A week after Pride, I think I’ve finally managed to process most of the experience. I went into the weekend in a rather glum mood (let’s just say that I was experiencing some scene fatigue), and on the other side that mood still prevails, but at least has been tempered by some self-realization.
Our weekend started with Mr., and the most important thing I can say about that event is how much I truly enjoyed working with Joshua J from Big Top, David and Jose from Fag Fridays, and Juan from Beatbox Events. Producing Mr. with these guys really taught me some things; up to now my experience and aim as an event producer and DJ has been focused on small, underground events where a turnout of 300 is a huge success, so having the opportunity to see how real professionals put together an event on a much larger scale was really educational. I don’t think I nearly measure up to the caliber of these guys as promoters, but I hope to have the opportunity to work them further in the future - there is talk of bringing Mr. back for a repeat performance soon, as well as the possibility of a regular night.
On Saturday night, thanks to Sister Selma Soul, we got do our own set-up in the parking lot next to Magnet. We borrowed an awesome pair of QSC powered speakers and a Mackie sub from our friend Chris and really, really rocked 18th Street. This was my most gratifying Pride experience, since we were able to focus on just the music and the crowd responded with ecstatic enthusiasm. In a way Pink Saturday is like shooting fish in a barrel; you’ve already got a crowd that’s ready to party, and almost anything you play will attract people who are into it. You don’t need to worry about promotion, or the scene, or any of the other usual trappings that go with club nights, you can just get out there and play what you love. Lord Kook and I were both apprehensive about how people would respond to the techno we had in mind, and played, but in the end what really mattered was that it was fun music that was well-mixed, and we even had the guys working the recycling center asking us about tracks.
Sunday was really a blur for me; we were up at 10.30 for Lord Kook to play the Shadowplay stage at noon, and then most of the afternoon we spent backstage with DJ6, Donimo, and Candy and a random assortment of friends; by 8PM we were passing out on the couch after watching In Bruges.
When I look back at the two major events we participated in over the weekend, what I realize is that that, taken together, they showed me something about who I am in the scene, what I’m good at and what I’m not. I’ve lamented about the state of the San Francisco gay scene because I often feel profoundly alienated from it, and that has led to my trying to create something of my own. But, at the same time, I’ve often been depressed because more people don’t respond to that, that FSLD doesn’t get a bigger turnout, or we don’t get more attention. Though I’ve never wanted to really admit this, this is at least partially because I am so critical of the scene, that I don’t have the openness, or social savvy, to be a truly successful scenester. Instead, I’m really good at being an iconoclast, the type of person who might not really be very popular, but can at least attract a small following of fellow cranky heads. I can pick good music and mix it together pretty well, and I can make passable aesthetic judgments, but I’m not really a promoter. I think this means, that, moving into the future, I need to pay more attention to the people who are good promoters, and learn from them, if I want to be successful in that area, but that my strength will always be in smaller, more intimate situations where I can focus on the things I really feel good about, like musical innovation. I don’t know if this means any real practical difference moving forward – we will still try to get the best turnout that we can for FSLD, I’ll still try to be involved with the production of other events – but now I feel like I have a better idea of who I am in the scene, and what I can be proud of.