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Ravenbogen: My First Techno Party

My DJ career started a couple of years ago when I wrote an article for the magazine Futter (R.I.P.) about whether it’s possible to become a DJ in just three weeks. Back then I never would have imagined hosting my own event in the basement of Mi Casa Graz. 

To summarize my experiences from my DJ experiment: Yes, it is possible but No, you won’t be good. When I stood at the turntables of Die Graslerei after practicing for just three weeks, with lots of people waiting hungrily for music to party to, I was so fricking nervous. I was performing as part of the sex-positive event series Dancen und Schmusen!, an event I also did all the visual design for. I knew the event and the people it caters to but DJing live is extremely different from doing it at home. D’Uh.

So, I sucked (Well, I guess I was okay, but many mistakes happened). And I continued anyway and continued to suck. And still sometimes feel like I do. There’s an infinite amount of things that can go wrong when you’re DJing and you ought to be aware of all of them. It takes time and lots of practice. But when something works out well and you mix songs together in a totally new way, the feeling is incredible.

Then, COVID happened and all parties stopped for almost two years. In this time frame, I dated a lovely guy from Brazil who was very sad there weren’t gonna be any carnival parties in Graz this year. So, a friend and I made our own small Faschingsevent, just a handful of people in my re-organized living room. It was the first time Soj was DJing in front of people and she did an incredible job. I was so happy in this moment and so was the Fisherman.

After this, I wanted this to become a regular thing in Graz. As soon as it was safe to do so again. And, obviously, I wanted it to be a queer event since there aren’t many good queer parties in my hometown. As my friends and I are all about costumes and being a bit extra when going out, I wanted the event to motivate people to be a bit extra too. Lastly, I wanted this event to be label-free. I don’t love ‘everybody is welcome’ parties with signs at the doors that say: No homophobia, No racism, No sexism, No transphobia, etc. I don’t want to remind people about all the shit that is going on in the world. I want to create a safe space that is so obviously all-inclusive that it doesn’t need a sign to prove it. This means there also needs to be a security guy ready to kick people out if needed.

These weren’t the easiest prerequisites for a completely new party and after scouting locations for a while, I found the perfect fit in Mi Casa Graz, a Latin-American/Spanish bar and club in the heart of Graz’ hipster district Lend. “Of course, it had to be a Latin-American bar”, I thought, “after all it was a Brazilian who inspired our first party!” The circle seems to close perfectly – unlike the Ensō circle I used in the design of the party series, which stands for embracing the imperfect and unfinished.

After the location was found, everything went pretty fast. I spent my days designing Ravenbogen, thinking of everything that could go wrong and everything we needed to plan for. In the end, some things went wrong but none of which I had expected. Typical! But in the spirit of embracing the imperfect, I plan to pick up what didn’t go so well and do it better next time.

Therefore, the second party of the Ravenbogen Collective will take place on the 11th of March at 10 PM in the basement of Mi Casa. This time, we’re also welcoming a new DJ to the stage: DJ Lacy! I’m hella excited to bring their mixes to a larger audience because this day will also mark their first time DJing in front of a large club audience. Another circle closed!

Find our event on Instagram (@ravenbogen) or on Facebook – see you there!

 

BenLeander

 

Compulsive nonconformist who left the 9-to-5 world after studying psychology and has since then devoted himself to design and writing on a freelance basis. Has at least four different kinds of chips at home at any given time.

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