ONE DIRTY STAGE ONE DIRTY VIBE
The goal was simple. Good music, good friends, and a bonfire underneath the stars. This basic formula turned into a recipe for many unforgettable nights.
After multiple prior financial losses, our founder Sam Groove decided that the only intent of producing this event was just to have fun, even if it meant losing money again. So we took the disco to the desert, far outside of town, with a $5 cover charge.
On Saturday February 20th 2010, unbeknownst to everyone in town, a flash storm engulfed the city with rain and lightning that afternoon. The outlook for the event was grim. Even with concern from the production crew and anxious ravers, we persuaded everyone to continue forward with the event in hopes that the storm would pass. That evening our crew began the event setup in the pouring rain underneath pop-up canopies. By some divine miracle, the rain storm ceased as soon as the music started pumping through the speakers. We didn’t see another drop of rain for the remainder of the night.
Once the event began, cars full of ravers arrived at the party location. Hundreds were in attendance to experience the massive amount of rain that transformed the desert grounds into a muddy dance floor. Surprisingly, the attendees did not seem to mind, but rather they embraced getting filthy underneath the stars. Thus, Dirty Disco was born.
With a successful event, despite the unfavorable odds, we couldn’t wait to get back out to the desert to do it again. We immediately set the date for the next Dirty Disco to be held just 3 months later on May 15th, when the weather is normally forecast for clear skies.
We kept the formula the same, touting our tagline “One Dirty Stage One Dirty Vibe” while keeping the price low with a $10 admission. This time around, we extended the length of the event until sunrise, and packed the lineup with more DJs to play the added time.
With perfect weather and momentous energy from the previous event, well over a thousand journeyed out to the desert to party under the stars until the sun came up. Dirty Disco was a massive success, but little did anyone know that this was just the beginning.
JUST ANOTHER DESERT PARTY
Even with year one slated as an undoubted success, the next 3 years ushered in an era of Dirty Disco that was unlike any event Arizona had ever seen.
In 2011 a new event location and increased security measures were implemented to ensure a safe event from dusk until dawn. Our second event established great attendance numbers, so we were able to increase the production value. We ramped up one aspect of the event that would define the Dirty Disco brand for years to come. Fire.
We teamed up with the local burner crew Warsaw Pact Entertainment to add pyrotechnics to the event. Fire cannons were put on the stage and a large “disco ball” made of wood was built to act as a burn sculpture, reminiscent of the Burning Man tradition. Around midnight the sculpture was set ablaze, and the crowd began running circles around the burn like a tribe of wild ravers. The flaming disco ball eventually turned into a bonfire that burned until the sunrise.
The attendance had significantly grew from the previous year, and the event reviews were overwhelmingly positive. It was at this point when we knew that we had something special on our hands.
At this time, Dirty Disco had grown further past any trajectory that was ever envisioned. We knew that there was serious growth potential for this event, so we partnered with Hades Entertainment in order to refine Dirty Disco for 2012 and develop a long term plan for the event.
The next step for Dirty Disco was to host it at a fully legal event venue. Veteran rave location Cowtown (paintball range) was poised to host the 2012 party. With everything looking great leading up to the event, we were called to meet with city officials the day before. We were shocked to learn that our permits had been pulled and we were threatened legal action if were to proceed with the event. The fate of Dirty Disco 2012 and beyond was potentially destroyed.
With extreme urgency, we scrambled to find a last minute venue as the clock was ticking. With very few options available, we drove in the night up to Rock Springs just north of Phoenix. We had never been to this location, but our time was running out so we were forced to proceed.
The event took place the following night on an outdoor dirt lot directly adjacent to the interstate highway. This was a very conspicuous place to host a rave. Shortly after the event began, the county sheriff and fire marshal arrived and shut us down. Our night and the future of Dirty Disco was wrecked. But no more than 20 minutes later, the sheriff returned to us with the green light to proceed with the event. He advised us that we had sufficient security, safe pyrotechnics, and a “cool party”. The sheriff and the fire department left the venue after they wished us a successful event and offered their services if needed. Once again, Dirty Disco burned into the morning sunrise.
We realized the importance of safety, security, and scalability as the attendance consistently grew with each year we held Dirty Disco. Going into 2013 meant hosting with a venue who’s accustomed to holding consistent events with large crowd.
Enter Canyon Speedway Park, located just north of the Phoenix area. This large dirt race track with grandstand seating was perfect for this event. Our fourth annual Dirty Disco was packed with it’s largest crowd ever. We burned into the sunrise with the bass pumping and the fire cannons shooting into the sky. The event was another success, but it was not without push back from the the local authorities.
The police waged war with the venue throughout the night, threatening shut the event down in true rave fashion. Luckily for us, the race track owners stood their ground and fought for us to continue as planned. Unfortunately though, the town officials threatened legal action against the venue if they allowed us to return for another event. Thus, we were forced to usher in a new era of Dirty Disco.
DIRTY DISCO EVOLVED
Not hosting an event in 2014 was a potential crushing blow to the Dirty Disco brand, but we took this opportunity to re-group, re-focus, and elevate the annual rave to the next level. Enter our new home for 2015, 2016, and 2017: Rawhide Rodeo Arena.
What began as just a night under the stars, gradually morphed into so much more. For some, it was an unforgettable event. For others, it was an annual rave tradition. For us, we are simply grateful for everyone who has been a part of our history.