Since the turn of the century, Lloyd with Innovation has been throwing some of the largest DNB events in Europe and arguably the world. Starting off in the UK, the Innovation events quickly expanded all through out the continent into world renown festival’s such as Amsterdam’s Innovation in the Dam and Barcelona’s Innovation in the Sun, which bring in attendees from as far as North America to see the all-star line up. We speak with the brain machine and mastermind of these Innovation phenomenon events and get an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of pulling off a party of this magnitude.
How long has Innovation in the Sun been going on for?
The 2015 event will mark 13 years.
How did you come up with the idea for an event of this magnitude?
Back in 2002 and 2003 we did the first drum and bass weekender at Pontins, Camber Sands, and we could see how much the drum & bass ravers loved being together as one big DnB family, so we thought maybe they would enjoy traveling to another country and raving in the sun.
What is your background before doing Innovation in the Sun?
Going way back now… Myself and the Mrs started off in the scene as a Jungle record distribution company in the early nineties. Soon after we built up and acquired a small chain of record shops, which included the infamous ‘Boogietimes Records’ and ‘Parliament Records’ plus squeezing time run a number of Record labels.
Over the years, what’s DJ sets have been the highlights for you?
Wow, definitely too many to mention… like all styles of drum n bass so different sets have been marked as my favorite each year, but if I’m pushed to make choice on the best then I would have to say that Andy C and Shy FX never fails to impress.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened at Innovation in the Sun?
It’s sounds like a cliché but every day at Innovation In The Sun brings something new, crazy & unexpected….Once you mix together ravers, drum & bass and sun; you create a cocktail that is all about fun and crazy! Interacting and meeting with different ravers is always a great laugh.
What can a guest expect to experience by attending?
The event has something for everyone. Of course we have the scenes biggest artists playing in club Colossos and the Castle rave each night, but during the day you’re free to enjoy your holiday however you’d like to, it can be as relaxed or as manic as you wish. For the 24 hour party people they can set sail to rave on the ocean aboard one of our yacht parties, party hard at the wave pool party, rave with sand between their toes at the beach party or drown themselves with beats, bass, foam and UV paint at the ever popular foam and UV paint party! Those who want to chill can stay by the hotel pool, relax on the beach or enjoy the cocktails at our Innovation beach bar overlooking the Mediterranean sea.
I noticed the event is ram packed with some of the biggest names in UK DNB. Why no love for the US DNB guys?
Mainly because the UK guys are the dominating force in DNB music, they’re the pioneers of this scene. However, if enough people requested DNB artist from US or another country then I would certainly consider them.
Each year do you try to expand from the previous event and out do last year?
Oh yes, we definitely try to do something a bit different each year! This year for one of the nights we will be shutting down the venue and transporting everyone by coach to a HUGE Medieval castle. The castle will be transformed with decoration and fitted out with a banging sound system, lights and full production. I’m sure loads of ravers will be making this an opportunity to dress up and rave like royalty.
Money and availability and science aside, what would be your dream Innovation in the Sun event set up?
I have a very vivid imagination so I would end up writing an essay for this question…I have a few ideas up my sleeve that I hope to make a reality soon.
What’s next for you and the event?
We’ve got lots of fresh ideas flowing at the moment. Sometimes we need to apply a whole year in advance for a license to do new things, so watch this space!
Are there any final words or thoughts you’d like to share?
This year is currently selling faster than any previous so it looks like this could be the BIGGEST Innovation In The Sun yet! Oh and we have a few surprises to make the whole thing go with an extra bang.
Mike is the Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of the DNB Vault who, notably, was a long time writer for the now defunct KMAG while covering music and events from Warp Tour, NOFX, Dirtyphonics and Benny Page.