Thousands of years ago, ancient Celtic and Germanic civilizations celebrated the first day of May — a month eventually named for Roman fertility goddess Maia — with dancing, drinking, and general merriment. Christians came along and kind of ruined the whole pagan thing, but the tradition of May Day festivities survived.
Fast-forward about 15 centuries to 2013 and we're still getting down and dirty to usher in the warmer days of springtime. Even though May Day has officially passed, Hypnotic Productions happily announced their eighth-annual Maydaze event at Club Cinema. Bass, lasers, and dancing beauties will all honor yet another joyous season of fertility.
They know it's the fans who make their party dreams come true, and to please them, they must continually top each prior party with more lights, more sounds, and more energy.
"We always try to bring something unique and different to the table," said organizer and headliner Danny "DJ Xta-C" Colica. "This year, we scheduled all of our main-stage acts to be more of a live performance, a more visually and audibly stimulating performance, instead of just a regular DJ going up there and dropping tracks. Everybody that's up there has a uniqueness to their performance; they all have a visual entity."
And Maydaze 2013 is packing some serious heat. The lineup is stacked across three stages, each designed to bring something special to your eyes and ears. Headlining the main stage is L.A.-based trap and moombah star ETC!ETC!, the mind-bending Mobius8 and his amazing Hydra, and Xta-C.
ETC!ETC! has blazed through the Beatport charts with his dark mix of hip-hop beats and dance-music melodies. He's got the raw, street-savvy sound so many EDM fans are going nuts for. The chance to see him perform live is a rarity.
If you've been to Maydaze before, you might find the choice of headliner more aggressive and bombastic than in previous years, which focused more on genres like trance and house. But hey, this is America, and even the rave scene runs on supply and demand.
"People seem to like the bass music lately," Colica reflected. "You've gotta give the people what they like. That's what it's all about."
Even more visually stimulating is going to be Mobius8. You've never seen a musician quite like him, because the electronic-performance artist uses a unique system of lasers to give his music life. Born in Philly, this independent artist moved to Miami and invented his own organic interface: a giant rig he calls the Hydra, from which he can control loops, samples, and vocals with the wave of his hand.
"I have to say that I'm pretty excited to see how Mobius8 and the whole laser show works out," Colica admitted. He also promised that the entire place will be decked out in more lasers and pretty lights than Maydaze, or Club Cinema, for that matter, has ever seen. "I've never actually seen ETC!ETC! live, so I'm pretty excited for that. And I'm personally excited to be able to perform too."
Colica and his partner in crime, DJ Influence, are taking time out of busy tour schedules to play this, their favorite of the 12 or so annual events they head. In fact, Maydaze 2013 will be the first show they perform together on their tour, which takes them all over Florida and the Southeast until they finish at the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa.
Rounding out the Maydaze lineup are five more incredible main-stage openers, like Whi5ker5, with his crazy mask and sexy girls, and old-school South Florida favorite Mad Hatter, who will get the crowd primed and ready for the big boys. Not to mention seven more DJ and producer acts spread across the other two stages, filling Club Cinema to the brim with bangers.
The first side stage features bass in all its delicious forms. This is where they will blast you with the grimiest and dirtiest in dubstep, drum 'n' bass, and trap with DJs Soular, SoundWav3, and more. But also worth a gander is the 1 UP Productions stage, bringing a bunch of local Florida flavor in every genre imaginable, boasting acts Dub Recon, DJ MuNkEy, and the Beattoven.
But music isn't the only thing revelers can look forward to. As with Maydazes of the past, Colica promises that they'll "definitely have a bunch of live entertainment."
What does that mean? Think fire-spinners, aerial ballerinas, and go-go dancers. Imagine confetti canons, cryo-guns, and dudes in glowing costumes. Maydaze is a completely immersive experience, stimulating all the senses until you're totally overloaded.
Like we said before, Colica promises to push the Club Cinema laser-game to a whole new level. He and his crew teamed up with the good people of LaserNet to have the venue totally strapped up with cutting-edge, mind-blowing lighting effects.
"Not many people realize that when they are at a concert, it is not only the music that moves them but the programming of lighting too," Colica said. For him and his team, it all comes back to the company's name, Hypnotic Productions. With all of their shows, Colica and his buddies try to create "musically and visually hypnotic" experiences that stick with their fans beyond last call.
"The experience is what all of our patrons remember," he said, "and it's what we work so hard for."
And if years past are any indication, there's always the chance for some unplanned insanity.
"It's kind of a dangerous story," Colica started, explaining how at last year's Maydaze, he'd hung a chair from a ceiling winch to help the tool balance out and operate. Of course, as the energy of the show escalated, performers started grabbing hold of this crazy thing and swinging above the heads of the crowd. It was the kind of insane of-the-moment theatrics you just can't plan.
If you want to see the crazy shit that's coming this year, you're just going to have to be a part of it yourself. Not even Colica and the Hypnotic Productions crew know exactly what to expect, but for them, that's part of the fun.
"This year should hopefully be a really, really good year," he said. "We will continue doing it as long as we can."
They've got the music, the lights, and the décor lined up — all they need is you.