Right now, a movement is taking place. A Party revolution. It all started with Gary Lachance throwing some pretty insane parties. Today, the parties have grown to tens of thousands of people. In a few weeks, they are bringing the ridiculous fun to the US for the ‘Strictly Business Tour‘. Along with his co-founder and fellow Canadian, Tom (pictured on the left), Gary invented what has to be my favorite invention of the 21st century: the ‘Decentralized Dance Party‘.
Their vision is huge. They plan to take The DDP to every country in the world. They dream of creating a lasting global movement and hosting a “Simultaneous World Dance Party” – a Party transmitted to people all around the world, at the same time. Gary can see their Parties playing a role on positive social education one day.
They even have a particular philosophy for how to Party; a philosophy they spelled out in a must-read blog post titled “The Seven Commandments of Successful Partying“. Since, the rather epic post has become known as ‘The Party Manifesto‘.
“Our goal is to further the frontiers of Partying, bring joy to millions of people and ensure that Partying is legitimized, respected, and forever enshrined as a spiritual movement of paramount importance.“
Gary and his co-founder Tom believe that Partying is “the most misunderestimated artistic medium in existence.” The difference between them and others who may share their beliefs about Partying? Tom and Gary dreamed up something I think is pure genius, and actually acted on it.
In 2006, Gary won an iPod Shuffle in a local Canadian bank promotion. With an old boombox laying around at home, he had a flash of inspiration. If he could connect the iPod to an FM radio transmitter and tune a bunch of battery-powered boomboxes to the same ‘Party broadcast’… he could throw a huge outdoor party where everyone would be in sync to the same music.
Essentially, this was the birth of the name ‘Decentralized Dance Party‘: there is no central audio source and no central location for each Party. Oh, and if you hadn’t noticed already, they have insisted on capitalizing the “P” in ‘Partying’. Always.
PARTYING AS ART
By 2010, Tom and Gary had seen as many as 20,000 people take part in a single night of The DDP – so they decided to go on a tour across Canada. Titling their tour the “Party Safari“, they threw 7 parties in 18 days while trekking coast-to-coast across Canada. Funding the entire tour by themselves, they shared the enjoyment and utter madness of The DDP with thousands and thousands of Partiers.
To Gary, it was evidence of what he has believed all along: that Partying in its purest form is art.
“Partying is a form of art. If you ask someone ‘what is art?’, they would say ‘human self expression’. The more you let loose with that, the more uninhibited you are when you are creating whatever art you are creating, the better that art is. Partying is uninhibited self expression, letting go of everything you’ve been trained to do. Society conditions us to be these scared, boring, homogenized, monotone people who’s main goal is accumulating wealth and working nonstop.“
With that, let’s get to my interview with Gary.
1. Who are you guys, haha? What were you up to before you started the Decentralized Dance Party?
Two crazy guys from rural Canada who loved to Party and ran around in crazy clothes at night with boomboxes… freaking out and having the best times, every time, and all the time.
2. What is the Decentralized Dance Party (“DDP”)?
It’s many things to many people – to us, it is a portable, battery-powered Party System. It consists of hundreds of Party People (carrying boomboxes) and a DJ who wears a backpack containing an FM radio transmitter. We want to redefine what can be possible in a public place… what can and can’t happen. It’s a social experiment with human behavior – how you can bring thousands of people together to have a good time, from all walks of life. (We laid out our whole vision here, and we show you in the video below!)
3. You must have some crazy, crazy stories after throwing so many parties around the world. Can you share one of the craziest stories?
We have hundreds! We crashed a Santa Clause parade with a brigade of 300 Santas once, and there was the time I nearly lost my life backflipping off a tower into unknown waters… haha. We have thrown over 20 unauthorized parties for thousands of people, and every one has been an adventure . In fact, we even got my Grandma to bust a move (picture below)!
FOUR FAST QUESTIONS TO GET TO KNOW GARY AND THE DDP
1. Give us an idea of the type of music you play at your parties. What genres, artists, or songs do you prefer the most?
2. What was the size of the biggest Party you’ve organized?
We threw a Party for 20,000 people in the middle of a blizzard in Vancouver (crazy pictures here)!
3. In your “Party Manifesto”, you say alcohol is used for boring parties. With that being said, what is your favorite type of drink?
4. Best movie ever made is…?
Want more? Watch Gary discuss the explosion of the Decentralized Dance Party in the interview below. Don’t miss the end – the camera keeps rolling as Gary leaves the interview and makes his entrance to the 15th ever DDP, which took place in Calgary. It gives you an idea of the energy and enthusiasm at these parties:
In closing, I will give some background on my interview with Gary. This past summer, my boy Ian Spector invited me to this crazy art gallery showing in the Lower East Side in NYC called “Store Buyout“. They were auctioning off the longest receipt in the world. I met one of the organizers, Kyle McDonald (the guy who traded a red paperclip for a house), and he introduced me to Gary. It was inspiring listening to Gary tell his story of starting the Decentralized Dance Party and his vision to bring it to every country around the world. He was game for the interview and the rest as they say, is history.
I think this is one of the coolest ‘movements’ I’ve ever heard of. If you want to get involved, Gary says:
“We are seeking a broadcast/webcast partner to create a TV/web series featuring our Party exploits – including our plans for the Global Party Pandemic of 2012 and its daunting centerpiece, the ‘Stan Tour’ (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Transnistria).“
If you have a crazy idea for Gary or a question about The DDP, please drop your knowledge in the comments below!