Everyone loves a party. Whether it’s 20 people packed into a low key house gathering or 200 faces turning out to see their favourite artists spin live, there’s few who would prefer a quiet night in to going out, getting steam-cleaned and dancing. The problem is, not everyone who loves to party finds it easy to agree on what music they get down to – and this problem at its most prominent in today’s sprawling world of mainstream club culture.
I’m inclined to go ahead and say ‘each to their own’, but I think many will agree with me when I say that wherever you go for a night out, the music is going to be shit. I’ve heard “Thrift Shop” and “Animals” more than once pretty much every time I’ve ventured out, and even when I’m plastered, it never fails to agitate me. So how do we get around this? You can’t exactly walk up to club DJs and get them to drop a playlist of your favourite tunes, and it’s been proven that even when big artists play at venues that they can be under instruction to only put out a certain kind of tune (look no further than Kill Paris’ ejection from the stage when he refused to oblige to the managers requests).
One collective seeking to remedy the situation is Surge – born from the campus halls of UCL by a group of first year students, the forward thinking group was birthed from the shared goal of creating events based around creating large-scale parties with tunes that people can really get down to. From shows in university common rooms to hosting events coveted venues such as XOYO and The Nest, Surge have come up with the perfect solution – parties by forged by the people, for the people. The group operates on a non-profit basis; with all proceeds from the events going straight back into the society in order to maintain the increasingly popular showcases.
After hosting rooms 3 and 2 of Fabric and XOYO respectively, Surge most recently took over The Nest in its entirety. I headed down to the Dalston hotspot last month to see what Surge had to offer, and they didn’t disappoint.
Barely an hour into proceedings, upon arrival I was greeted by a full house of ravers and splitting tunes shaking the venue. Far afield from the dulcet tones of cheesy, overplayed big room and R&B tracks, The Nest was blessed by a vast range of audio – from drum and bass to future beats and glitch, tunes from the likes of Zeds Dead and Emperor were bestowed upon the audience, creating a truly unique atmosphere.
The event was not held to cater to specific tastes, either – no two groups were the same, but they were all bumping together. Worlds away from almost every other show in London where everybody spends the majority of their time judging one another and ruining what’s meant to be an escape from their day-to-day, this night was awash with soft eyes and wide smiles.
Whether I was on stage shooting photos of the crowd or getting down amongst them, I could see all around that Surge had struck gold with their project. There were no bystanders or naysayers – simply 300 people who had turned up to be part of a fresh, innovative night powered by the minds of others just like themselves.
Their rapid graduation through a host of huge venues comes as no surprise after witnessing first-hand the goods they provide, and they already have big plans for the year ahead – Surge will be joining forces with London counterparts Trap93 for Shorebeach 2015 in Croatia during the summer, and there are sure to be many more big nights being put together for the masses to enjoy.
Words & Images by Fraser (@Friezas)