“You are on the guest list for Boiler Room Prague.” The odds were relatively small, but luck is on my side in 2018. I’m going to the infamous event tomorrow.
You don’t need to be an underground music aficionado to know about Boiler Room. Since its inception, the series of live streamed events from uncommon venues has gained traction in the wide public. From pool parties to barely habitable broken down warehouses, Boiler Room has possibly seen it all. It’s no surprise, that despite being publicly announced only a few days prior to the event, it quickly pulled nearly a 1000 people “going” and 3000 folks “interested” in the official Facebook event.
How do you get in?
If you know about Boiler Room happening before its public announcement, there’s already a good chance you’ll get in. Seeing mocks of poster design weeks before, I already had a fairly good idea who’s backing the event locally. When RSVPs became available, I clicked the link and registered with the website. I knew the response is coming the earliest 24 hours before the event, so I blocked time in my calendar and hoped. And indeed, the night before, I got my guestlist invite.
Chosen ones and not chosen ones
It vaguely reminded me on the days when I used to play one big free festival back home. After the line-up became public, people used to mark and mock DJs who played commercial discos. In the BR event, unlucky people started to point fingers, call names, even started organizing a protest party. It always happens, they say. The ones who got their name on the guest list became “slaves of the commercial event apparatus”, and the ones who didn’t claimed “they didn’t want to go there anyway”. After coming to the party, I quickly realised that however Boiler Room chooses their guests, they do it right…
A party that’s not really a party
The queue is slowly moving towards the venue. Checking your ID with the guest list is purely an analogue thing. It’s cold, so I’m happy to be in after about 15 minutes of waiting. Coat check, beer, and let’s go upstairs where the music happens.
The venue is half filled, and it turns out there’s not many more people coming. I try to find a spot outside of what I think is going to be visible on stream. As people shuffle around, I find myself in a position that’s both comfortable and where the sound is quite ok.
Boiler Room is not your regular Friday party. Everything is done to look fabulous on the live stream. The sound is substandard compared to clubs. People who are not in the spotlight don’t seem to feel it just yet. I finish my beer and look around. If I want to stay in a good place for the whole evening, I need to move around the venue as little as possible. I’m going for two additional beers and it turns out to be a terrible idea. After finishing both in a relatively short period of time, I have two major problems. I need to pee. I’m drunk.
Guess what. it’s -4 Celsius outside and that’s where portable toilets are. No way I’m going to check and re-check my jacket. I do the job like a true Siberian lumberjack (possibly about 10 times this evening, because of even more beer later). It reminded me of conditions at Burning Man.
It’s all about the music anyway
The music is good. Local heroes Eva Porating, Schwa and Fatty M are creating a really nice vibe. I am satisfied. Anthea starts by resetting the room with some more mellow music but manages to go into intelligent techno later on. My personal highlight of the evening is Tommy Four Seven with pumping, high energy tech beats.
What is kinda sad but understandable: I didn’t see any of the DJs in action. They are in front of the crowd, as they always do at Boiler Room. It feels like a party with good music, but without a DJ. An unusual experience indeed.
Being part of Boiler Room is a bucket list experience, but it’s not your regular party. The music is great, the venue has an atmosphere. There’s a lot of possibilities to talk to random strangers because nobody else from your crew is going to be invited anyway. The hospitality around, however, is almost non-existent compared to standard clubs. It’s still worth experiencing though. I honestly had fun!