Rotarydisco have been around the Sydney scene since midway through 2015. Founders Andy Donaldson, Tony Garcia, and Matt Trousdale created a party they would want to go to, with a host of DJ’s soon joining the original crew. Their infamous House Music, Disco, and Nu-Disco parties have gone from strength to strength with a far reaching community all about about friendship, inclusiveness and a love of amazing music. Recently announced as joining the BBR Locals Lounge at Electric Gardens, BBR caught up with Andy for a chat.
What are your musical influences?
How long have we got? Ha! Far too many to mention, but here’s a random selection – Stevie Wonder, Giorgio Moroder, Masters at Work, Steely Dan, Ron Basejam, Pete Herbet and Dicky Trisco, Mozart, Burt Baccarat, Todd Terry, Todd Terje, Hot Toddy.
What have you been doing on the local scene in terms of delivering your vision, and what have been some of the challenges?
In the beginning simply getting enough people turned on to what we were trying to do musically was a big challenge. Sydney is very dominated by tech house and techno – standing out from that can sometimes be both a blessing and curse. We like to think we deliver the vision through everything we do – the DJs we book, the messaging we use, the people we collaborate with. It sounds a bit hippy but we are very much in it for the love of it. Nobody makes a cent from Rotarydisco. In fact so far all it’s done is cost money – ha!
What have been some of the highlights the past twelve months?
Again too many to mention; Dicky Trisco rocked it at Tatler, Frank Booker was amazing on our first birthday, Ron Basejam at Crane Bar back in Jan 2015 was totally off the hook. Did you know he’s playing for us again? Jan 14th at the Port In Darling Harbour (shameless plug).
Is there a change in the way fans engage with and react to what you are looking to do compared to the scene a few years ago?
To be honest no, not really, we’ve been blessed to have incredible support from our community from the very beginning. If anything that’s just got stronger over time. There’s one couple (hi Bev and Simon!) that came to our very first event and they’re still coming to almost every party. They’ve supported us in anyway they can, spreading the word, getting involved. They even (quite literally) bought the T-Shirt. We love people to get involved.
There have been a number of large festivals collapse in recent times, but there have also been some new more boutique festivals springing up, including Electric Gardens. How are you finding these new festivals?
We’re finding the new breed of festivals generally very good. The really large EDM one’s (that have all mostly died in Australia – thankfully) didn’t really press our buttons at all. They were far far removed from our view of what dance music is all about. Musically what we have now is much more on point and most good events engage in a much deeper way with the local community. Electric Gardens, Lost Paradise, Return to Rio, Subsonic – we’re big fans of all of them.
It must be encouraging the way T1000, via the BBR Locals Lounge at Electric Gardens, are championing some of the crews in Sydney pushing the edges in interesting ways with their parties and the way they approach the local scene. How have you found Sydney the past 12 months?
A bucket of contradictions! It’s great that a really big promoter like T1000 is supporting the local scene. The music community here remains incredibly vibrant, there are a huge number of very passionate people in this city that want to go out and experience a great time with great music. But there’s no denying the lockout laws continue to have an impact. A lot of venues have closed, less people are going out, and that’s made it much harder for smaller crews to find a position in the clubbing/music world and build a following. You have to really believe in what your doing and you have to work exceptionally hard to make it happen. If you want an easy ride, running parties in Sydney is not the place for you.
Are there any role models and influences in the Electric Gardens lineup?
Our role models are the people behind the scenes. The line-up is great, but it’s the folks that work day and night to make an event like this happen that we have the upmost respect for. A festival of this scale is a MASSIVE undertaking. Pulling it together is worthy of everyone’s recognition and acknowledgement.
What can people expect from the BBR Locals Lounge?
Awesome music, friendly vibes and the ability to chat to the DJ without having a triple A pass on!
What can people expect in the year ahead?
More amazing parties, DJs and producers from all corners of the globe, the same unrelenting focus on absolute quality; proper House Music, Disco, Nu-Disco and Edits. We want to deliver music that touches the soul and makes the spirit sing.
If you’re reading this and you think you might have something to contribute drop the crew a line. Rotarydisco@rotarydisco.com
Or chat to them at Electric Gardens, you can purchase discounted tix here