In July 2015, we received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be flown to London and given a full fleet of boomboxes in order to host a DDP that would be featured in a Vice UK documentary. Nothing too complicated, and the potential for disaster was relatively slim.
It also represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite the DDP Family for a full European tour and film the narrative backbone for our long-in-production documentary film “Another Night, Another Dream“.
And although I’d sworn after the last Party Safari in 2012 to never rush into another one without adequate time to fully prepare and secure the necessary financing, after much discussion, we decided to roll the dice and create some high-stakes art.
A last-minute crowdfunding campaign was created, credit limits were extended, fingers were crossed, and the potential for disaster massively increased as we hurled ourselves headlong into a sixth insane Party Safari adventure…
As our departure date drew near, the numbers were moving extremely slowly on the event pages and crowdfunder. It was impossible to know whether language and cultural barriers would cause the whole thing to fail and anxiety ran extremely high as we scrambled to get the numbers up.
Everyone also kept warning us that “things are different in Europe”, that the police were all on high alert for terrorist activities, and that “what worked in North America wouldn’t necessarily work over here”.
With only several days to go before the first DDP, the numbers were still alarmingly low. As we worked hurriedly to prepare all the boomboxes and props in our East London hideout, it was anyone’s guess how it would all play out…
The London DDP went incredibly well. Hundreds showed up and Vice got all the footage required for their documentary, which should be getting released on November 9th!
Paris was even better: starting at the Louvre, getting wild on the Metro, serenading some overjoyed newlyweds, and adventuring across countless historical monuments for an epic Eiffel Tower finale.
On our first night in Berlin, we presented the DDP and discussed its Open-Source ethos with a very receptive crowd at the Bitcoin/Singularity Meets Self-Improvement meetup. Big thanks again to Trent at Ascribe.io for organizing!
Berlin was everything a DDP should be: a massive crowd dressed to the nines, an insanely ambitious Party route seen to completion, a bewildered police escort the entire way, and a magnificent meatloaf finale at the Brandenburg Gate.
And then we inadvertently found ourselves at the best afterParty of all time…
We were just sitting there eating, when, without warning, the donair guys pulled out a Party light and fired up the craziest Party playlist ever: Turkish Techno, Backstreet Boys, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Limp Bizkit, etc. all just POUNDING through the roof PA speakers at max volume and completely blowing out. It lasted for hours. It was beautiful.
Turin was next. It was a huge turnout, with hordes of hot-blooded Italians blasting off high-powered pyrotechnics as we Partied over, under, and across one of the most historic cities in the world.
And Arte TV flew in to film a follow-up to their rad 2012 piece on The Party Revolution:
Venice was an intentionally intimate Party with no set route; just a small gang running wild through the ancient architecture for hours on end, yelling “Biennale! Bienalle!” (Venice’s Biennale is the longest-running art exhibition in the world) as we shared our unique flavor of art with hundreds of incredulous and overjoyed participants.
Next up was the overnight ferry to Greece. Although the pool and disco were shut down for the off-season and the only remaining attraction was hundreds of surly mediterranean truck drivers, we still managed to salvage some very good times:
Athens was our final stop and the biggest question mark of the tour. With the recent unrest and machine gun toting riot police on patrol all over the city, it was impossible to know whether this would be the bitter end of the Party Revolution…
To everyone’s surprise, regardless of how large and crazy the Party got, the Athens police completely ignored us, except for one of the ceremonial guardsmen at Syntagma Square (who was caught busting a move during the Meatloaf finale).
With tears in their eyes, overjoyed locals thanked us wholeheartedly for traveling to the other side of the planet to share our unique brand of freedom and connection with a society that had seen plenty of hardship in recent times.
It was one of the greatest DDPs ever, and a magnificent end to yet another Party Safari that, against all odds, somehow worked out. Further proof that Capital-P-Partying can instantly transcend all cultural and language barriers and indeed has the power to unite the world in celebration!
Night after night, the magic of the DDP held strong and hundreds of people were unified without inhibition to celebrate life and liberty in a glorious monument to the human spirit.
As with every DDP on every Party Safari before, every night was indeed “Another Dream” and an incredible success. And to top it all off, we’d managed to capture all the footage required to finally complete our “Another Night, Another Dream” documentary!
Unfortunately, behind the scenes, things were extremely stressful for everyone involved. Once again, expenses had far exceeded revenues and the tour had taken a steep toll on my body, mind, spirit and relationship.
Throughout the three nonstop months of preparation and execution required to pull this thing off, my greatest fear (besides triggering an aneurysm) was that I might burn out and be unable to sustain the dream any longer. That this really might be the end.
It’s been a long, hard six-year struggle to keep the Party Revolution going.
A crazy amount of money has been invested, a million mind-numbing hours spent chained to the computer dealing with logistics, many fallouts with close collaborators, endless frustrations on all fronts, and we’re now on our seventh “Tom”. For real. (he’s great).
