We interviewed Claptone quite recently about his appearance at a festival called Valhalla in Holland. What he didn’t tell us during that interview was that he’s been developing his own party concept based around his penchant for masks… Yep, he’s curating a series of masquerade balls, the first of which takes place at Ministry Of Sound this weekend. We grabbed him for another chat, this time to focus on his fantastic new party concept.
Tell me how the concept for the Masquerade party first came to you?
They say fashion goes in cycles and the fashion for masquerade parties has one of the longest cycles possible. Venetian masked balls have been famous for centuries bringing glamour and intrigue to high society through the device of masquerade. I have attended many such gatherings and have always enjoyed the sense of abandonment that disappearing behind the mask brings, and of course now I ply my trade across the world constantly using the theatre of disguise to bring pleasure to the dance floor.
Who/what inspired the idea? Have you been any such parties before?
Over recent years, a thirst for superstardom seems to have infected many of my peers and the cult of the ‘famous DJ’ has taken the magic away from the simple experience of sharing the power of music together. I use the mask to try and escape from such trappings and now I want to share this liberation with fans who come to enjoy the energy that only dancing together and losing oneself can bring. At The Masquerade I want fans be able to do things they wouldn’t dare in their real lives and to step outside of their regular character to build an energy together that being behind the mask creates. It should be fun and hopefully a little risque!
How long did it take you to put the whole concept together and execute the very first event?
The concept is simple and I am very happy to find a team of like-minded hedonists in London who can help me present the first show of its kind at the Ministry of Sound. I am looking for open minded and adventurous music lovers to come and make this something to remember. Together we will wear the masks and together we will lose ourselves in the music and charged atmosphere.
Why do you think masquerade balls are still in existence and what do you think people enjoy most about them?
For centuries society has tried to enter into another space of being where the rules of the week are put to one side and pleasure replaces them. Masquerade balls provide the backdrop for wild abandon and the excitement of leaving our identity at the door will always deliver devotees to the dance floor.
Where else in the world will you be holding the parties?
This is the first time Claptone presents The Masquerade and we hope that London is game for this twist. I hope to harness the energy of this event to find exciting and perhaps unusual locations for future parties around the world. Perhaps some will be secret and held behind closed doors, or perhaps they will be a surprise and a normal night will descend into debauch. Heaven knows, we all need a release from the weekly grind so please come prepared to do things you never thought you could do…