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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #1
anabolic frolic
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It was 9 years ago

9 years ago tommorow on June 21st was the date of the very first Hullabaloo.

To mark the date I'm reposting my recounting of that event that I wrote several years ago:



Diary of a Promoter
by Anabolic Frolic (1999)

I've decided to write out my notes and memories from throwing parties to give people out there some insight into what exactly goes on behind the scenes at these little shindigs. Hopefully you'll understand more about the amount of work involved and the what goes on behind the scenes when things dont quite work out as planned or when they work out better than expected. I'll add a chapter at a time to this, accounting for each party, so check back once in a while.

The genesis for Hullabaloo came around the beginning of 1997. Happy 2b Hardcore volume 1 had already been released for a few months and was a huge success (it would go on to sell over 100,000 copies). So I knew there was a huge potential for happy hardcore, even though no production company out there was doing it. Some efforts had been made a year previously, notably Elysium, which was the first Toronto's first happy hardcore party. It was held by DJ Frisky (before he was a DJ) and his partner Nuno, to a crowd of approx 200. They later had a second party, which for reasons beyond their control was a huge financial loss (relatively speaking) and elysium was done. another company, Madness, came in a big way to throw some very big parties with slipmatt and dougal (neither of whom showed up at the party), and at Madness 2 had DJ Druid and Vinylgroover. The Madness company folded and was re-invented into the Toronto leg of the United Dance world Tour. UD was a huge night for hardcore, with DJ Sy, Vinylgroover, Slipmatt and Dougal. Problem was, the promoters didn't do a good job with their budget, and despite a crowd of 3000, it was a financial loss, and branded happy hardcore in Toronto as unprofitable. It was dead silent here on that front for many many months.

At the time, I was being booked to dj throughout the US on a regular basis due to the happy 2b hardcore release, but it frustrated me greatly that I, nor any hardcore whatsoever, was being played in my own hometown. I had already been operating Nokturnal Records for a while, and moved it out of my bedroom and into its own office Oct of 1996 since vinyl sales had been doing so well.

There was a little non-profit party thrown at the end of 1996 here called Not The End for which I was booked to play at (along with dominik, brad d and trypnotic as well as a dozen other djs of other styles). For a small party, it was a huge success, and I joined the crew in Not The End 2 because they were the only company interested at the time in some hardcore and I wanted to do what I could to help out the cause. Not The End 2 was held april of 1997 in a four storey venue called the Marina Banquet Halls. It had a turnout of about 1500. The hardcore room, which featured myself (anabolic frolic), dominik, grimace, brad d, frisky, smithy, and was the very first party that featured both SOS and Paladin. The hardcore room was packed all-night and had a killer vibe. Years afterward, I still hear comments about what a wicked room we had going on there. It's also notable that Phil from Phryl also got his start with the Not The End gang and has gone on to throw his own techno parties with great success.

After the success of NTE2 I decided that something had to be done to promote happy hardcore here in Toronto. I knew there was a following for it but no one was going to do anything about it. Even though as a DJ I had a huge reputation at this point, no local promoters were interested in doing anything with happy hardcore. enough was enough and Hullabaloo! was born.

SOMETHING GOOD

The Date for 'Something Good' (the title came from the old Utah Saints track) was set for June 21, 1997. We printed 8000 flyers for it, which cought a lot of attention with it's 'return with us to the oldschool vibe' quote on the front of the flyer. Before flyers were released I had already decided that I would use the E! Networks club space for the party. I was expecting 400-500 people, and with a budget of about $7000 it was the only space I could afford. Tickets were $14 till 1 week in advance, $17 after that and $20 at the door. DJ Hixxy from england agreed to come over for free pretty much to help us out, and we also had D.Cypol and MC 187 from Pittsburgh along with most of the names who have grown along with hullabaloo that you all know and love. I tried to change the ThE! Space around as much as possible. Before the party, the DJ used to be hidden behind an open window to the right of the front of the room, and Len was nice enough to accomodate me and bring out the dj front and centre, which they later kept, since it looked so much better. We also emptied all the couches from their 2nd room and set up a second sound system in there. Using the E! space for my first party was a life saver, because obviously Len, Janine and Joe were making sure everything was running as well as can be with their space making my job a lot easier.

