Behind The Party: Q&A With The Velvet Cave

Ilias Bakalla
7th Dec 2017

This month, located within the depths of a industrial underground concrete playground, Berlin’s influential record label and throbbing dark club night FLEISCH, will be making a special collaborative appearance for an exclusive, one off, late night RAVE in Australia.

How long have you been running events in Sydney?
I have been running events from 2011. Back and forth between Berlin and Australia.

What parties do you draw inspiration from?
I always draw inspiration from the environment. I love the idea of someone walking into a space and being completely transformed into another world that’s escapism for one night only. This can vary depending on my current infatuations, but currently I am inspired from a lot of my friend’s nights and music in Berlin - very much on the dark and industrial soundscape.

Where does this edition of The Velvet Cave fit into Sydney’s cultural landscape?
Ha. Well I guess it doesn’t. That’s the point. I wanted to give people something else that is flourishing and exciting overseas and bring it all the way to Sydney. An insight into another world of music.

How have you designated the space for this up-coming party? (i.e are there Art installations? Chill-out spaces? Extra stages?)
This is still very hush hush and the audience will definitely be impressed but lets just say it’s set within a dark industrial, concrete maze.

What sensory displays can the audience expect? (Vjaying? Light displays? Performers?)
Dimly lit neon, strobes and an immense amount of smoke. Pretty much exactly like Berghain.

Are there any defining characteristics of Velvet Cave parties that set them apart from events organised by other Sydney collectives?
I definitely think the effort that goes into them. Not saying that other Sydney Collectives don’t. But every event, whether it be hanging every surface of a basement with oriental flowers or closing down a main street in Surry Hills for a outside festival, has my blood sweat and tears put into it as it’s all about the experience. Wouldn’t do it otherwise.

Is there a fetishisation of the Berlin party scene that Sydney siders subscribe to? If so, why? Yes there definitely is but it’s not about Sydney siders subscribing to it. Everybody is more than welcome. It’s about that the clubbing culture of Berlin and people experiencing that and feeling free and to having fun. So choose at your own will.

Why do you feel the need to emphasise ‘No Homophobia’ and ‘Gender Neutrality’ on the event description? Because that is the way life should be in every way so this party is no exception.

Why do you think the Techno/Rave scene has become synonymous with alternative sexualities/sexual practices?
Because dance music and EBM was formed in LGBT communities. Whether in New York or Berlin, sexual minorities were historically central to the emergence of dance music culture.
Because dance music has had a massive global phenomenon, it’s important to keep the authenticity of an event to it’s original legacy and that is being completely expressively free.