Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
There's one gang headed to Minneapolis this month that no one should run from.
The Decentralized Dance Party (DDP) is bringing what they call "the world's funnest spontaneous street party" to town this Saturday, May 12 as part of their Strictly Business Tour. The theme is all business, from the dress code to the props, all the way down to the HR complaints about too much partying.
The way it works is that the day before the party starts party-goers are alerted as to the jump-off point through Twitter, Facebook, and the DDP email list. Then, revelers converge on the spot, sporting boomboxes that are all tuned to a master FM frequency (provided by the party DJ) turning them into one giant mobile dance party (which is decentralized. Get it? GET IT?).
This weekend will be the first Minnesota visit by the DDP crew, which started as just two dudes and a boombox in Vancouver. Before the party kicks off, we sat down with Mitch Ozmun, one of the event organizers, about exactly what we can expect to see bumping through the streets of Minneapolis this Saturday.
We've heard the basic spiel, but tell us in your words what the Decentralized Dance Party is all about.
It's pretty exciting. It's a giant, battery-powered, traveling party that draws thousands of people in, in every city we go to. How it works is we scout a party route, tell people where to find us, and just have a good time.
Like a port-a-rave?
We actually have a party manifesto on our website
, which says that you don't need drugs or liquor to have fun partying. We're trying to show people that you can go out on a Saturday night and have fun without getting all messed up. It's cool because it's for all ages and backgrounds, and just gets people out of the bar scene -- but still in the party scene.
How big are these parties?
They've grown quite a bit over the years. This started with just two guys and boom box in Vancouver a few years ago, and at that time they were only getting a few people. Now they've gone from having 12 people to 12,000 people at some parties, but the basic idea is still the same.
Seriously? How many people do you get on average?
We'll get an average of probably 1,000 to 3,000 people. There are over 800 already RSVP'd for the Minneapolis event on Facebook, so we'll probably get a good crowd.
How do you find a place to hold that many people?
We look for places that are open, have cool architecture, and are just good concentrated areas.
What about cops? Do police ever break up these parties?
We work really closely with the police. Anytime we are planning an event, we call the police, explain what we're doing, and let them know we don't condone drugs or alcohol. Usually they're very cool to work with. There's always going to be those few idiots who try and screw it up for all of us, but all you can do is convey responsibility and be open with the police.
The theme of this party is "Strictly Business." What does that mean?
Each of our parties has a theme, and this time we're all about business. That means wearing old suits and ties, and bringing along cool office props to the party. At one stop, we had a group of people bring an entire desk with supplies and everything, put it on wheels, and pushed it through the whole route. The more creative you are, the better, but you got to get into the theme or it defeats the purpose.
How long does the party last?
Usually about two to three hours, which is about the longest people are willing to walk and party.
Is this an all-ages thing?
Yeah. We get a pretty wide range of ages, with a good portion of our group being teens through people in their late twenties. But we also get parents with their kids, too. It's great.
Where do you see the DDP going in the future?
To be honest, we're still trying to figure out what this thing is. It's constantly evolving, so I don't know that I can tell you what it's going to become next. What I can tell you is that Minneapolis is going to be in for a great party, and people need to get ready and come out.
IF YOU GO:
Decentralized Dance Party
May 12, 8 p.m.
Visit the Decentralized Dance Party website, Facebook or Twitter for location