We are in lockdown, some states worse than others, but we are united in this life of quarantine. What does that mean? No more weekends, no more weekdays, what day even is this? Do I need to put on pants? Is makeup even a thing? Showering? Ladies and gentlemen, we are not lost. In this tumultuous time, we have sweet technology to guide us together. We no longer have to wait for the weekend, we can dance our hearts out and titillate our ears each and every day with the help of musicians, DJ’s, orchestras, broadways, and festivals via Twitch, Facebook Live, Zoom, YouTube and Instagram. You can be in the comfort of your own home, but be shaking it like it’s hot with a group halfway across the world. All is not lost, for we are joined together through art and music digitally streaming through the lines above us.
On Saturday, May 9th, House of Yes of NYC teamed up with Glitterbox to give the world, Cyber Saturday, a streaming dance party. This was a night that featured Glitterbox’s Virtual Festival with Artwork, Bob Sinclair, Melvo Baptiste and Natasha Diggs. Every Saturday, viewers from around the world are able to transform their homes into a digital dance floor via Zoom and Twitch. You can choose to be a passive viewer, streaming the show on Twitch, or join in as a dancer via Zoom. I, myself, had to join in on the fun as a dancer, toasting with the rest of the worldwide viewers at the selective times. As one who loves dance floors, but hates crowds, it was a treat. You don’t have to wait in lines, you can have your own smorgasbord of drinks and only dance with those you want to, which in quarantine, is me. Check them out, every Saturday night, at House of Yes.
In my research for what to keep my jazz hands in motion during quarantine, I had the pleasure of speaking with two DJs, a rave promoter, and the founder of NYCRavers, all based out of NYC. As venues, clubs, and popup events have ceased to exist in the tangible form, it has been a delight to gain different perspectives and how they are coping with this worldwide transformation of entertainment.
Let me introduce you to Aeryk NYCRavers, founder of NYCRavers, an event production company and raver collective based out of NYC since 2007. They have compiled rave themed events about anime, cartoons, and video games and have thrown 80 different rave events, around 200 afterparties, and 4 stage music festivals including a giant geodesic dome stage at Electric Adventure.
Secondly, SynergyPro who runs Synergy Industries and www.districtunderground.com. He’s been a rave promoter for over 20 years in NYC.
So what are these promoters and venues have as entertainment? I spoke with Scope Elementz, a hard dance music DJ and producer, as well as FaithInTheGlitch, a twitch DJ who streams three shows a week called, The Speakeasy, an electro-swing show.
Get Some Magazine: What format of streaming do you use:
SynergyPro: Facebook Live & Zoom.
Aeryk NYCRavers: I’ve been working on a Livestream Directory for the scene that I’m just finishing up this week where DJ’s and event producers can list their streams in a sexy way. Sneak peek: www.nycravers.com/live/insominiac/
FaithInTheGlitch: I stream three weekly shows on twitch.tv/faithintheglitch, called The Speakeasy, an electro-swing show where I speak in a transatlantic accent, wear bow ties, top hats, and do a very bad Charleston dance. Wednesday is, “The Glitch Chamber,” focused on retro-futurism as well as 80’s and 90’s nostalgia with CRT TV’s playing 80’s and 90’s VHS tapes. I play retrowave/synthwave/outrun and cyberpunk music. On Thursdays, we continue the nostalgia vibes with Pixel Pulse, playing chiptunes, 8-bit, and music made with old video game systems like Gameboy and Atari. It is heavily inspired by video games and pixel art.
Scope Elementz: I started streaming because I felt it was a great way to keep myself relevant within the rave scene as well as the music industry overall. I use Twitch as my primary platform since that is the only platform I know of that won’t shut down live streams if I am playing a track that is protected under copyright laws.
Get Some Magazine: How has streaming helped post Covid-19?
SynergyPro: I recently had a virtual event called, “Rave for Relief,” on May 2nd, which helped raise money for a healthcare employee that died of Covid-19. She left two 8-year-old twins. We were able to raise $1500 in donations for them. It was really fun seeing everyone on Zoom after so much time in isolation.
Aeryk NYCRavers: I have never watched a livestream event before this pandemic happened, but saw its potential immediately. I then saw some promoter friends from Ohio and Cali doing a multi-day livestream with a slew of international DJ headliners called, Lock In Restival.” I reached out, and decided to donate a flyer design and helped with the marketing/logistics in the week leading up to the three day broadcast.
FaithInTheGlitch: I’ve had a lot of people in my stream tell me my shows are one of the things that are keeping their spirits high. I have people tune in weekly with their children and listen to me DJ while preparing dinner – being part of a community and sharing great vibes with people has elevated my love of music more than I thought it could be. One viewer’s kids thought I was a TV character and “not really real” – until I said, “hi” to them. Their dad described their reaction and it was priceless. The people who tune in are the reason I’m waking up, taking a shower, putting on clothes, and keeping myself going. If I wasn’t screaming, I’d probably be on the couch 24/7 being a miserable blob. I’ve got a mission. I’ve got my people. It’s been essential to my mental well-being.
Scope Elementz: During this time of crisis, I’ve found that putting on shows digitally has helped me not only stay sane while being at home, but it has also helped me establish connections with bigger artists that fall within my genre of music. I have met some really amazing people through streaming.
Get Some Magazine: What makes you different from the rest? What keeps people engaged? Also, please share a past or upcoming event with us?
SynergyPro: We had a few performances and kept the performances short and included some interviews which really kept the audience engaged throughout the whole night. We are currently planning our next one, but our most recent event you can find at: www.facebook.com/events/2755314848087296.
Aeryk NYCRavers: I am a Freelance Web Developer/GFX Designer/Online Marketing Wizard for all kinds of clients in the music and live events industries including numerous festivals, event spaces and DJ’s. I’ve also been selling event marketing for the past seven years to over 350 different events and festivals spanning the entire nightlife spectrum of NYC. I love the burner, raver, goth, and psytrance scene in NYC especially and often book their DJ’s at our events. We lucked out with our last event, “Get Squanchy 3,” which happened right before all of this insanity. My personal goal this year is to throw a legit festival online in August/September with months of planning and execution (like a real festival), “Vinyl Fantasy 7 Online.”
FaithInTheGlitch: DJing on Twitch is quite a bit different than Doing IRL. When I play in clubs, I’m almost never on the mic. The dance vibe is alive. On Twitch, there is an expectation of interactivity that doesn’t exist in the club. People ask me questions, we joke, or I tell the audience stories about my life. It’s part group chat, part dance party. The direct connection is an essential part of developing a community around your show, and a community is what makes a successful streamer. I also have a Discord server people can join to keep the conversation about music, art, and life going, even when I’m not streaming.
Scope Elementz: I throw a weekly Twitch event called, “Hard Dance Tuesday’s,” and feature different hard dance artists from different parts of the country. I’ve learned doing this can also help you gain more followers since it keeps my streams from getting stale. However, maintaining that following online is far easier said than done. I’ve learned that you don’t want to just stay active in chats during the stream, but promoting your streams is highly essential. It’s also best to stay on a solid schedule as you are more likely to build up the number of viewers and followers.
I’d really like to thank SynergyPro, Aeryk NYCRavers, FaithInTheGlitch, and Scope Elementz as well as Zac Cedarbaum, former owner of Feed the Starving Artist Entertainment Company, and strategic consultant to start-ups. We may be quarantined, but you can’t stop the party in all of us.