As we close in on Saturday’s hotly anticipated ‘Project S’ mansion party, we sat down with Summerlove co-founder and DJ, Dean Pogs to discuss their unique events and supporting Sydney’s local talent…
RR: Dean, great to chat. Project S is almost upon us! Tell us about the concept behind the event and what we should expect.
Dean: So the concept behind Project S was to create a music and social experience that hasn’t been done before in Sydney. It’s inspired by the movie ‘Project X’, hence our motto ‘the craziest and most ridiculous house party that Sydney has ever seen’. We’ve gone all out… each room is themed differently, we hand-picked 32 DJs from all over Sydney and the sound and lighting installations are unbelievable! I’m beyond excited to see people’s reactions as they explore the house – I’m pretty sure there will literally be jaws dropping! We even have an indoor ball park with 15,000 balls haha! Essentially, Project S has turned into a mini-festival… quoting a chat I had with Robbie Lowe when we discussed the idea a few months ago, he said “it’s a one in a hundred-year party… frothing!”
RR: Haha sounds about right. Organising an event with so many different aspects to it must take a lot of time and effort. What have been the biggest challenges for you?
Dean: Project S has been by far the most challenging event we’ve put together. Mainly because of the logistics of coordinating the DJs, performers, bands and legalities. There have been some major speedbumps along the way too, including the hilarious operation of soundproofing an entire house in one of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs! Issues like that made us think about pulling the pin, but we pushed forward. We find that our energy and passion is contagious to those around us, which keeps us going… hard work definitely pays off!
RR: The party has a great line up featuring only Sydney-based talent, which is refreshing. Do you feel that our local DJs generally get a fair shot, or are they overshadowed by international artists?
Dean: I’ve always been a strong believer that our local Sydney DJs have the passion and talent to perform as well, if not better, than any international we have seen on our shores. Booking an international is exciting and definitely generates more interest, which does overshadow the local talent – but some of the best sets I’ve heard in my life have been from local Sydney DJs. I believe our local DJs are getting more and more attention and the DJ community is amazing here.
RR: So how did Summerlove first get off the ground?
Dean: Haha it always makes me laugh… we were sitting in our living room in the summer of 2014, we got bored of sitting around, so we said “let’s create a free Facebook event, invite a shitload of people to a secret location, send out a treasure map, get a cheap ass boat and hook up some speakers and DJ decks to the back of it”. The next thing we knew, there were over 1000 people at Gibson’s Beach near Watsons Bay, dancing in the water and on the sand. We had two police SWAT boats tied up on either side of us, the police were flirting with the girls in bikinis dancing on the back of our boat - it was brilliant!
RR: Sounds it haha. Your sold out collaboration with Blueprint for the Boxing day party at Watsons Bay Hotel was mad! What do you think made it so successful?
Dean: Aside from being at one of the best venues in Sydney, the Boxing Day party was so successful because of how well Ben Nott and I worked together. We generated excitement two months before the event. People also couldn’t believe that we were actually taking over Watsons Bay Hotel - they usually host more ‘tame’ events. It was hilarious to see those D&B speakers shake a packed wedding function room till close at full tilt haha.
RR: Now if you could choose any DJ to headline one of your parties, who would it be?
Dean: Black Coffee - his vibe, warm energy and eclectic style of music is second to none. I would love for people to experience one of his incredibly memorable sets in person.
RR: You also DJ yourself, what would you say has been the most memorable set you’ve played over the years?
Dean: That’s a great question! One of my favourites was playing at a Blueprint boat party with Dan Mac on the electric guitar behind me. We had two ‘sit downs’ that night, while cruising under the Harbour Bridge… it was epic. But my most memorable set was actually in a small town in Spain called Olivella. I was playing at a close friend’s wedding at a historic 200 year old castle-style villa. The villa had a sandstone walled nightclub and I played till the sun came up over the Spanish mountains. It still gives me goosebumps.
RR: Nice. Can you tell us one track you like to drop which always goes off?
Dean: Man with the red face’ by Funkagenda & Mark Knight. Especially when Dan is on electric guitar and Sam is on the sax. It never gets old.
RR: Now we know you’re moving to Tel Aviv shortly after the event. What motivated you to start a new chapter there?
Dean: I have mixed motivations, but mainly because I always wanted to live and work abroad. Tel Aviv is a really special place, it has an incredible music scene, amazing beaches and is only 4 hours to most places in Europe - which is a huge thumbs up for me as I haven’t spent much time in Europe. I’m hoping that my background in accounting and legal will finally pay off and get some interesting work within the start-up scene in Israel.
RR: Finally, what does the future hold for Summerlove now that you’ll be heading overseas?
Dean: Summerlove will continue to grow… I’ll be setting up in Tel Aviv and Steve will manage the Sydney winter events. I’ll also be back for a visit at the end of this year as we’re already planning the Summer 2018/19 Parties… so follow us on Facebook to get all our invites!
RR: Thanks for the chat Dean, we’ll be seeing you at Project S!
Tickets are on final release for Saturday’s ‘Project S’. Get your invite here.