Last New Year’s Eve, at a tiny gathering of many thousands of people, all saying goodbye to 2016 simultaneously, Frédérik Durand announced proudly that in the summer of 2017 he and his team were going to throw the illest party ever conceived. It would be called “Sluggtopia,” and it hopes to melt the under-attire of everyone in attendance.
Snails never went back on his word, either, and began planning and executing not long after. And in just one short week from press time, it’s here. The festival-type event brings with it NGHTMRE, JOYRYDE, MUST DIE b2b LAXX and a few others that spell their names in all caps.
Yet even outside of Sluggtopia, the Canadian-born DJ who pioneered the “vomitstep” wave parties all the same. And he has some valuable tips for everyone wanting to follow his lead.
When throwing a party the size of the show at Red Rocks, what's the first thing you're thinking of while planning?
"There’s one million things running around my head for Red Rocks since it’s such a big venue and one of my favorites in the world. The first question that came to mind though, was how can I make sure to make it the best, most epic Snails show ever. So I sat down and thought about stage conception, the story behind Sluggtopia, my debut album, and how they all fit together. I want to do the most I can for my fans and give them the craziest show.
How about house parties? Do you have any reservations about throwing those at your own pad?
Oh man, talking about house parties brings up so many memories! I come from that world, of having a small house party and I use to DJ those types of parties in the beginning. Sometimes when I’m out in some city after a show, I throw some after parties and get like 50 people in a small house and we just go crazy! As for now, I don't have any planned, but I feel it's hard to plan those parties well sometimes. The best parties are the ones that just sort of happen at the end of the night.
What are three rules you adhere to when throwing parties?
Have fun — Be respectful — Bring alcohol (and don't steal other people’s alcohol).
Any lists of necessary supplies needed for the ultimate gathering?
I love this question! I would bring tacos and some tequila and my Nintendo Switch! If you bring all of that you are set for the best hang out!
Where's your mind usually at before you step on stage? Nervous, anxious, stoked?
Even after 4-5 years doing shows, every single one I'm still nervous before — but in the good way! I’m always super excited. I try to relax myself and enjoy some backstage time with my friends and people I know before my sets so I don’t think about it really and just have a good vibe and good time before my set.
When making the guest list, who do you consider first, and how do you tell people 'No I don't have any more room'?
[laughs] That’s a tough one. Personally the only time I say I don't have guestlist spots left is when I really don't have space on it. Normally, I let as much people on it that I want till the promoter tells me I can’t anymore. [laughs] I guess in order I’d say: my family, my best friends, people I’ve seen before, fans that aren't able to afford the show but I know are super supportive of Snails. Vomitsquad forever!
Your best advice to kids who want to throw parties for a living.
I would say everything starts with a person who loves being in public and have fun. Not being shy and being everywhere all the time is great so you can make all the contacts and references you need to be a success. I feel like every time the promoter is like that, that's been one of the best parties.
What does the future hold for Snails? Any news, shoutouts?
So much stuff for Snails is coming — from the album to the tour to Red Rocks! Seriously though, I’ve been working so much on all of that and I can't express the feeling to finally put stuff out there and show everybody the new Snails songs I’ve worked on for so long.
I would give a shout out to all my management team and my booking agency to have put all of that together because without them I would have never been able to. But the most important shout out I wanna give is to my mom because she’s the most important person in my life and always has been there to support me and push me to the next level! I love you mama, and thank you for being part of my world and supporting me everyday."