With over 65,000 people partying to more than 20 floats and 200 DJs spinning, Lovefest 2007 continues to bring the vibe of the Love Parade to San Francisco. Launched in 2003, the Lovefest brings the spirit of Berlin Love Parade to the US with the blessing of Love Parade founder Dr. Motte. Sasha, Ferry Corsten, The Chemical Brothers, Blank & Jones, The Crystal Method, DJ Icey, Benny Benassi, DJ Dan, and Gabriel & Dresden are just a few of the hundreds of DJs and artists who will be performing during the Lovefest week (September 26th-30th.)
DJ Ron Slomowicz: How did Lovefest start?
Joshua Smith (Lovefest Organizer): It was born around 2001. We had a licensing agreement with Love Parade in the 2003 and 2004 event, so it was definitely inspired by Love Parade in Berlin.
RS: whose idea was it to bring Love Parade to the US?
Joshua Smith: It's not any particular one person's idea as the idea had been thrown around for a number of years back in the 1990s by a number of different people in the community. Back in 2000 and early 2001, myself and a couple of other Board members put together a physical organizational structure to make it a reality.
RS: How long does it take to plan an event like this?
Joshua Smith: It's an entire year of planning. Once the event is over we go into strategic planning - we talk about what worked, what didn't work, and what we could do better and by the next time we're already planning our promotion and marketing campaigns and our outreach to the Miami Winter Music Conference scene and everything like that, so it's an all-year effort. Obviously the last couple of quarters are the most busy, but we don't stop.
RS: How much is the budget for an event like this?
Joshua Smith: It takes a couple of hundred thousand to produce, so it's certainly not a huge amount at all. That's why we're really looking forward to people donating at the donation gate when they come in.
RS: Do you get a lot of corporate sponsors?
Joshua Smith: Not as many as we'd like. I think a lot of that has to do with that here in the United States electronic dance music is largely an underground phenomenon whereas in Europe it's recognized as a mainstream thing. So you really have to work hard to convince corporate sponsors that there is an audience there and it's a valuable market worthy of recognition and support.
RS: How do you choose the DJs who perform on the lineup?
Joshua Smith: We have no part in any way, shape, or form with choosing the DJs for the event. We always build a platform and get the permits, so that people can express themselves through that. All the programming is done through the people who have their place in the parade.
RS: Who are you mostly excited about seeing this year?
Joshua Smith: Not one person in particular. My excitement is to see the general public come out and the diversity of dance music. When I see drum & bass, house, techno, progressive, and all these different types of people from different electronic music backgrounds coming together in celebration, that's one of the most wonderful things.
RS: What do you think about San Francisco do you think makes it
such a great home for Love Fest?
Joshua Smith: San Francisco has had a long, long history of accepting forms of alternative lifestyle, communities, and underground scenes, and that's what makes San Francisco such an ideal sort of a place for Love Parade. With Summer of Love, Haigh Asbusy, and other special events, San Francisco's been the place and the scene of bringing people together and breaking down boundaries across cultures and dance music. There is no better place than San Francisco.
RS: Could you imagine a Love Parade across the United States?
Joshua Smith: Absolutely. We want to encourage and support definitely other people who are interested in the spirit of Love Parade and Love Fest - we think it's a tremendous idea. Our number one goal is to make sure that Love Parade and Love Fest is a successful event and giving back to the community. We're always all about the people who believe in the message and bringing people together in electronic dance music in the scene.
Posted September 25, 2007