Five More Unbelievable Places Richie Hawtin Has Played
A barn in Kentucky. A South African township. In the goddamn Mediterranean sea. Where has the minimal techno god NOT played?
Richie Hawtin has played in so many cool places around the globe that we couldn't even fit them all into one post. Check out the first five here.
After rounding up five of the most unbelievable places Richie has played, his many devoted techno worshippers riddled our comment sections with some truly incredible locations that I missed while digging through the rave history books. Obviously, this meant that I had to do a part two. Some of these locations hosted more recent Hawtin extravaganzas, while others date back to his early techno days in the 90s. But here's the catch: several parties date back to a time where people didn't really mess around with taking pictures at raves... or were just having "too good of a time." So if any of you OGs have photos in your archives, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Without further ado...
Packard Plant, Detriot, Michigan, 1994
Raves are often thrown in spooky abandoned buildings, and in Detriot circa 1994, this practice really served as a catalyst to the city's early techno scene. The Packard Automotive Plant, the first concrete building desinged by architect Albert Kahn in 1907, is cemented in techno history. It was home to more then a few legendary raves, but perhaps none more important than Richie Hawtin's Spastik events, which were some of the first public parties of the early underground Detriot scene. The Packard Plant also represents the classic Detroit ethos of taking what others have abandoned and flipping into something totally new. Today, the site has fallen into hard times, but apparently, some Chicago developer has decided to purchase it for a million dollars. So maybe not all is ruined.
Container Park, Dalston, London, 2013
We all know that the crew over at Red Bull Music Academy are no strangers to throwing parties in insane locations. Earlier this year in May, they got Richie to do a mysterious pop-up set in the middle of a bunch of shipping containers in the east London suburb of Dalston. Before the party, Hawtin sent his fans on a little scavenger hunt by sending out some clues on Twitter on where this spontaneous set would occur. Those who had the ability to sniff out the techno bleeps headed to Dalston's annual music and arts festival, Land Of Kings, where Richie played a two-hour set as part of his DotUp series—a collection of shows organized by RBMA where they send Richie to play impromtu shows in even more wild and wacky places. There's literally too much to keep up with this dude.
Escape Velocity, Kentucky Horse Park, 1993
It took some digging to uncover this piece of techno folklore. It appears that one night in April of 1993, Richie spun an epic minimal techno set in the main room of... a barn. Yes, a barn. Horses, hay, poo—all that jazz. Allegedly, Richie activated his powers of weather-controlling sorcery and kept a circling lightning storm from sprinkling even a single drop of rain on the party. Once he played out the final note of the set, the heavens opened up and a monsterous storm ensued. Apparently, the techno god can also control the weather.
The Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza, Spain, 2013
Richie has been a mainstay in Ibiza for some time, especially with his highly successful and ongoing ENTER night at Space. It would appear out that Richie was getting a little tired of playing close to the ocean and decided it was time to throw down a set... in the ocean. Armed with a waterproof iPad, speakers on floating rafts, and a whole lot of amphibious raving Spaniards, Richie made this idea a reality. Because we all know partying by the beach is so three years ago.
Bridges For Music, Soweto, South Africa, 2013
Richie is known to be a global ambassador for Detroit techno who's obsessed with pushing the envelope of electronic music. But in addition to that, he also seems to care a great deal for the less fortunate. Earliar in the year, Richie joined the team at Bridges for Music, an amazing organization whose mission is to use the platform of electronic music to help inspire underprivileged and developing communities around the world. This group has also worked with top dogs like Skrillex, Luciano and DJ Fresh, but Richie was their first ambassador. He toured different communities in South Africa, stopping in Soweto to give some lectures and workshops before, of course, throwing down a set for the local community, which included many people who'd never been exposed to the uplifting groove of techno. Richie later stated that this was the "proudest moment of (his) career."
David reallly thinks that Richie should play a Plastikman set on his fire escape. @DLGarber