It's not long now until 51st State Festival returns to its leafy surroundings of Trent Park, North London to celebrate its 5th year of Trans-Atlantic House unification. Operating as an independent festival in a saturated market ain't easy, however having the collective experience of established promoters behind them, 51st State is now a major staple in London's busy festival calendar.
We asked the organisers of 51st a few questions and learnt about their unique history, created by putting on some of London's most-loved parties.
So you guys have been promoting parties and festivals for a while now. 51st has set a trend for celebrating the roots of the UK scene and has amassed a loyal following. What sparked the idea of 51st state?
We wanted to bring a unique festival to the London festival market showcasing House music, the music that we have been supporting in the clubs for many years as it hadn’t previously been represented. We thought that our main love, House music, and its loyal followers needed to be represented on the bigger stage it deserves and lets our unique crowd have a great festival experience.
So with the collective knowledge, you guys have between you, what events and parties did you guys get down to before establishing 51st State, how did it all begin?
The following events are run by the people behind 51st State Festival and continue to have great success at a variety of London nightlife hotspots including Ministry of Sound, Fabric, Great Suffolk Street Warehouse: Back to 95 established in 2001 and Groove Odyssey established in 1999.
What would you say is the main ethos of 51st State and how does this carry over to the events you host?
51st State Festival celebrates the roots of House music, pulling together the threads of this hugely influential sound, exploring classic house, tech house, afro house, garage, disco, soul, dub, dancehall and more. The 51st State Festival program is truly transatlantic, joining the dots between the US, the UK, Europe and the Caribbean.
51st State celebrates its 5th year in the game, how do you see the festival in 10 years time?
Our main focus is to continue bringing the ultimate House music festival experience to London with the leading international artists in the scene.
Running a festival is no easy feat. Running a successful festival is especially hard, tell us about some of the most challenging situations you have faced?
Some of the most challenging parts to running the festival is keeping on top of the increasingly saturated London festival market place especially as we are an independent festival organiser. Over the last 5 years we’ve had a few challenges but every year we want to provide the best artists, the best customer experience and improve each year. After each festival we go though all the feedback and look to improve. We work closely with local residents and stake holders to ensure each year the festival experience improves.
You have announced a secret guest deejay for your Back 2 95 Arena and billed him as the UK’s No.1 DJ. Any more clues to help us figure out who this could be?
Sorry no clues as this is a massive 5th Birthday secret surprise which we feel this event deserves, he might not be the tallest but he is the UK number 1 Garage DJ.
How have you seen promoting change since you started as dance music has now evolved and younger generations now partying?
Promoting has changed drastically over the last 20 years mainly due to the internet and socials media.
The last few years you guys have been busy hosting events and festivals constantly. That must be all systems go! Hope you all get a chance to let your hair down?
We work tirelessly to make sure everyone at 51stState Festival has the best possible festival experience to their much loved House music so the only day we stop will be Christmas Day!
So last year Carl Cox was headlining and this year you have Kerri Chandler and The King’s Of House NYC. How do you go about choosing your line up and musical direction?
We approach the bookings for 51st State Festival with the main ethos of the festival – a celebration of real House music.
What’s been your proudest moments since promoting 51st State or any of the other events you have done?
Our proudest moment would be selling out the first festival and having a loyal following who return each year.
Are there any other ideas or events you guys would like to accomplish within our music scene before you call it a day?
The 51st State Festival team are always looking at new ideas for events and will be announcing new projects in the near future.
What makes a good party a sick party in five words or less?
Sound, vision, atmosphere and House music!
For more info and to buy tickets click here
For tickets and details for the festival after party at Ministry of Sound click here