With Cosmic Gate and Emma Hewitt, White Party is a must-see event for fans of electronic music
Upcoming event promises a treat for followers of electronic dance music
Despite what its name might suggest, White Party is not an event exclusively for Westerners. Nor does it cater to the LGBT community, as some parties held under that name do in other countries, especially the US.
The electronic dance music event welcomes "everybody who wants to share in this special experience", says Trajan Maxian, creative director of Musicasia Entertainment Hong Kong, which is hosting the event during the Mid-Autumn Festival, at W Hotel on September 8.
"It's about enjoying yourself all-out with an open mind, without discrimination, for the simple pleasure of getting together and sharing inspiring moments," Maxian says.
This White Party gets its name because all party-goers have to dress predominantly in white, which is aimed at bringing everyone together. Hundreds of similar parties take place around the world every year in the same vein, and the first one in Hong Kong took place nine years ago.
"I wanted to create something special in Hong Kong: events which have another element, not just involving DJs but also the people as well," says Maxian. "White Party was the answer. Over the following nine years, White Party Hong Kong has developed a loyal following of regular attendees."
Headlining the event this year will be acclaimed German DJ duo Cosmic Gate and Australian singer Emma Hewitt. Other acts include local DJs Tszpun and Kendy Lam, and female Hong Kong DJ Suki Wong, aka Sukimama, who is a favourite in Asia. Costef is also well known in his home of Tazmania for his house music sets.
Cosmic Gate, comprising of DJs Nic Chagall and Bossi, have had mega-selling dance singles in their home country, sold out large-scale arenas in Europe, and have appeared at major music festivals such as Electric Zoo in New York, ZoukOut in Singapore and Global Gathering in Britain. The show will be their second in Hong Kong.
"We played in Hong Kong two years ago, but the White Party will be an even bigger event for us," say the duo. "We like the whole idea of it: the venue is nice and the white theme always looks cool."
"We will bring music from our new album titled Start to Feel, plus, of course, our classic tracks like Exploration of Space or Be Your Sound," they say.
With five albums under their belt, Cosmic Gate have firmly made a mark on the EDM scene. They were nominated as best trance act at the 2010 Beatport Awards and received an IDMA nomination for the track Not Enough Time.
In 2011, their fifth studio album, Wake Your Mind, promoted the message of "border-free electronic music". This message has since been embraced by clubbers and music lovers around the world, turning it into a movement "for those seeking a more flexible, less tribal outlook to electronic music, something more free-thinking and adaptable", they say.
Cosmic Gate will be playing with Emma Hewitt, who hails from Victoria, Australia. "She will perform live on stage with us. She's simply a fantastic singer, and real eye candy on top of that," the Germans say.
"I will perform twice on the night, which is unusual for me," says Hewitt. "First, I'll be doing a couple of tracks with my good friends Cosmic Gate, including a brand new song called Going Home from their new album, and I'll be doing a solo set after."
From her acoustic beginnings, which saw her touring around her home region during her teens and scoring an early record deal with Sony Music, the artist has made a name for herself in the EDM scene. Her 2012-2013 global tour led to sold-out solo performances in more than 25 countries, and appearances on the major EDM festival circuit.
Hewitt had worked closely with Cosmic Gate before teaming up for Not Enough Time. She is also no stranger to White Parties, or Hong Kong.
"I have performed at several White Parties before — in Montreal, the Netherlands and Ukraine. What makes every event special is the people and the atmosphere that each city brings," she says.
It's no mean feat to produce White Party in Hong Kong, says Maxian. "It is still difficult to find venues that can hold than 3,000 people with unrestricted opening hours. Every stadium, or any large space, has sound restrictions and limitations that require the event to end at 11pm.
"When I was a student in Montreal I attended a White Party, and it was the best atmosphere I had ever experienced. There were 20,000 people dancing all night long. I don't see that happening here."
"The older generation, and the authorities, are still calling large-scale events like this rave parties, and have discouraged us from exploring this. They need to understand these types of events are common in almost all other major cities around the world, and are safe and professional. It's about celebrating in style and enjoying the music of top international DJs.
"But I plan to continue the tradition, and I have even bigger plans for the 10th anniversary in 2015," Maxian says.
White Party featuring Cosmic Gate and Emma Hewitt, September 8, 9pm, W Hotel, 1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon, HK$580-HK$880, HK Ticketing. Inquiries: 9027 9115