Throwing parties for a living must seem a seductive career choice to outsiders. Patrons pay you to party, right? How hard can it possibly be? Harder than it looks, as was proven this past weekend at The Denver Coliseum. Wow 303 Entertainment, a company with only one previous event to their credit (and zero relation to our magazine), attempted to pack the Coliseum on both Friday and Saturday with their Big Bang event, calling it “Denver’s newest breed of supermassive.” First of all, renting a 10,000 capacity venue does not exactly guarantee anyone will fill it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks, currently the largest electronic music concert in Colorado. The first year Global promoters Triad Dragons took the Red Rocks date from Rave on the Rocks’ promoter Clear Channel, only three thousand people showed up. Numbers were even lower the second year, partly because of patrons’ distrust that headliner Paul Van Dyk would be there (he’d gotten food poisoning the year prior, to the disappointment of fans). Global didn’t make money until the third year—and it still didn’t the cover their losses on the previous two. Only after selling the event out for multiple years did they add a second night last summer (year eight, for anyone keeping score). If it wasn’t already implied, not a single Big Bang patron complained about a lack of dance floor real estate (read: The Coliseum could’ve benefited from a few thousand more bodies).
To be fair, Wow 303 didn’t get everything wrong. There was some impressive talent involved, including Excision, Calvin Harris, Donald Glaude, Mt. Eden, Hatiras, Elite Force and Bunny of Rabbit in the Moon. Main stage production was impressive. Fusion Visuals’ Teva Mcmillan definitely didn’t disappoint in the flashing lights department. Stitches and Nate The Average did a fine job with the rabbit-eared gas masks that Bunny’s dancers donned. And I was ecstatic that someone booked Vegas-based performance artist Bambu and her crew.
Elsewhere, rookie mistakes abounded. Guest lists were poorly organized. Security was extremely lax (no one even checked my ID on night two). Dancer quarters and VIP were sandwiched together in the same room (separated only by curtains). Hot tubs (not a typo) were placed near port-a-potties. Performer comps were retracted at the last minute (a strategy that probably didn’t force a spike in ticket sales). I could go on, but I’ll spare them further humiliation.
Strangest party souvenir ever? A Big Bang logo-emblazoned towel–presumably for the hot tubs.