The decentralized dance party (DDP) is a unique movement that’s been gaining popularity since 2009 when it came to life through co-creators Tom Kuzma and Gary Lachance. Lachance explains the origins of the idea.
“We used to do midnight mass bike rides in 2006,” he says. “Hundreds of us would meet up and bike for hours. Some of us had boomboxes on our bikes playing music from our iPods and one night, the iPods died. We decided to tune the boomboxes into the same radio station and it was really cool. We started thinking about what if we became our own radio station.”
Essentially, the DDP developed into a moving dance party with no central audio source. Kuzma and Lachance, who are affectionately called Tom+Gary by online followers, developed the party using a single music broadcasting source with a portable FM transmitter that synchronizes with the hundreds of boom boxes they hand out to partygoers. What that means is the party people are the source of the music, leaving no restrictions for where and when the party moves.
“We did it in Vancouver for about seven months,” Lachance says. “Our goal from the beginning was to increase it a hundred fold and at our Olympic event, we had about 20,000 people come throughout the night.”
The success of this Olympic event spurred the idea of a Canadian themed national tour where their Party Safari Tour hosted seven parties across Canada over 18 days.
When Tom+Gary and their DDP party crew arrive in a new town, they send out a notice on Facebook and Twitter of the meeting place to potential party-goers. This is where they distribute the boom-boxes to excited people of all ages, colours and walks of life.
On October 7, the guys brought their portable party to Toronto where hundreds came out and danced through the streets to a mix of 90’s music. The party began at Queen’s Park and moved for hours until finally finding its end in the Yonge-Dundas Square.
Because the DDP is still in its early stages, most hear of the event through social media or by word of mouth. Dan Charleton of Hamilton was one of the party people in attendance at the Toronto event and explains why he decided to attend the DDP.
“A good friend of mine was on the ferry out to Victoria and she was stormed by the DDP crew with no advance knowledge of what was going on. After that, I checked out the website and the whole concept was so ridiculous and awesome, and the tour just happened to start around then too. How could I miss that?”
This is the mentality that brings anywhere from hundreds to thousands of people out to DDP events and has allowed for DDP’s to pop up in other countries like Australia.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” says Lachance, “We talked to the guy in Australia who’s a friend of a friend and encouraged him to continue doing what he’s doing. Our ultimate objective is to do a North American tour and then as soon as possible we want to travel the world with this.”
This is a lofty goal for Kuzma and Lachance, who accept donations from partygoers but mostly fund the events out of pocket.
“We consider it an investment, lots of people have no problem throwing down 40 grand on student loans—we see this in the same way. It’s almost like our baby. I’d rather do this than have a baby and they probably cost around the same,” Lachance jokes.
In the spring, the guys have planned a “Strictly Business” tour across Canada where partygoers will be asked to dress in business-like attire.
The tour locations will be determined by cities with Facebook groups boasting the most people attending. The only question is will you be there to experience it?
To find out more about the DDP: www.decentralizeddanceparty.com