Ahead of their arrival in Amsterdam for the debut All Day I Dream event at ADE, When We Dip catches up with founder Lee Burridge and a key member of the All Day I Dream design team in Matthew Holt to discuss the inner workings of the ADID event experience, touching on everything from staging and inspiration to DJ impact.
WWD: Tell us about the design conception and the aesthetics of ADID Staging.
Matthew: Two years ago Lee approached me about redesigning ADID, he wanted to keep certain elements that are iconic to the party, but take it to the next level.
We started off with the idea of building a temple/ pagoda. I researched so many ideas and we decided on the idea of an organic wood structure that would be the centerpiece and where the artists would perform. The temple would be crowned with two long samurai beams and would be cut with a repeating pattern and formed out of hollow columns and beams using computer driven CNC routing machines. The 2015 version had a feel of a living room behind the decks where people could crowd around Lee, just the way he likes it and keep him on the ground at the same level of the crowd.
We wanted to continue our shade canopies that would give the crowd cover from the sun and also our iconic paper ball lanterns. So we needed structure to connect those to and this came in the form of large cut out wooden columns with bases that people could sit or stand on and would be filled with weight for structural support.
This year 2016 we went one step further, we designed and built a new DJ booth and we gifted the Temple to the crowd, taking it and putting it in the middle of the dance floor. They loved it, they became a part of it, having a visceral experience within a structure that is so beautiful… It was perfect, a gift to them to include them in the most intimate 2000-3000 person party. Yes it is possible to give everyone that experience in that size a crowd, we proved it.
WWD: Can you talk us through your mindset when analysing a potential venue for an ADID party?
Matthew: We feel the best setting for the ADID structure is on a green grass meadow surrounded by trees or on a sandy beach. Wind is our biggest issue due to the hanging canopies and decorations but we have had some incredible shows that have weathered actual storms to end in rainbows and sunsets.
WWD: Obviously, decoration plays a huge role in the ADID experience. Can you tell us about some of the most memorable visions you’ve created?
Matthew: The detail is everything for us; coming from a motion-picture background, we know that detail makes the difference, when you are in the same environment for an 8-10 hour party the crowd sees it all. They appreciate and notice all the detail we labor on. The cut-out humming birds, the branches and flowers and this year the hanging gardens of wisteria and the frosted tree window behind the DJ all add layers and give the place texture and color.
WWD: What are the key ingredients to creating a magical atmosphere?
Matthew: When the environment and the music are in sync something truly magical happens… You have to be there to feel it. The energy of the crowd flows with its surroundings and creates an atmosphere of love and beauty. This is what we strive for every show, and the last two years we have been delivering it every time. They can expect great things from us because we are consistent with the finished product.
WWD: What is the future for ADID Staging?
Matthew: Well if we know one thing it is that you can’t rest on achievement, we are constantly evolving and looking to add elements or installations that are a natural progression from our base. We know there are iconic/branded elements that people expect to see, but that is why we can’t remain the same, we must evolve with Lee’s sound and keep our fans visually stimulated and happy.
WWD: Lee, the set-up at the All Day I Dream parties is really special. As a DJ, how does that impact on your experience playing at the events?
Lee: Since day one it was important to me to create an atmosphere aesthetically as well as aurally. To have them influence each other and to soften some of the surroundings. We started the events in fairly industrial areas. I wanted to use more organic textures such as the material and the bamboo to create different feelings. I’d also say there’s a certain feminine and natural energy to our design concept. I’ve consciously worked All Day I Dream in this direction, both musically and visually, as I’d found the dance music experience to be very masculine. Finding a balance between the two is, for me, where a social event should be. I feel the energy we create with our design enhances the musical experience for everyone. Myself included. I’d personally rather play on a beach, in a forest, in the desert etc than on a huge stage made of metal trussing, lasers, glitter cannons and smoke machines that’s detached from the audience. That’s a totally valid and different experience but I prefer connection both to people and more natural elements.
WWD: What influenced the decision to take the troupe to ADE?
Lee: Finding a venue that suited our vibe. ADE is an important event in the music calendar and I’ve wanted to bring All Day I Dream there for a few years. Finding an indoor space with light (as its too cold to do something outdoors) took some time.
It’s well documented that ADID parties shine in the Summer sunshine, how does the team plan to take on the autumn in Amsterdam?
We have had to make a tiny sacrifice of being indoors but we have great natural light. Predominantly we are outdoors during the day. Occasionally you’ll have to use your imagination a little more as we did 😉
More info: All Day I Dream of Amsterdam