My name is Mohammad Khan, and I'm just a startup tech guy who loves house and techno. When my friend Jake from Tampa offered me a free pass to TomorrowWorld, my flight to Atlanta was booked the next day. I had attended the inaugural TomorrowWorld and loved it. I couldn't be more excited at this point.
Then "WaterWorld" happened. To all of us.
On Sunday morning, I woke up to the brutal news that the third day of TomorrowWorld—the day I was looking forward to the most—had officially been canceled. As I tried to find out what to do on a rainy Sunday in Atlanta, I realized 60,000 other people were all in the same boat as I was—shit out of luck.
My friends and I started talking about how awesome it would be if someone threw a party for all the stranded TomorrowWorld fans. But with no DJs booked and no clubs open, it was seemingly impossible at that point. We had given up.
Then, my friend JB looked at me and said, "Why don't you just throw it? We've done stuff like this before." I realized he had a point. A few years back, I met Gary Richards (AKA Destructo, AKA Captain D) on the maiden voyage of Holy Ship. Eventually, we did a huge ShipFam party in Dallas at Levu nightclub, with him and my buddy Kill Frenzy. People flew in from all over the country for it.
Destructo and TJR (Photo by Joe Larkin)
Naturally, the first artist I thought to ask was Gary. I knew he would be the right artist to undertake this endeavor, and he knew this wouldn't be my first rodeo. When I texted him to see if he would be down to play a free show for all the TomorrowWorld festivalgoers stuck in Atlanta, he instantly responded, "Yesss. Let's do this."
"It was nice to give back something to all those who were part of the struggle that weekend," he later told me over email.
They both agreed to play the show without a DJ fee so long as everyone with a TomorrowWorld wristband would get free admission all night long.
I immediately started emailing and calling everyone I knew to try and secure a venue in Atlanta. Most clubs wouldn't even open up on a Sunday due to local laws. Even after getting three or four confirmed venues that later cancelled throughout the day, I never gave up. I couldn't.
A friend of a friend eventually got me in contact with the general managers of Opera nightclub. They agreed to do the show under a few conditions: there would not be any mention of the party on social media, TomorrowWorld guests would get in free all night, and we would call the event an unofficial TomorrowWorld afterparty with "special guests."
Destructo came straight from his set at TomorrowWorld—which was only open to the small group of campers left on the grounds—to a packed house at Opera. TJR came a little bit later, and they went b2b for an absolutely epic night with over 2,000 people in the house. Everyone that got cut out of the last day of TomorrowWorld felt a little bit vindicated, myself included.
Local laws in Atlanta state that clubs can't stay open past 12AM, but as the clock approached that curfew, I looked around and saw no sign of anyone slowing down. I realized this party wasn't over yet and I had to secure an afterhours spot. So I got in touch with a local promoter and we found two CDJs and a mixer just in the nick of time.
When we arrived with Gary and TJR to the next location, a line was wrapped around the building. Gary asked me, "What is this place?" and I responded, "I think its a tattoo parlor." Yup—we were afterpartying in a tattoo parlor somewhere in Atlanta.
Destructo and TJR went b2b at the afterhours past 4AM. I don't even think there was a subwoofer, but they played to another packed house for free anyway. At one point, we even had a pizzas delivered to the club—as TJR put it, "shout out to the pizza gods for delivering the much-needed pies at the end of the night!"
And that's the story of how Destructo and TJR salvaged the unfortunate situation at TomorrowWorld with an epic Sunday Funday after all.