London based party organisers Percolate were kind enough to take time out of their schedule to have a chat and contribute to the latest interview in our interview Culture Talks… series.
Having hosted some of the most prominent names on the circuit and always pushing the envelope when it comes to creating an experience at their events, the Percolate crew are riding a wave of packed Spring events and big name announcements, ahead of their first ever outdoor party – read on to find out!
The guys also curated a playlist of influences and current tracks on their stereo at the moment – take a dig through and listen…
Bringing everything way back to the very beginning, you’ve been putting on parties for over four years and going strong. How did Percolate start up?
It all started as a party between friends without serious intentions. It was only at the 1st birthday that we realised that this could be more than just an escape from the day job as the party expanded from outside our circle.
“Manchester certainly has a very special vibe. The kids up there go full hammer and tongs on the dancefloor”
Over the last year you’ve hosted the likes of Motor City Drum Ensemble, Todd Terje, Jeremy Underground… the list goes on, in locations from London to Newcastle, from Manchester to Amsterdam. Has there been a favourite space or city to host your parties in?
It would be difficult to choose one… One of the main things for us has to be the family ethos, love and support that a few venues have shown us as we have grown. Corsica Studios & Shapes (RIP) in London and Hidden in Manchester have really helped us along the way – they all go out of their way to keep the parties friendly by lovely teams throughout the space, allow you to spread your wings creatively and put the customer & party vibe at the forefront.
As far as cities go, Manchester certainly has a very special vibe. The kids up there go full hammer and tongs on the dancefloor. Some of the dance moves & outfits right in front of the stacks at Hidden echo youtube videos of the early acid house parties.
You’re putting on your first outside party this summer – Percolate Open Air – which we’re very excited about! Tell us a little bit about the idea behind the move, the east London location, and what people can expect…
It is influenced by experiences in Amsterdam & Berlin where “Open Air” parties are more of a weekly occurrence throughout summer. The parties emphasise good sound, beautiful outdoor spaces, a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful decor without the bells and whistles that a lot of London “festivals” drive towards.
The key for us on this show is getting the essentials right and an emphasis on quality. We are working closely with RSH Audio to get the sound crisp and clear without lots of interference from multiple stages & tents. We have tried to overcompensate on the number of toilets, extra bar space and a nice selection of some of our favourite street food vendors from London. We are also making sure each act has enough time to open up their record bags rather than be inhibited to the short sets that can come with a day festival. The site is pretty special, a circle of green in a heavily industrialised area with lots of space to stretch your legs, sit on landscaped banks and even get in a game of table tennis by the canal.
Percolate Open Air tickets and info are available here: Percolate Music
You’ve just announced special guests appearing at Percolate Open Air. Could you give us insight into the booking?
We are particularly excited to announce the 5-hour set from Leon Vynehall, Ryan Elliott & Evan Baggs which will kick the day off in the smaller wooded area. These three amazing selectors will be able to dig deep and get the groove going without having to adhere to the peak time selections that they are usually faced with. Paranoid London’s acid-tinged hardware show will be ideal for the main stage, helping us get a stomp on after Sonja Moonear’s minimal leaning techno.
[Edit: Latest news from Percolate HQ is that NTS show host and specialist selector Debonair will also be making an appearance at Percolate Open Air – sweet stuff!]
You’ll be hosting a few stages at a few festivals around the UK – where can people catch you guys on the festival circuit?
We are very excited about a jam packed summer starting in the woods with Erol Alkan B2B Leon Vynehall at Gottwood and closing with a Moroccan Amphitheatre show at Atlas taking in firm favourites Floating Points, Saoirse and Gerd Janson with Ghanian visionary Ata Kak. On the way we take it to the Adriatic with Love International and keep it closer to home at Leefest.
Is there anybody that you’d love to book to play one of your parties? Who has blown you away when seeing their set?
I think the lifelong wishlist of having the enigmatic Chilean Ricardo Villalobos is up there. Special mentions for Nina Kraviz who is on incredible form at the moment and also Four Tet who will never cease to amaze us with his productions.
What’s next for Percolate after the summer parties?
We have a very ambitious tour planned for the 5th Birthday in November so we shall have to see how that comes off. It will take us across the UK with five-hour sets from our favourite acts.
Keep up to date with Percolate’s event calendar at Resident Advisor: Percolate