Based in a city that is arguably the spiritual home of DIY parties and rave culture, Animal Crossing are hard at work forging their own chapter in history. Forward thinking bookings, exclusive venue spaces and notorious after parties have built the young promoters a reputation for quality underground music.
Ahead of this weekends event with German artist Fabe & Ukrainian selector IO we sat down with the AC co-founder Olli Ryder as part of our Meet The Promoter series.
How did Animal Crossing come about?
The party came about in a really organic manner. A group of friends sharing a love of music and the party culture within. We’re here for a good time and I think this translates into how the brand has developed. No ego’s, let’s put smiles on faces and showcase good music creating something for people to remember.
What events, artists and labels inspire the Animal Crossing events?
I think London has been a big inspiration for us. You can head out on Friday and come back Monday afternoon it’s proper! One of my first Picnic parties was at Tipsy’s which is based below an Indian takeaway, that alone raised an eyebrow. We then ended up in some mansion on the other side of London until 9am the next morning. It was nice to stand back and take it all in.
There’s been a couple of moments like this that have been quite inspiring for us to breakdown that standard 4am finish that Manchester has become accustomed to.
What defines your parties?
As a team we’re always working together on concepts that will keep the brand different. There’s to much seriousness in the air sometimes. We decided to illustrate some animals, splash some colour on it and showcase music and artists that are meaningful to us. If there’s a moment one of us has shared on the dance floor, we’ll feed back and be like boys we need to make this happen!
I also think a defining factor is our ever evolving venues. Every one of our parties is in a unique spot that nobody has used for an event before. These are hand picked to suit the sound of the artist we’re showcasing. This for me personally is a very interesting piece to our puzzle, every party is brand new, no one the same. There have been occasions where you feel like you shouldn’t be in there and this adds that air of excitement.
We also try to do something special for each of our artists, we’ve had graffiti murals made, bespoke illustrations and visuals created.
Manchester is arguably the home of rave culture in the UK. Illegal Warehouse parties and then the Hacienda created a lot of the club culture we see across the globe today. How does the clubbing landscape in the city look now?
It’s great to be from a City with such rich musical history, the culture is embedded within you from a young age and makes you proud to be Mancunian.
Manchester is still home to the biggest clubbing institution in the UK with The Warehouse Project. People are traveling hundreds of miles to experience one night. It’s amazing to see. There’s not many other cities that are able to provide this to the extent of WHP.
It’s sad to see clubs that have played a big part in our youth shut down such as Sankeys but we’re very much forward thinking and ready to create our chapter within the City.
What have you got planned for the brand in the future?
It’s all very exciting, we have a big vision and goals we want to achieve together, everything’s positive.
How do you see dance music changing in the next 20 years?
Depends in which segment of dance music. The rapid commercialisation has opened so many avenues for the growth DJ’s, I can see arena tours being normalised and that segment of super star DJ continuing to blossom. It’s going to be interesting to see how technology starts to influence.
There will be a reaction from the underground. If clubs continue to close then maybe we’ll see the old Warehouse parties return! It would certainly be fun to get involved.
Either way, so long as people are dancing safely and having a good time no matter what realm of music that’s what remains important.
If you could travel back in time to any dance floor in the world which one would you choose and why?
Let’s stick with the Hac for obvious reasons!
You have built a reputation on the circuit for not just throwing wicked parties with forward thinking lineups but also some crazy afters as well. Talk us through this. Do you think the afters are as important as the main event?
Thank you for the kind words! We’re showcasing new spaces with every event so this is what’s important for us. We keep the afters series under wraps. If you were there to experience it then you know the dance.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a brand?
Deciding which animal to pick next, always a tough choice.
What do you think Manchester needs more of?
More promoters working together! We’re all here trying to throw great parties so let’s do it together. Big shout outs to You&Me, we’ve had some great times together. Long May they continue!
What do you think Manchester needs less of?
Roadworks, they’re everywhere at the minute.