The biggest party animals in dance music
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In the world of international dance music, there’s an elite group of figureheads who can create a wild atmosphere out of nothing. They’re the DJs who are always the centre of the party, who can turn a lacklustre gathering into a raging rave simply by turning up, and who can hype a massive festival crowd with a single gesture. They’re the crack team of international party animals – the people you call when you need to get things started. Here, we count down the ten who are top of their game.
After more than a decade at the very pinnacle of the DJing game, Tiesto is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest party-starters. He was the first DJ to play at an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, he has his own wax statue at Madame Tussauds, countless sold-out arena shows in his resume and a residency in Las Vegas, where he just bought a house which is, as he says, “where I crash. Sometimes. I don’t sleep often.”
While some superstars collect fancy cars, Tiesto collects private jets, travels with an entourage of leggy models and parties like a uni student. EDM photographer Rukes, on tour with last year’s Stereosonic festival, told inthemix that 44-year-old Tiesto’s pre-set ritual was to invite everyone around to his dressing room for preparatory shots: “Often he would have as many friends as possible come by before he went on to do a few, such as Tommy Trash, Infected Mushroom, Zedd, Dillon Francis and more.” If you need to get a party started in the crowd or backstage, you can’t go past calling Tijs.
#9 Flux Pavilion
As you might’ve picked up in his recent tour video – which saw him roaming backstage areas looking for entertainment and getting kicked out of Wal-Mart – Flux Pavilion is no brooding artiste. With thumping singles like I Can’t Stop, Bass Cannon and Superbad, you know this guy is up for fun.
Most of the time, he’s getting his work done in the U.S. “It’s really the opposite of being jaded,” he told inthemix of playing Stateside EDM festivals. “It’s a frame of mind that’s awesome. I could go onstage wearing just a thong and nipple tassels, and people would be like, ‘Hey, he’s dressed like us! Awesome!’ If I did that in a club in Brixton, I would be gutted and killed within minutes, which is not what you’d expect from a music scene.” Perhaps his crowning glory as a party-starter, though, was the free gig he threw for 1,000 fans in Santa Monica last year. After the ravers arrived, they were swiftly followed by riot police, who broke up the show. All in a day’s work.
#8 Feed Me
UK bass, DNB and dubstep producer Jon Gooch, otherwise known as Feed Me, is a notorious party-starter on the festival circuit. In a recent interview with Clash magazine, Gooch revealed such gems as the time he sprayed Datsik with a fire extinguisher (while he was DJing to a packed crowd) and made him literally sick, and the time that fellow trouble-maker Flux Pavilion “tried to make a sandwich on my hotel room ceiling by throwing my rider all over it then trying to stick bread to what stayed up. An awful mess.” If you’re skimping on your insurance payments, then Gooch is probably the wrong man to invite to your party.
#7 Dillon Francis
Mad Decent’s resident practical joker Dillon Francis is almost as well known for his prolific comedic output on Vine and Instagram as he is for his banging moombahton sets, but he’s also an incorrigible party lover, whether he’s destroying the stage at Electric Daisy Carnival or pranking Calvin Harris with a blow-up doll. He’s also probably the sharpest dressed man of the American dance music circuit, preferring the sleek silhouettes of a Topman suit and skinny tie to the t-shirt and jeans of his DJing brethren, and he’s not averse to the occasional blow out. Like the time on the Nero tour that Francis recently recounted in an interview, when he “woke up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on a wood floor and didn’t know where I was. There were three other people sleeping by me who I barely knew.”
#6 Busy P
Pedro Winter, the DJ, producer, manager and label boss otherwise known as Busy P, has a seriously impressive partying pedigree and an address book that most people would kill for. He started out running the second floor of Paris’s Palais club for a little known DJ called David Guetta, and it was there that he met people like Gildas Loaëc (who now runs Kitsuné), Dimitri From Paris and that minor electro act called Daft Punk, who soon asked Winter to be their manager.
In between managing the biggest electronic act in the world (from ‘96 to ‘08), he also found time to start Ed Banger Records, the label that defined the mid-00s electro zeitgeist and brought artists like Justice, SebastiAn, Uffie and Breakbot to the attention of the world. Watch clips online from Ed Banger parties and you’ll see that special energy that Busy P and his friends bring – people are stage diving, crowd surfing, sweat’s dripping from the roof, shirts are torn; it’s madness.