How would you describe the Gypsy Disco ethos?
The whole idea of Gypsy Disco is that we want to bring people together and to make it something more than just a club night. We hope to create a sort of playground where people can explore and interact with the night as well as with people which is why we have created a variety of structures and areas for our audience members to immerse themselves with. Within the collective we emphasise a policy of ‘no ego’ whereby we are all the same regardless of what role we have, this we hope is then transgressed within the event as we show we don’t take ourselves too seriously which I think is important to make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed.
We love putting on events and any money we do make goes straight back into making the next event more special.
There aren’t any other events quite like Gypsy Disco, what inspired the project?
To be honest, it all started with the discontent of the general Brighton club scene. I was quite bored, especially coming back after leaving the festival circuit and realised how many of people I met at festivals were from Brighton and saw that nothing with that sort of festival vibe really existed here.
The original idea was that I would just DJ balkan & klezmer-style music and put up a few wall hangings round the venue [laughs]. Caitlin, who I run Gypsy Disco with, is involved in theatre and she creates set designs – when she heard my idea she was like ‘no no, we’re gonna do it properly and do the whole place up’ [laughs]. With each event we keep growing and keep investing in more decorations and installations to keep adding change and innovation to the event as a whole.
It certainly does look amazing! Would you say that there are any events you’ve been to in the past that inspired Gypsy Disco to be what it is today?
I’d say that one of the main events that has inspired the Gypsy Disco idea is the Whirl-Y gig events in London. I DJ’d for them when I used to live in London and they are most definitely my main influence in wanting to start up an event that replicates the love and sense of self expression that can be achieved within a club-night environment. They are heavy on the decorations and the whole atmosphere is fantastic.
Where did the name ‘Gypsy Disco’ come from?
Well, we are all very passionate about gypsy & balkan music and we found that this style of music is being quite under-represented in Brighton compared with other cities whereby a variety of promoters put on shows which feature this genre. We wanted the event to be a platform for this music and allow the bands we put on to be able to play to a different sort of audience. There are some people however who assume that we are attempting to be derogatory towards the ethnic group which is a shame because I don’t think they realise that the music that we play is classified as Gypsy music and we just want to celebrate the music around it. We don’t do this for a living or for money in our pockets – we do it for the enjoyment and we are sure if they came to our events they might have a different outlook on it all.
The Gypsy Disco family travelled a lot of festivals last year doing over 12 festivals including the likes of Secret Garden Party, Boomtown and Bestival. How did you find the festival atmosphere compared to hosting your own night?
Very different – but equally as fun! We had venues at Boomtown, Meadowlands and Secret Garden Party – we found that doing these festivals created a much a more condensed version of what we normally do at our own event but we still found that the crowd were just as enthusiastic and excited by what we do. It was really intense though as we were doing performances non-stop from 10pm-4am which was an amazing experience, but by the end of it all I think we all just needed a good bath and a back rub!
What does the future hold for Gypsy Disco?
Well, we’re looking to turn Gypsy Disco into a production company as we have a great crew who specialise in stage management, lighting and sound, stage and set design, costume and prop design, PR & marketing as well as a whole host of other great talents so we thought we would take this collective and form a company which can work with other promoters or clients to put on bespoke events. The company will represent all of our 30+ performers as well as 10 bands whom will be part of our agency.
Another development we have is that Gypsy Disco will be releasing an album in featuring a variety of bands that we have put on at our events as well as a few whom will be playing in the future. People always come up to me after my DJ sets asking where they can hear more of the music I play so I thought it would be great to promote the genre and bands on a larger scale.
That sounds very exciting – we can’t wait to see the final product! When’s the next Gypsy Disco event?
The next Gypsy Disco is going to be on the 28th March at our new home – Concorde 2. Which we’re all really excited about! Hopefully the weather will be better by then!
I hear you’ve also been asked to play at the Brit awards after party too?
Yeah this is quite a recent development. They contacted us as they wanted the Gypsy Disco stage show to perform at the after Party whereby we will be bringing our performers as well as one of our favourite bands ‘Tantz’ to create a choreographed performance piece. We are incredibly excited for this as I’m sure Elton John & David Bowie will want to get in on the action!