I would go out every weekend and hand out flyers, and it's so funny now to remember handing out these flyers for a company no one ever heard of with DJs they've never heard of (for the most part), as opposed to nowadays when Hullabaloo flyers are much sought after. The flyer design came from a scan of some artwork featuring a little fairy girl. Hullabaloo flyers have always been heavily influenced by the UK. If you ever wonder why girls are features on my flyers, take a look at any dreamscape, helter skelter, United dance, or any of them from the UK. Flyers were distributed, word out on the street was very positive and things were looking really good. Until the day of, that was.

I met Grimace at the airport to pick up Hixxy, who was flying in on the Saturday. He was due in around 11am. That flight came, but no sign of him. We checked with airline to see if he was on the plane, but they cant release that information. We called his house, and talked to his Dad, who said he did indeed leave early in the morning for the airport and had not heard from him since. Hours passed, and no sign of him. We kept in contact with his Dad who had still had no word. and we couldn't even find out if had even gotten onto the plane. We checked customs and immigration, no sign. The airline told us we'd have to ask the RCMP for permission for them to release that info, so we found the RCMP and asked, and inturn they told us they had no authorization for that. around and around we go. I left around 4pm, and Grimace stayed behind for a couple more hours just in case he showed up.

I got to ThE! Space around 6 or 7pm and found to my joy that the E! guys were well underway to getting everything set up. Thank God, something good to report, after wasting the day at the airport and having no idea where my headliner was. As far as we knew, he crashed his car on the way to the airport or something.

As we came closer to opening time, everything was coming together nicely. 2 of my cousins from Ottawa, Phil and Dave were in the city and volunteered to help me out with the door, as well as my friend Arthur, who has helped me at every party since. I bought 500 whistles to give away (starting of a new tradition). Our security was provided by thE Space, the usual guys headed by John, whom some of you probably remember. I wrote out the DJ schedule, still scheduling Hixxy on there hoping that he would turn up. We didn't have much time for decorations, but stole some ideas from the Die Hard club in England and made some signs that said such cheezy stuff as 'Why aren't you hugging the person next to you?' or 'Why dont you blow your whistle louder?', stuff like that.

Doors opened with Euphonic on the decks for his very first party (his family came to see him). and the place filled up quickly. Grimace showed up - no hixxy. So i decided to extend Marcus' set, since a lot of people were looking forward to him playing some oldskool and also extended my own set. We featured oldskool at our parties before everyone else decided to get in on it. I entered the room during Marcus' set, with MC Trigger on the mic, and the atmosphere was electric. It was a small crowd (total turnout of the party was around 500), but the noise and atmosphere was equivalent to any crowd many times it size. It was a sight to see. I got on the decks around 230 for a 90 minute set of pure bliss. It was an amazing feeling. and the video footage of myself is somewhat emberassing, because I'm dancing around harder than any of the ravers I think. E-By-Gum, as usual, was my MC and threw the place on its ear. Len (SOS) commented afterwards about how good the mcs were and where did I find them ;-). During my set, we announced that Hixxy didn't make it, and there was a bit of disapointment, which only lasted for a second, as E-by-Gum told everyone that we were having a wicked party, and nothing was going to stop it. Smaller parties are usually considered better than large ones, but this party was even better. It was on a whole other level. This was history in the making, and the Hullabaloo legend was born. Nowadays (in 1999) theres lots of small hardcore parties popping up, with lots of success, but you have to remember, when we threw this party in 1997, there was NO hardcore scene, it was brand new, this crowd didn't exist before. Truly magical.

Grimace followed me, with what I think was one of his greatest sets ever. Dominik was supposed to follow him, but HE didn't show up either! so Grimace spun an extended set and we had d.cypol begin his oldskool set early. There was a bit of concern about d.cypol, since he had a few too many beers in the back room and threw-up all over himself!! but he promised us at the time of his set that he had a clear enough head to play his set.

Looking back on this small party, I miss the days on how easy it was. There were no nightmares or disasters to deal with (besides the djs not making it), but overall it was easy. I had enough time at 7am to cut up a bunch of fruit and walk around with a platter giving people watermelon and bananas and other fruits. MC Trigger told me later that the whole party was summed up for him with the image of me walking around giving out fruit.

