DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Local promoter G-Spot has helped take "Love Festival Hawaii" to greater heights in the 10 years it's been held. In recent years, the event has drawn upwards of 5,000 people.
DJ concert splashes down
The 10th Annual Love Festival Hawaii features both dance music and hip-hop
While the electronic dance music scene as a whole continues its struggle to maintain a foothold in Honolulu, one event will have no trouble attracting thousands of people to Kapolei this weekend.
10th ANNUAL LOVE FESTIVAL HAWAII
Place: Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park
Time: 8 p.m. July 19
Additional events: "Official Afterhours Party," 2 to 8 a.m. Sunday at The Shop; "Official Love Festival Radio," 3 to 5 a.m. Sunday on KIKI-FM (Hot 93.9)
On the Net: www.thelovefestival.com
Saturday's love festival hawaii marks the 10th year local promoter g "g-spot" dehnert has teamed with los angeles-based dj reza to produce the event on oahu. utilizing contacts made during years of touring, they invite top international talent to spin alongside hawaii's own heavyweights under the stars at hawaiian waters adventure park.
"It's the grass, believe it or not," G-Spot said last week. "People love dancing barefoot.
"It's not a hippie festival or anything, but dancing outside has a cool appeal to people."
When the first Love Festival Hawaii took place in 1998, electronic music enjoyed a much stronger following than it does today.
"It was an interesting time," G-Spot said. "There seemed to be an emergence of budding DJs."
Working alongside promoters like Matthew Grim and Daniel J, he responded to increased demand with parties at different venues. Atomik, 1739 and the Wave Waikiki were among his top destinations back then.
But G-Spot also wanted to do something different, something on a larger scale. His first attempt was partnering with Reza on the inaugural Love Fest at Climber's Paradise.
"That was the first time we took the main stage outside," he said. "We filled that place to capacity. ... we had 1,000 people show up and had to turn away another 600 people."
The turnout was even better the following year, and G-Spot capatalized on his success by co-promoting Phuture Hawaii 2000 at Kakaako Waterfront Park on New Year's Eve 1999. As thousands danced their way into the new millennium, he realized Hawaii's weather would help turn Love Fest into a destination event.
"I wanted to try to do stuff to connect Hawaii with the rest of the world," he said. "Ibiza was really hot, and I've always thought that Hawaii should be America's Ibiza ... (and the water park's) outdoor atmosphere and expanded capacity is great for that kind of party."
DURING A PERIOD when there is never a lack of nightlife options, Love Fest Hawaii in recent years has consistently drawn crowds in excess of 5,000 people.
Interest doesn't just come from the general public, however. As more DJs learn about the party, booking the party gets harder and harder.
"It's become a signature event, so they all want to come out and play," G-Spot said. "But to be honest with you, it's not that cost-effective for us (when) we want to deliver a certain standard of quality and uniqueness.
"You're not gonna get that with the same DJ coming out five years in a row."
That's why most of the headliners, except for G-Spot and Reza themselves, are first-timers. He said DJs Icey and Micro will make their Hawaii debuts at the water park, while DJs Taylor and Junior Sanchez return to the islands after five and seven years, respectively.
"And Paul Anthony is huge in the Midwest," G-Spot added. "He's playing out four to five times a week at festivals bigger than ours."
Along with two stages dedicated to electronic music, hip-hop will get its own dedicated area at the water park. Rick Rock Productions, Tantriq Entertainment and the Architechs will split hosting duties throughout the night, with DJs Delve, Wu-Chang, K-Smooth, Technique and Betty on the decks.
"I always reserve one spot for a local DJ who has never played at Love Fest, and this year it's DJ Delve," said G-Spot. "He was part of the underground scene when the whole mash-up thing was going on ... you'd have a house DJ, a trance DJ guy in the next room, and the hip-hop guy.
"And Delve was always (the DJ) in that (hip-hop) room."