UPDATED to correct lineup after Tiesto's back injury.
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
It's exactly one month until Something Wicked, the Halloween electronic dance music festival at Sam Houston Race Park co-produced by Houston's Nightculture and EDM megapromoter Disco Donnie Presents. Although they have revealed little more than the location and lineup (toplined by
Tiesto a DJ set from Nero, Flux Pavilion and Zedd), interest in the festival is simmering: The Houston Press Web site gets several searches a day for the original blog we wrote the night the event was announced.
Last week Rocks Off went over to Nightculture HQ Stereo Live to introduce ourselves to CEO Mike Long and find out a little bit more about both him and Something Wicked. Nightculture bought Stereo Live outright in May and is now a publicly traded company, which Long says allows the access to the kind of capital to invest in improvements like the club's new LED wall and upgraded sound system.
Long, who looks to be in his early thirties, had some success in the stock market and parlayed both that and his love of EDM into a stake in Nightculture. He cites Tiesto and Richie Hawtin as key artists for him.
"Once you see a concert, it changes you," he says.
Something Wicked, Long says, will have three stages with state-of-the-art equipment, and will utilize a wooded piece of land adjacent to the racetrack as another venue. Something similar to Electric Forest in Michigan, we imagine.
A few days later, we emailed Long a few more questions about the festival. His answers reveal the mark of a good showman: Always leave 'em wanting more.
Rocks Off: How long had Something Wicked been in the planning stages?
Mike Long: Something Wicked has been in the planning stages for years. We wanted to put together an incredible Electronic Music experience for Houston, and we believe this is it.
RO: Where did the concept/idea come from?
ML: Halloween has always been an exciting and special day. You get to be creative and dress up, get together with friends, and have fun. We could not think of a better time to host this special event.
RO: How difficult were the artists to book? Were they all pretty available?
ML: We live, eat and breathe Electronic Music. It is our passion, and we have been working in Electronic Music for over a decade. We value the relationships and friends we have made along the way, and appreciate everyone in the industry's hard work and dedication to the music.
RO: Is there anyone you're especially proud to be bringing in?
ML: We are excited about all of the acts on the lineup. We have a mix of well-established artists as well as some of the up-and-coming talent that we will surely see more of in the future.
RO: You said three stages, but logistically, what else should people be prepared for?
ML: Be prepared to have the best time of your life. If you have never been to an EDM event, this will be one not to be missed.
RO: Describe that "forest"-like piece of property next to the racetrack a little more. What will be happening over there?
ML: On the festival grounds, there is a section that has some really great trees that we will be utilizing for some art installations. It also gives the grounds a wonderful backdrop and an extra dimension.
RO: Roughly, how many people are you expecting at this thing? Or do you guys not know?
ML: Being a first-year festival, we are not exactly sure, but current sales are above expectations. The interest has been overwhelming, since nothing like this has ever been done in Houston on Halloween.
RO: Approximately how many people will be staffing Something Wicked?
ML: This is something that has been changing daily, as we add more and more to the festival each and every day. We are extremely excited to be able to help create jobs in this economy for the city of Houston, and contribute to the success of our great city.
RO: If this goes well, who would you like to see at the next one?
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ML: Each year we will strive to create one of the most innovative experiences in music. I think we will get some amazing feedback going forward from our attendees, and we will listen and process that information to push the envelope.
Tickets for Something Wicked start at $55 (GA) and $90 (VIP), and are available via www.somethingwickedfestival.com.