From The Ground Up: Mister Saturday Night


We caught up with Brooklyn based party starters Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin to find out what it takes to run one of the most renowned parties in New York.

Justin and Eamon also talk up their recent crowdfunding campaign to fund "Nowadays", their brand new events space in Brooklyn, and what they have lined up for their debut appearance at Farr Festival 2017.

Mister Feat

First of all thanks for taking the time to answer these questions - for those not in the know, please can you introduce yourselves and tell us where you are from and what it is that you do?

Justin Carter: We're DJs and music makers that throw a couple of parties called Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday. We also have a beer garden and party space in New York, with a new indoor space opening soon, called Nowadays.

Looking back at day dot what provoked you to become friends and start working together?

Justin Carter: It became clear to us after working together on a couple parties that we had a serious commitment to making music the central focus of our lives. After a couple years of doing odds and ends with each other, we ended up cutting out all the other things we were doing and just doing parties together. It's paid off! 

This is your first time at Farr Festival - we’re keen to know what you imagine the festival to be like? Please can you describe what you envisage about the festival, stage and overall environment?

Eamon Harkin: I'm envisaging a quaint English forest and a pretty chill vibe. And hopefully no rain!

Over the years you’ve hosted Mister parties in Brooklyn at a multitude of venues including 12-turn-13, Silent Barn and Nowadays - For those that haven’t been to a Mister party in NYC what are the key things things that they should expect?

Eamon Harkin: Friendly staff at every turn, fair pricing for entry, food and drinks. Thoughtful production, a knowledgeable and diverse crowd and great music.

Hidden Palace

Earlier this year you successfully reached the $100,000 Kickstarter funding to revamp your outdoor space Nowadays into a thriving indoor / outdoor events space for food, music, education and so forth. Proving that crowd funding is really quite amazing, what do you think attributed to the success of the campaign and what are the key things that you have learnt along this journey? 

Justin Carter: You know, we were pretty blown away by it. We knew that we had a really good core of people around us, but we couldn't have imagined that the outpouring would've been so massive. It shows us that the community that's built up around Nowadays and the Mister are as excited about having a permanent home as we are. We've been roving around for a long time, and I think everyone is ready to put down some roots.

On 25th June 2017 you’ll host the 250th Mister party at Nowadays. Why did you choose to celebrate a specific number of parties rather than an anniversary or something?

Eamon Harkin: Celebrating anniversaries can feel arbitrary. What if you only threw one or two parties a year? Does it really make sense to throw an anniversary party? There's no way getting around a count of 250 parties. It feels like a real accomplishment. 

Who else are you looking forward to see perform at Farr Festival over the weekend?

Justin Carter: We were really excited to get the opportunity to ask Avalon Emerson to play with us. She played Mister Sunday earlier this year, and it was really special. She played a wonderful set, laying the groundwork in the first hour of her set with deep, heady music, and then ratcheting it up into a total frenzy as the sun went down. I can't wait to hear her again. 

Your record label has released pinnacle tracks from the likes of Anthony Naples, Nathan Melja, Gunnar Haslam and more. How do you go about getting producers involved with the label? Is it a case of inviting them to play at a Mister party, see the crowd react and then work up a friendship to get them into the label? What’s the process?

Eamon Harkin: The process to date has been one where we've passively say back and listened to the demos we've been sent. So all the records released this far have come from that process. More recently we're adapting that process to actively engage with artists who are generally under represented by the dance music industry and hopefully release music from talented producers that aren't just all white dudes.

Mister Nowadays

What’s coming up next on Mister Saturday Night and how do you envisage progressing the label in the near future?

Justin Carter: As Eamon alluded above, we made a commitment to diversity on the label earlier this year, and right now, we're actively going out and trying to find artists that are making great music but are from more diverse backgrounds than most of the artists we've featured in the past. Beyond that, things have been so busy with opening Nowadays that we haven't laid any grand plans. 

Looking ahead at Farr Festival What are your top 5 festival essentials? 

Eamon Harkin: Ear plugs and an eye mask for night time. Sunglasses and sunscreen for daytime. But most of all a take-it-as-it-comes attitude.

Finally please can you select a track on YouTube that you’re planning on playing at Farr Festival.

Justin Carter: I never know what's going to get played until I'm in the booth, but I can tell you THIS Rick James tune is stuck in my head these days and will likely make it into my DJ bag for the trip.

* Interview by Tom Durston / Inverted Audio

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