When I began writing this post, I honestly wasn’t sure whether or not this thing had been a disaster. Despite all the successes listed above, I’d been red-lining for way too long and driven myself to the brink. For the first time in my life, anxiety had been creeping in and was seriously affecting my mood, memory and motivation.
But recounting the story of the tour and re-living all the amazing moments we delivered and shared has been quite cathartic and at this point I’m feeling much better about it all.
I still love and believe in the DDP with all my heart and know that Capital-P-Partying and Decentralized Sound Systems have the power to instantly connect thousands of people and unite the world like nothing else.
And I still believe that this thing has the potential to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Over the years, we’ve received such an overwhelming outpouring of love, support and respect from so many of the most beautiful spirits on the planet and all I want to do is continue to inspire and be inspired by them.
This project has exceeded all my expectations, opened my eyes to an astounding number of truths, connected me with so many incredible people, and been an amazing odyssey of mischief, adventure and personal growth.
Despite all the challenges, in my mind, this project is still the funnest, funniest, most life-affirming thing I could be doing; something that truly speaks to and from my soul.
I just need to figure out a way to move forward with it from a place of mental and financial stability; to do the DDP in a way that allows me to once again enjoy the process and lead a life that is fun and fulfilling and create art from a place of wonder and inspiration rather than stress and mania.
And so, on the advice of a reputable shaman, I’ve gone to the the wilderness for awhile to unplug from it all and revitalize my body, mind and spirit.
Unless my time in the woods convinces me down a different path, when I emerge, I’ll be seeking to connect with as many people as possible who want to get directly involved and help to make this crazy dream reality. Roles will include marketing, design, strategy, research, web design, media outreach, filming and editing, creating your own DDPs, etc.
Ongoing projects include: The Social Stereo, DDP Field Manual, DDP Documentary, and The Global Party Pandemic. And we’re seeking a distributor for the documentary as well.
If you have a special skill you’d like to lend, or just really believe in this thing and want to get involved however you can, please join the Mailing List for updates, or EMAIL DIRECT to let us know how you’d like to get involved, especially if you live in Vancouver!
And for anyone who came out and had a great time, or believes in what we’re doing and wants to support it from afar, the Euro Tour crowdfunder is still live at: Crowdgift.ca/DDP-Europe 🙂
Aaaaaaaand bringing things full circle, a final mention of “Partying as Art”:
“Art is the act of triggering deep memories of what it means to be fully human”
– David Whyte
I met an amazingly talented new friend whilst in the woods who shared my love of music and philosophy and the philosophy of music and we recorded the radical interview embedded below:
After several months in the woods, I made my way back to Vancouver, mended my relationship with Kerry and am once again fired up and going full-throttle on the Party Revolution!
The Vice doc was released and it turned out to be pretty righteous:
As did this music video that was commissioned by THANKS and created by Mark Boucher:
And we also just launched a Patreon campaign that will hopefully help to sustain the next five crucial months leading up to the first-ever DDP Summit. Please support if you can 🙂
Some very fine work Gary, thanks for the report.
I love you guys. I partied with you during your second appearance in Austin, TX and it was fantastic. I live in Denver now and if you haven’t been here yet, we would welcome you with open arms.
I don’t know how I would possibly help, but I firmly believe in your dream too and am willing to volunteer whatever time I can in any way. I’m an I.T. professional and I know a software Salesforce that could actually be put to use for something like this but it would take me a while to figure out how. Yet, it’s a project I’m willing to undertake.
Anyway, if you ever need an I.T. person to do some remote volunteer work, I’m here.
Your doing a great thing. I hope the woods bring you peace and an open mind. We all need some time away from busy lives and computers.
I’ve never partied with you, but I believe in your partying potential since I saw HTB Earth Tour. Cheers from South America.
Thank you for loving your beautiful dream, and good luck on your vision quest. May you find yourself and the path to a sustainable DDP deep in the heart of the wild.
Some of the best nights of my life have been partying with you guys. I absolutely love what you do. It’s unfortunate that the series of events last time you guys were here in Saskatoon led to no return. Hope to see you guys again one day. I have even thought about organizing my own DDP, but it just wouldn’t be the same. Best of luck and hope the future is bright!
Risks well taken.
You had me there in spirit.
Reputable shaman indeed… hope those blank pages served their purpose.
PS: Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy… a copy landed its way onto my desk somehow the day you posted this.
I love you, Tom(s), and the Elite Banana Task Force.
You made me feel like part of the family. You’ve given me an experience that will likely give me this teary-eyed smile whenever I think of this time, for the rest of my life. I’m glad me and my boomboxes could contribute to this. If I wasn’t a believer already, this experience would have made me one. I have tons of respect for you and all the other hardcore DDP supporters around the world.