Most of the DJs spun for free or very discounted rates, which was good because the party JUST broke even. Even though it was packed, its just hard to break even on small events. Had Hixxy made it, I would have lost money to pay his hotel and entertain him while he was here. I had no money to lose on this party, so had it lost anything substantial, Hullabaloo would have ended right there and then. But it didn't :-)

I got a call from Hixxy's Dad the next day telling me what happened. first of all, he was bumped to another flight, that's why there was no sign of him on his original flight. THEN he got stopped by customs, since he was only here for a day. I had told him, whatever he says, dont say he's a DJ, cause they wont let you in. But the problem was, he didn't know WHAT to say. So customs SENT HIM HOME cause they thought he was suspicious. He wasn't even allowed to make a phone call. I felt so bad for him that after a 7 hour flight, he gets interigated for 5 hours and then put back on another plane for 7 hours home.

The party ended at 9am, and it was still full! SOS closed out the party with his usual skill. What an amazing night. I chatted with JoE.P. (from E!) for an hour or so after it was over, the 2 of us buzzing about what a wicked party we just had there. since Hixxy's hotel room was already paid for, I went there and crashed for the day. A nights sleep well deserved :-)

It's funny to look back on these pictures, and at how the dancers in them dont look at all like the current Hullabaloo crowd it's famous for. Things just evolve. That's why I think it's really silly, when someone who has been coming to our parties for a while feel's that the 'doors should be closed' to newcomers, even though without the new blood and the indentity people have developed with hullabaloo it would have never have turned into the 'candy raver heaven' that it is today, because it certainly didn't start that way.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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It's interesting to read this article again as a time capsule.

When it was written in 1999 the scene was at it's peak, so I was sort of addressing the complaints some people had about it being too big for it's own good and there being too many new people. Kind of funny to think of that as a complaint these days.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #3
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but wasn't that the complaint in another thread? "too many new people"? again, the more things change, the more things stay the same
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Old June 20th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #4
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speaking of which, where's the writeup for everything past the first year or so?
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Old June 20th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #5
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good story... nice to hear some hullaba history
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Old June 20th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DJ Tranzit
speaking of which, where's the writeup for everything past the first year or so?

You'll have to wait for the book.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #7
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That's It!!!!!!!!

Zing!
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Old June 30th, 2006, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anabolic frolic
You'll have to wait for the book.




Is there a time frame as to when you'd like to have this book published?
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Old July 24th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #9
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I was going to PM this to you, Frolic, but I decided I'd rather post it publicly.


Hey there Chris

I check the Hullabaloo listing on Wikipedia now and then to make sure nobody's deleted the date and address of the first party (someone has a hard time believing it for some reason) and I clicked a link to the site.

I'm ECSTATIC to see the old tapes being posted as MP3!! That Ruffneck tape is worth its weight in gold!! And it's awesome to have a copy of that Spinback\Ruff tape that isn't totally worn thin! (it's your tiiiime to come alive with we!)

I also got a little bit teary reading your last track of the night speech for the final Hulla. I didn't make it out to that party so it was fantastic hearing what you had to say.

Now that I'm thinking of my dancier days I thought I'd share one of my Frolic Rules (TM) stories with you!

I had bought a ticket for a friend for her birthday and told her I'd meet her at the front door after I picked up another partygoer. I got TOTALLY lost trying to find where this person lived and got to the party way late. Needless to say, the birthday girl got tired of waiting and was lucky enough to be able to pay at the door.

About 6 hours later I finally found my birthday buddy and aplogized profusely. Totally by chance, you walked right by us and we stopped you for a quick hello. I explained our situation and pleaded with you to give my friend her money back in exchange for my extra ticket. You contemplated it for about 2 seconds, smiled at us, and gladly obliged, reimbursing her out of your pocket right away.

-NO- other party promoter would have been so kind or understanding. Hullabaloo was awesome thanks to the partiers and DJs and decorators, but flowers can't bloom without one loving seed.

You made my adolescence. You saved my life. With all the gangs and criminals and unsavoury ways to spend one's teenage years there are thousands of Torontonians who owe you our lives for giving us a positive, nonviolent alternative. I'm now somewhat grown up with a full time job and place of my own. I truly don't think I'd have made it this far if it weren't for the faith in humanity instilled deep within me by Hullabaloo.

