“People were curious”: Underground Kampala is creating a techno … – Mixmag

In a country where techno is scarce, Underground Kampala is creating a haven for dedicated fans. By throwing monthly pop-up raves in mysterious locations in Kampala and in other hidden nooks around Uganda, the party is gradually building a movement.

“We created the rave to create space for positive socialisation and interactions whereby attendees immerse themselves into a free zone with removed social pressures,” explains founder Richard O’doi.

“For us this means no sexual intimidation, no homophobia, no aggression, no racism, no expectations but only a mutual understanding of self-expression.”

Formed slowly during the lockdown in 2020 after Richard’s friends threw him a surprise illegal rave for his birthday, the party platforms techno producers and DJs in Uganda and connects them with international DJs. It is run by Richard and a collective of other DJs, sound practitioners, lighting designers and producers – all of whom bonded over a shared love of electronic music.

Both the party, and the collective behind it, are centred around a love for techno and underground values. “Kampala is a bit tough for creatives, especially in a scene like this, some people would only want to attend an event because it’s popular or they worry about the number of people available and forget that it’s about the music itself.”

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But Underground Kampala aims to move away from a commercial-focused approach by embracing a DIY ethos and centring the needs of its community. It throws parties in abandoned buildings, parking lots, lakes and other locations that are away from the mainstream hospitality sector in the city to give dancers a secluded safe space to discover new music and form connections. The party doesn’t want to gatekeep the genre, but it ensures that this space is free from societal gaze and stigma.

Now, the party is ready for a new phase. The crew are collaborating with techno artists and DJs overseas, and aiming to establish a permanent space to act as a second home for their community. Currently, they are fundraising to upgrade their set-up’s equipment.

“Being a pop-up rave in different locations can be fun – but it is also challenging. We need to think about the logistics, which is sometimes hard to move so much equipment and to make sure it is safe. So now, we want a permanent space – which would be the first of its kind in Kampala for techno.”

We caught up with founder Richard O’doi who told us about the party, how locations are picked by motorcycle, the stigmas associated with raves in Uganda, and the international friendships forged over safari trips.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiT2h0dHBzOi8vbWl4bWFnLm5ldC9mZWF0dXJlL3VuZGVyZ3JvdW5kLWthbXBhbGEtZnVuY3Rpb25zLWludGVydmlldy11Z2FuZGEtcGFydHnSAQA?oc=5

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