Since a stunning debut with Stephan Bodzin in 2018, Parable has set a new standard for melodic techno party experiences in the UK. The nights are famed for their attention to detail, big focus on immersive production and carefully curated line-ups that make for a true musical journey each and every time. They host 30 parties a year and have sold thousands of tickets, so now have a close knit community of melodic techno lovers who make each party feel friendly as well fiery thanks to their unbridled enthusiasm each and every time. Here we chat with head honchos Charlie Holden & Rowland Bennett about their rise within London clubbing culture

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How are you, what’s good in your world?

We’re great thanks, very excited to be back after such a long time off during the pandemic!

How and when and why did parable come together?

Parable started with Stephan Bodzins ‘Electric weekender’ in 2018, but we’ve been running various other event brands since 2008. Our other brands did not fill me with the excitement that melodic techno does musically, so we made the decision several years ago to shift our events to bigger capacities and more exciting bookings, and really wanted to focus on building a community in London for the genre which we felt was under-represented before.

Who is involved, what was the aim?

Parable is made up of Charlie Holden & Rowland Bennett, we’ve both worked in the scene for quite some time now, but for us we’ve never been more excited about doing what we do, the future looks bright and we are now building our team further with some amazing people.

How was the first party, can you remember how it went?

We were blown away with it, we went pretty big on production way bigger than we ever had with other brands, and it blew us away, that kinda set a precedent for us that we wanted all shows to look incredible, and go that extra mile to give people a great experience.

What has changed since then, how has it evolved?

I think we are more ambitious, certainly with the number of shows we are doing now, working with a wider variety of artists & labels that fit within the parameters of what we consider our style & sound.

Why do you love melodic techno so much, why do you think it is having its big moment right now?

melodic techno has one of the most passionate & loyal communities out there, there are naturally a few artists and labels who are at superstar level now which has given the scene alot more eyes than ever before (this has both positives & negatives for the scene)

How much damage did the pandemic do, did it slow you down or change the operation in any way?

It did alot of damage! We run 3 different events businesses, so for us, aside from the lost income on planned shows, we lost months of planning time and a significant amount of money (as sadly many other businesses did). I think in 2021, we didn’t want to come back to hard whilst things were still uncertain, we only did 4 Parable shows last year, this year we have 28 which is a little daunting against everything else we have on.

You have plans for a festival and international tour too right, can you say more?

Festival wise, it’s too early for us to talk about, but we know we have the experience and relationships to deliver something truly unique for London musically, ultimately we are in talks about various sites, but finding the right one that fits our vision is super crucial.
Next year we will be looking to do several shows in other European countries but cant say more for now..

Tell us about your role with Parable and what each day looks like?

With 60 events across everything we do, it’s quite full on! But for Parable I do all the bookings, the venues, operations etc, and Rowland tends to do the marketing and the finance, but we both do a little bit of everything here and there. Different points of the year can be quite hectic, I tend to do my bookings 12 months in advance, so the month im planning all the bookings, it’s probably 100 plus emails a day which is pretty time consuming.

What are the biggest challenges and best rewards of the job?

I would say that my biggest challenge is ensuring we keep artist fees under control, aside from us there are a few other key players in London who promote similar music, often we are all trying to book the same key artists, some offer far more money than others, which drives prices up for everybody, so sometimes you go into an event with a crazy amount of risk which makes no business sense. It’s a little nerving, many of us do talk quite openly though which in some cases keeps things far and under control, but there are always a few.

Have you got any crazy stories or funny memories from the night over th years?

Many, which cannot be named publically. ADE always provides a few stories.

Why is parable a nomadic night, why not use one venue?

Nowadays no major event organiser runs their events at a single venue tbh, For us, we need to work at different capacities depending on the event & artists, and naturally we want to provide a unique and slightly different experience for our returning customers, so Parable doesn’t become too repetitive. We do have 5-6 venues we work closely with, but new spaces and unique opportunities are never off the table.

How do you pick the venues, that are you looking for?

We have very close ties to a number of venues in London, so know what we look for in a venue partner depending on which show we have coming up, capacity, layout and often wanting to provide a different experience for artists to their previous shows at other venues.

What are they things to get right at any party, do you think?

Customer experience is very important, but that also comes down to programming, sound, lighting and not overselling the venue.

What are you most hyped for in this current season?

We have several very special shows for later in the year which I cannot mention yet that I can’t wait to announce!

Any targets you really hope to book in future that you can share?

My favourite producer right now is Innellea, we are hoping to do something very special with him in 2023..