ONE OF the biggest grossing dance music acts the world has seen are coming to Portugal for one night only as part of the country’s biggest ever electronic music events. This July the Chemical Brothers are performing alongside other big name acts in a 17-hour dance music fest. The Resident is sponsoring the event and will keep readers up to speed with regular updates in the weeks preceding the mammoth music event. The Resident reporter GEORGE FLETCHER caught up with event organisers SHOW4U’s Alex Sparrow and Samuel Laranjeira to find out about the people behind the República Independente festival.
When did you decide to hold this music festival?
Alex – I have always worked in the dance music industry. I am a DJ – I used to own a record company and I’ve organised loads of big events with MTV, which I am still very much involved with, and this is something that has been in the back of my mind for a long time.
Where have you DJ’d?
Alex – All over the place. But, I have also had a few residencies – I was at The End on Tottenham Court Road in London for a while and my company, Athletico, used to organise parties at The Blue Note on Hoxton Square.
What style of music do you play?
Alex – Jazzy drum and bass, with break beats. And I will be doing a set at the event so you can listen to me then.
You said you worked with MTV – what did that involve?
Alex – Simply put, event organising. One particularly memorable event was the MTV World Snowboarding Championship Tour in the late 90s. We organised some brilliant parties for that. I also organised a launch party for a Giorgio Armani fragrance a few years ago, which was also a massive success.
What’s the trick to a successful event?
Alex – For me, it’s the attention to detail – how the invitations are laid out. Whether they are actual tangible flyers or some other initiative, it is one of the first impressions people get from a party. Promotion is equally as significant for the same reasons.
Getting the dynamics of a festival just right is crucial. So, as well as the brilliant acts we’ve got playing, there are other side shows and entertainment initiatives to keep people occupied if they need a break from the music. It is often the little extras that will set your event apart from others. And obviously, you have to have the best line-up.
So, how did you go from organising huge events in London and travelling as a DJ across the globe to co-ordinating República Independente in the Algarve?
Alex – It has been said before, but honestly I far prefer events where I can apply my personal touch. The huge commercial events I have organised with advertising rights and constraints just got a bit too much. After working in the industry for so long, I wanted a break. However, in the last couple of years we have seen some really original acts coming to the fore, which rekindled my love for dance music and that spurred me on to get back into what I have always done.
Samuel – I have also been into dance music since I can remember. I used to organise music events while I was at Faro University and got into music promotion from there. I heard about Alex’s experienced career through a separate contact and everything just snowballed from there.
Are there any acts in particular that excite you at the moment?
Alex – There are so many, but The Streets is one of the most known – he has a totally unique sound. In the last few years there has been a surge of new and innovative acts, which are actually creating different styles of music, rather than just re-hashing old and over-used techniques.
How did you decide who was going to play at the festival?
Alex – We simply picked the best. The Chemical Brothers were the first choice because they are basically the most successful dance act in the world.And I have worked with them many times before, so I know they are professional and an incredible crowd-puller. We have got Andy Smith, the Portishead DJ, Leeroy from the Prodigy, DJ Vibe, who is huge over here, and loads more fantastic acts. We have had an amazing response – dance DJ’s from all over the world are now requesting to play sets on the night.
Why Krazy World?
Alex – It is absolutely perfect for an event like this – firstly because it has a 350,000sqm area, 20,000sqm of which are reserved for us, but also the setting and layout just lends itself to hosting a dance party.
Samuel – There were a few possibilities, but we really wanted Krazy World because it is exactly right for this event.
What ‘extras’ are you planning for the night?
Alex – We’re not going to give too much away, but we have loads of things planned.
Samuel – There will be a massive competition size half pipe with world class skate boarders performing. There will be an area entirely dedicated to graffiti artists. And the official start to the promotion of the event is going to be huge.
Alex – We’ve got 1971 Dodge Chargers, complete with the best sound system, twin decks, a mixer and everything you need to DJ off the back of a car. They are so noisy you can hear them for miles. We’ll be all over the Algarve promoting in these, so you won’t be able to miss us!
Can we expect to see a lot more from SHOW4U, or is this a one off?
Alex – This is definitely not planned as a one off. We have loads of other things in the pipeline, which we’ll tell you about nearer the time.
I am not saying.
Not even a hint?
No, but it will be brilliant.
República Independente promises to be a dance music night that you can’t afford to miss. For your chance to win tickets to the big event keep your eyes out for exclusive offers in The Resident.
Or in person at Lojas Abreu, Lojas Bertrand in the Centro Comercial Portimão; Algarve Shopping; Forum Algarve and Faro Forum (Rua Dr. Francisco Gomes), and Fnac outlets.
There will be a bus service laid on by SHOW4U, which will do regular rounds throughout the night of the whole of the Algarve. Below are the details.
Buses will run hourly from 4pm to Krazy World for the evening of the event. And the following morning they will run hourly from 6am, from the following pick up points.
TAVIRA – Terminal EVA
OLHÃO – En 125 Moviflor next to the BP station.
FARO – O Seu Café (Largo do Carmo)
ALBUFEIRA – Estação Eva – Ribeira Park
OURA –Ourahotel roundabout
LAGOS – Eva Bus Terminal
PORTIMÃO- Bombas Shell next to the Marina (Renault)
PRAIA da ROCHA- In front of the Hotel Jupiter (Paragem Taxis)
Estação de Algoz is five minutes from the venue.
Ed Simonsand Tom Rowlandsmet while studying history at Manchester Poly in 1989. From their nights at the infamous Hacienda to their first residency at Naked Under Leather, the Chemical Brothers began to merge the sounds of acid house, hip-hop and rock.
As part of one of the biggest dance acts of the 90s, Leeroy Thornhill spent 10 years with the Prodigy on their worldwide tours, numerous festival events and hellraising shenanigans. Leeroy has toured successfully as a DJ and is currently in the studio working on various projects, with plans to release some break tracks in the near future.
Way back in the 90s, Andy Smith was best mates with Geoff Barrow, living in Portishead – they shared an interest in the same music, collected records, set up their own nights locally and once Geoff started Portishead, Andy was there to supply samples for the hip-hop and film-esque rhythms. Andy DJ’d in their home and in Bristol at small parties and when the band went on the roadhe joined them as the Portishead DJ.