Party Time


PIX: indi samarajiva/ organises

Subha Wijesiriwardena parties hard and takes notes at the second Ministry of Sound party on Lankan shoresA?a??A?

On the 8th of September at the River View Hotel in Wadduwa, Sri Lankan party animals did us proud. According to Mahesh Wijetunge, Event Manager for EN-V Productions, this party, the second such Ministry of Sound party in Colombo, was celebratory of MoSA?a??a?? 16th Anniversary. Under the open night sky in Wadduwa, people partied on until sunrise, with relentless vigor, in both rain and shine. I bet British DJ Richard Dinsdale has never had people dancing for him in the pouring tropical rain before.

As a friend of a friend said A?a??A?A?a??A?but, there is no ministry of soundA?a??A?, and until a few months ago, not many Sri Lankans had a reason to believe otherwise. On the 23rd of June however a party took place that changed that. This party helped rocket Ministry of Sound to fame in Colombo, and ever since the mere mention of A?a??A?MoSA?a??A? has been enough to get masses flocking for tickets.


MoS A?a??a??Round One
The first MoS party, in June, was unfortunately held at
H2O. In poor little ColomboA?a??a??s largest club which can hold 750 people, there were 1600 (and 400 more were turned away, said Mr. Wijetunge). This provided partygoers with a stifled and uncomfortable party atmosphere. Add to this the free can of Axe Deodorant (a main sponsor) provided with every ticket, and soon enough, the inside of H2O smelt very strongly of a combination of bad A?a??E?for menA?a??a?? deo and sweat.
The dance floor was a far from safe place for the ladies, and upon about the sixth time of being felt up, I gave up and went home. The root cause for the unpleasantness was the evident overselling of tickets, but if you had somehow managed to overlook this, the music was as it always is with MoS: very, very good.


Round Two

This time, they said A?a??A?MoSA?a??A?, A?a??A?Richard DinsdaleA?a??A? and A?a??A?Outdoor eventA?a??A?, and the people said A?a??A?Hurrah!A?a??A?A?A? And it truly was the turning point. The party itself was in a rather obscure hotel in Wadduwa, called A?a??A?River View HotelA?a??A?. However, the party was outside by the pool, on a spacey lawn and the outdoors did a brilliant job providing both space and rain, but IA?a??a??ll get to the rain later.

The organizers offered packages of rooms/tickets, with rooms at the more sophisticated and popular Blue Water. Due to either the price of the packages on offer (Rs.15,000 was the cheapest) or the distance to the party from Colombo itself (about a one-hour drive down Galle Road), or both, the party didnA?a??a??t see the most ideal turn out, only 1200 in contrast to last timeA?a??a??s near 2000. But this may have been for better rather than worse.


Party people
Despite the exorbitant package deals, everything at the party was more or less affordable. That said, the night would have been ruined for those dependant solely on drinking because the only alcohol available other than beer, was sold by the bottle. This was a definite drawback, as, for example, a bottle of Smirnoff was Rs. 4000. This wasnA?a??a??t ideal for a small group, or a couple. A Carlsberg buddy was Rs. 200, this too a little pricey for such a small bottle. Food was available too, for those who wanted it.

Cost of keflex This was somewhat made up for: The open air was an ideal setting for a party at which you never stopped dancing, and the space accommodated everyone comfortably. Glow sticks that were given free at the entrance were essential to the rave atmosphere, and although the Frangipani garlands for the girls were a nice touch, they didnA?a??a??t last around our necks long. Once again, cans of Axe Vice Deodorant were handed out free, but the open air did not allow for one to get stifled by the smell!


The dance floor, boarded on the deep end of the pool, killed two birds with one stone: it worked as the dance floor, but also as a safety precaution in not having a deep end of a pool at a rave. There were inflated baby pools by the side, and these were made use of by folks lounging in them, drink in hand. On the lawn on either sides of the pool, there were tables for those that were quick to grab them. The DJ was showcased on a high stage directly in front of the dance floor, covered by a huge dome.

