
Much like a successful rock band coming together with four or five musicians from different walks of life simply gelling to make magic, the alchemy of these five individuals has created something very special on the Cape Town outdoor party landscape.
We spoke to Production Manager and DJ/Producer, Dane Stirrat about the past, the present and the future…
Our music policy is good quality dance music and my biggest goal is to have people leave the event saying, ‘wow, that music was incredible,’ whether it was house, tech house, techno, progressive house, progressive trance etc.”
Who are The Eden Experience members and what are your day jobs?
- Dane Stirrat – Project Manager | Eden: Production, Social Media, General Management, PR
- Jade Ayla – Freelance Graphic Designer | Eden: Creative & Design
- Nick Dekker – MD of Carbon Events | Eden: Finance, Production, Sponsorship, General Management, PR
- David Torr – CEO at uCook | Eden: Business Strategist
- Kole Roder – Retail Investments Solutions Engineer at Retail Corporate Investments Group | Co-Founder, PR
What brought the five of you together to form The Eden Experience?
So, the story goes something like this…
I got a call one day back in 2014 from an old and good friend, Ringo, who said he had a mate who wants to throw a party.
A couple more calls to some other mates and we all got together (five of us) one evening and discussed what we would like to do, how much we think it would cost, and allocated roles to each person…basically pulling ching-chong-chow [laughs].
Long story short we hosted our very first Eden at the beautiful Mischa Wine Estate in Wellington back in April 2015.
To our knowledge it was the only 12-hour party at the time that really captured the true progression of music starting off slow and downtempo in the day and ending off with progressive trance at the end.
Ultimately that was our goal; to create an event that journeyed through the genres – because we dig them all so much we couldn’t leave any out.
What a party it was! 🙂
Many a meeting, many a beer, many a stressful moment, many a risk, but wow, we are so grateful how everything played out.
Doing your first event – what was the biggest lesson you guys learnt from the experience?
There is a helluva lot more to hosting an outdoor than people think!!!
Everyone wants to host an outdoor, until they host an outdoor. Well at least that’s how we felt after the first event. [laughs].
You mentioned that your music policy was to try and include all music genres that you guys liked. Sounds tricky…
Yes, as mentioned earlier, the music policy has always been progression throughout the event.
For me, as a party goer, it’s so lekker when the tunes get nice and chunky in the night time and people can really have a proper jol.
I also think because I play as two aliases, my love for different genres is so spread.
So, I thought of a way to incorporate the two, fill the gap in between and create an event that was not classified into a specific box of event, or that focused on a specific genre.
Our music policy is good quality dance music and my biggest goal is to have people leave the event saying, “wow, that music was incredible,” whether it was house, tech house, techno, progressive house, progressive trance etc.
Feel good, bouncy, party music 🙂
Outdoor Events and the future…
When I hear people say Eden has the most amazing music and doesn’t categorize it to a specific genre or style per se, we have done our job.”
The Cape Town outdoor party scene – especially the one -day parties – has exploded in the past 5 or so years. Do you ever worry that the bubble will burst?
In my opinion, there are the stalwarts of the scene and these are the guys that don’t cut corners and produce quality on quality on quality time after time.
These are the guys who genuinely have a love and passion for music and events and it always shows in the work they produce, how they treat their artists, how they treat their suppliers, their technicians, traders, bar staff, security etc, etc!
I have my favourites and my inspiration comes from those events which I keep going back to because of the top draw quality of the production, sound, visuals and of course music!
These are the guys who are in it because they love it and have a love for it; they are not just after a quick buck.
Relating back to the question, these are the promoters will stick through it all and keep the scene bursting and everyone else trying to follow will ultimately fade away.
I suppose it is like any industry and business though.
What are your thoughts on party politics?
I feel like this question relates to the above question too and I could talk on this topic for days and have many a discussion with fellow event organisers about it.
As much as we are competition for a period of time in the year, we are actually quite a force to be reckoned with and our relationships are so solid.
I firmly believe it’s because we all share the same love and passion!
Don’t get me wrong, not everyone gets along, but for us personally there is a very strong bond between specific event organisers and we are slowly but surely starting to work together in many other aspects and it really have benefited everyone thus far.
There are some pretty cool collabs planned for 2019… 😉
As you mentioned earlier The Eden Experience events really mix it up when it comes to genres. As a brand how do you maintain a clear and definite music policy that fans can identify with?
I think for me, it is more a fact of just having good quality artists, with the best quality sound perfectly engineered to deliver an experience that is the best of the best.
Not genre specific, but rather anything that falls within dance music, that I feel is catering for our market and also something a tad different at times.
When I hear people say Eden has the most amazing music, and doesn’t categorize it to a specific genre or style per se, we have done our job 🙂
Complete the sentence: Cape Town outdoor festival season in 2018/19 is going to be…
Cape Town outdoor festival season in 2018/19 is going to be HOT!!!
The Eden Experience 2018/19 season starts now…
Everyone on the team just loves what they do, and we can see every aspect to this scene.”
The 2017/18 season was surely your biggest to date; from attendances, to line-ups, to production standards…. It seemed like the summer that everything you guys have been working towards came together.
Yes, absolutely, and with that came the hardest we have ever worked hands down, however, it has really equipped us for this upcoming season.
What stands out the most from this past season, if you had to narrow it down to one or two single highlights…
- DubDogz set at Zevenwacht Wine Estate in November. Highlight for every single one of us partners for sure.
- Our intimate events with KVSH and FRANKY RIZARDO…mind blown!
It was impressive how you flipped the script. i.e. did not simply repeat the formula. You mixed up the type of events, the venues and also did smaller boutique events. Give us the skinny on this…
We always had dreamed of just doing something different.
I think for us, it was finding the venues and then conceptualizing and moulding the events to really suit the venues.
Intimate, garden party with KVSH and an indoor House music experience with Franky Rizardo…for us it was a no brainer!
We’ve seen many club owners and promoters get seduced by the successes of throwing kick-ass parties. How do you all stay grounded in an industry that will generously throw adoration (and party-tricks 😉) your way?
Everyone on the team just loves what they do, and we can see every aspect to this scene… some of us have been in it for years and over the years you learn how to be grounded and keep your head above water.
We are all super humble and grounded anyway, so I am proud to say we have somewhat brought our personalities into the scene and not let the scene manipulate that 😉
EDEN Pres. A State Of Happiness ft. Sevenn
We are SUPER excited to be hosting the world renowned Sevenn from Brazil, they are absolutely massive…”
Your first event for the new summer season is – EDEN Pres. A State Of Happiness ft. Sevenn got people talking (and tickets selling fast) even before the lineup was released. Wat can Eden fans expect from this summer’s exploits?
We are SUPER excited to be hosting the world renowned Sevenn from Brazil, they are absolutely massive, full of energy and have played on some of the world biggest stages…recently actually playing Ultra Miami Main Stage…
Supported by the ever so cool Apple Gule who will be performing live as well as MC’ing throughout the event!
And of course, a consummate list of SA DJs all known to rock the crowd…
- Leighton Moody & Cassiem Latief
- Dane Stirrat
- Ambious Records TAKEOVER ( MKLY & Sides & Nick Supply)
- K-$: DJ and Internet Sensation
- BRONSON & DJ Roulette
Final word on the season ahead….
All the best to everyone hosting events, only the guys who do it understand what actually goes into it.
Let’s all have some fun and create a safe, fun and happy environment for party-goers this summer <3
See you all at Eden on 17th November at Zevenwacht.
If you see any of The Eden Experience crew come flag us down and say hi, we would love to engage with as many of the people supporting us as possible.
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