The end of Hulla is a reminder to me of a chapter of my life, and that the chapter is now closed. My creaky bones and round belly couldn't take even one of the weekly thrashings I once enjoyed so much. I oughtn't anyway - my fond memories only grow fonder and there's no competing with that. But when I hear these mixtapes and when I read your words - especially at the end of the last Hulla - I'm THERE again and the memories are so sweet.

Honestly, Chris, you are an unsung hero of Toronto. You had your partygoers' best interests in mind. There were so many other promoters out there who wanted nothing but to squeeze every penny from suckers with fat pants. You could have very easily gone that route but you never surrendered your ideals. You even took care of your talent by making their names as large on flyers as the big bucks headliners. You gave us all a positive environment the likes of which we'll never find again, but I think I speak for all my fellow Hullabalosers (not including that comment) when I say that we try to spread around some of that positivity every day of our lives.

Another Frolic Rules (TM) moment:

I got fed up with the winguses and dinguses on the Hulla message board and proudly announced my retirement from Hullabaloo. You emailed me shortly thereafter, insisting message boarders were asshats and that I knew very well that the real Hulla was so much more. I didn't come back to this message board again until now, but I still made it out to the first 17 consecutive Hullas.

Only good things to you and Robyn and Frolic Jr. (what did you name him? Ephedrine Euphoria?)

Email me any time (brian[at]hyppy[dot]zapto[dot]org). The least I can do for you is buy you a cup of coffee some time. An open invitation for impulsive caffeination!

Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. Every day.

Brian


p.s.,

In case you need, here's a recording of Mental Floss from Hulla 2:
http://mentalfloss.blogware.com/aur...June27_1998.mp3

And just for fun, here's a happy little something I mixed one lazy afternoon. The Hulla spirit is undeniable.
http://s89694863.onlinehome.us/Spyr...ely%20Happy.mp3
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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:53 PM   #10
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wow... that was really well written.. amazing that hullabaloo has touched so many lives... and this person obviously was from the oldskool... 1st consecutive hulla's would mean this was like 1998 - 2001 right?

what an amazing stretch of hulla.. wish i could have been there way back when ...

cheers to that man.. sounds like he loves hulla as much as we all do
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #11
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June 21 1997 at 28 Gunns Rd.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #12
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Brian, a blast from the past. Nice to see you again.

Glad you were able to come back to the site and take a moment to review how things ended. And thanks for sharing those stories. It's kind of funny how I can simulatenously be the most loved and most hated figure in the scene, but the haters can't come up with equivalent reasons to counter stories like yours and yours are the ones that will stay with me forever.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 02:30 AM   #13
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although it wasn't a "Frolic" moment, i think one of my best Hulla memories will always be (a tossup between):

- Leah riding the bag of stuffed animals
- Donny lighting his ass on fire
- Watching Elixir sitting on the side of the stage, as Eyeopener is playing, just twiddling his fingers and rolling his eyes, looking up, right at me, and giving me this look of "fuck, this song AGAIN?!"
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Old July 28th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #14
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Frolic,
The rave scene loves gossip, but the warm afterglow is what stays with us, not the dumb little squabbles.

I MUST find my tape from the Hullabaloo 1 preparty! It's SOS vs. Grimace so you KNOW it's fantastic and lighthearted! I'll digitize it the moment I dig it out of my old box of tapes. That tape is the main reason why I remember the date of the first Hulla - SOS says it out loud but he forgets the name of the party for a moment!

Tranzit,
Elixir and his wacky hair-don'ts got into all kinds of Hulla shenanigans! His incredible skills and hilarious attitude are some of my favourite Hulla memories! If you ever really want to piss him off just remind him of the trance song that goes "Shhhhhhh... be quiet..." - that record was his doormat for a while
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Old July 28th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #15
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Where's the rest of the diary?

I seem to remember it covering a few more parties than just the first one. I went looking for it but I can't find it anywhere on the site.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyppy2
memories! If you ever really want to piss him off just remind him of the trance song that goes "Shhhhhhh... be quiet..." - that record was his doormat for a while
it wore out.
now he uses sandstorm.
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Old July 29th, 2006, 04:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
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it wore out.
now he uses sandstorm.

god i love that song
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 06:48 PM   #18
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i'll revive it one day soon in a set.
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