MoS are famous for their use of the best sound and lighting equipment, and they didnA?a??a??t disappoint this time. The lights were well suited for a rave and the sound was delivered via 12 large speakers on either side of the dance floor. This guaranteed that the music was crystal clear and you could feel that heavy bass A?a??a?? signature of house music A?a??a?? passing right through your body if you got close enough.
Not everyone seemed to fully appreciate the music, but I only say this based on the relatively empty dance floor. Each to his own A?a??a?? perhaps people skulked out of the rain and enjoyed the sound. By the end of the night there were more people in the pool than on the dance floor, fully clothed, shirts, pants, dresses and all. This seemed slightly ridiculous, as the tickets and all the promo material emphasized the dress code to be A?a??E?strictly beach wearA?a??a??. It seemed that not all Colombo partygoers can exchange their high heels and make up for shorts and flip flops.


Richard Dinsdale A?a??a?? the life of the party
It was the music, it really was. Even by our impressionable standards, the understanding that house music means Bon Sinclair is rapidly fading. The previous MoS party too showcased a lot of the usual suspects (Fedde le GrandA?a??a??s A?a??A?Put Your Hands up 4 DetroitA?a??A? is literally so last year) at the beginning, making my hopes for the extraordinary crumble in despair. Although music from the likes of
DJ Shadow and Justice saved the day, the experience over all was much more satisfying this time.

While the highlight of this party was Richard Dinsdale
(, resident Ministry of Sound DJ, local DJs Van Luup and Shiyam got the party nice and warmed up for Dinsdale. Keep your eyes open for Van Luup and Shiyam; they are definitely on their way up as DJs and mingling with the likes of Dinsdale must have been educational. It couldnA?a??a??t have been bad for their reputations either.

While it might be argued that Dipesh Parmar A?a??a?? DJ at the last MoS party, was for technical reasons, a better DJ than Dinsdale, in terms of overall experience, the party in Wadduwa wins effortlessly over the one that was at H2O.

As at any proper rave, there had to be the famous lyrics A?a??A?I canA?a??a??t get no sleepA?a??A?. While A?a??A?Sandstorm Insomnia 2000A?a??A? (Faithless vs. Darude) is an anthem and a clichA?A?, there were highly offbeat tracks aplenty too. He threw in New OrderA?a??a??s A?a??A?Blue MondayA?a??A? all the way from1983 and A?a??A?Do It AgainA?a??A?, brand new from the 2007 Chemical Brothers album A?a??A?We Are the NightA?a??A?.

It seems to me as though our understanding of a DJ is someone who queues up the next track, mixes it soundly with the track that is playing, and plays it. Perhaps this is due to our extreme lack of exposure. Are we easy to impress because we are otherwise starved for good contemporary music on mainstream radio and in local nightclubs? Perhaps.


Dinsdale was in another league simply because of this; he was more than just playing a set play list. He judged his crowd superbly, and spun unusual rhythms that kept people dancing for hours. For all that, we never once found out what the man sounded like. He left all the talking to DJ Van Luup (who, like many Sri Lankan DJs seemed to thoroughly enjoy it), and simply did his job.

The Rain Dance
When the rain began, not only did no one budge from the dance floor, but people under the tents joined in on the manic rave and the party turned into something that strongly resembled a tribal dance. It felt as though we were partaking in some ritual, all facing Dinsdale reverently, in awe, in worship, soaked to the skin. Despite the weather conditions, the party went on. A friend of mine returned to the hotel at which we were staying at about nine am the next morning.
Between having grown quickly out of ColomboNightLife parties and despairing about the mundane hip hop that dominates nightclubs here, Dinsdale was a blessing. After all, our only other hope for getting to party that way lies with the Offshore Life group, who has been missing in action for awhile now.

How much does keflex 500 mg cost All in all, the MoS party was a satisfying experience, and we can only hope for more. But before foreign DJs and party tours can find Sri Lanka a tempting location, local organizers need to start making the right decisions. Needless to say, the organizers, Action Station Events and EN-V Productions, made a big blunder on their part with the choice of venue and overselling tickets for the previous MoS party. However, they did a good job in winning back the crowds with this one. If this trend of thinking in the long term becomes a habit with local organizers and event managers, Sri Lanka can easily become a top international party location.
Colombo is a city that is swamped by a party culture that is limited by the commercial, the indoors and the mediocre, and not just with regard to the music it advocates either. Time is nigh for drastic changes in the taste and attitudes of the casual city partygoer, and the hardcore are waiting for something new. But until then, albeit rarely, it is nice savouring electronic rhythm in your veins, watching sunrise by the sea to Faithless, and then returning home with music in your head and sand between your toesA?a??A?Bullet

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 at 6:23 am and is filed under Feature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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