Promoter Interview: Percolate

In just four years, Percolate has become one of the country’s most loved parties. The night deals in classy and quality underground house, disco and techno; frequenting cities and venues all over the country. They have a cult following and are celebrated for the atmosphere and production at each and every one of their events. 
The night returns this autumn with a customarily tasteful programme up and down the UK, and in Amsterdam during ADE. Playing will be headliners like Jeremy Underground, Leon Vynehall, Todd Terje, Crazy P, Scuba, Gerd Janson, Harvey Sutherland, Kornel Kovacs, Mo Kolours and more, so if you haven’t already, there’s no better time to get involved.
Ahead of all this, we catch up with founders Fred Letts and Simon Denby, to find out more about the party.

“Our crowd will always be the heart and soul of the party, we want it to be a place that people come to fall in love with each other “

How many people are involved with Percolate? What do they all do?
It is quite a large team with Fred and Simon, Krywald & Farrer (the residents) and 6 in the office keeping the machine rolling.

Krywald & Farrer – Innacamo – https://soundcloud.com/stampthewax/krywald-farrer-innacamo

Why and how did the night start, what was it born out of, what inspired it?
A love of house music between friends in a railway arch in Brixton.

What have been the biggest challenges and hardest hurdles to overcome in putting on series of nights like this over the years?
Finding our spot in a very crowded London market, trying to tread on as few toes as possible!

And what are the key ingredients for you? Sound or crowd or venue? Or is the headliner the most important thing?
Our crowd will always be the heart and soul of the party, we want it to be a place that people come to fall in love with each other and the music, leaving their weekday worries at the door. Excellent sound and production as well as a friendly & open space are key, soundtracked by some of the best in the business.

What do you make of the closure of fabric? Is it an attack on clubbing? Or do the council just want the building? What are your thoughts?
The closure of Fabric, Dance Tunnel, Shapes and more in the past month have been very sad to see, these are places that fostered our love of the scene. I think it is a multitude of factors, with a large emphasis on the massive funding cuts for the council.

What does it mean for the rest of us, is nightlife doomed, do you worry about such things?No not at all, the night is darkest before the dawn, there is no doubt that Fabric will be back in some guise. There are new venues in the pipeline from some of the best operators in the country opening up and the scene is resilient.

Tell us about your involvement with the NTIA. What are the goals, long- and short-term?
The NTIA is an amazing organisation to help us all band together a push for recognition of our industry.

What have been some of the highlights over the last four years? What really sticks in the memory? Any stories/anecdotes you can disclose?
We are so lucky to have shared in some of the experiences we have had, from club nights to festivals. Our first ever party in Manchester may have been one of the best. HHNY had pulled out at the final hour and our good freinds Crazy P stepped in and played b2b with our residents all night. The place was rammed, bodies everywhere and an electric atmosphere. I’ve not ever felt anyhting like that before.

Why do you tour and not party in one place? What does it add do you think? And does anything suffer because of it?
We like to keep the programming fresh and keep pushing ourselves. There are some venues we prefer but it keeps us and our fans engaged with the project. Nothing suffers from it, we would never go ahead with a party that we thought would be compromised in any way.

What are you most excited about in the coming season, which parties or bookings, and why?
We have been pushing to get Todd Terje for years and the stars have finally aligned to create a cosmic disco this Halloween. Our 22-hour NYE program is going to be one to get on early with some of our favourite DJs tearing it up at Oval Space and Pickle Factory. We also have our first season in Newcastle with special all-night-long shows from Leon Vynehall & Scuba at Cosmic Ballroom to look forward to as well as our biggest ever show in Amsterdam for ADE, with our friends Leon Vynehall, Gerd Janson and Harvey Sutherland.

For Percolate’s full autumn/winter programme click here 

Check out Percolate residents Krywald & Farrer here

Percolate