For DJs and party planners charged with shaping New Year’s Eve parties, the pressure to craft a memorable night is tough. But L.A.-based promoter and DJ Marques Wyatt said it’s worth it.
“There’s definitely a psychological undercurrent (at New Year’s),” he said. “As far as feeling pressure, there’s a certain sense of release around the holidays that I pick up from the crowd’s energy… And I like to help facilitate that release.”
From the DJ booth, Wyatt can see the crowd’s energy unfold: the build-up that comes from shedding a year and looking to the new one. When designing a soundtrack to that process, he’ll work to blend songs guiding that feeling.
“I do tend to gravitate toward songs that really strike those chords,” he said. “If there’s been a hit from earlier in the year, I might pay homage to it, though I generally play whatever, whenever.”
As one of L.A.’s longest-running party promoters, who helped introduce house music from New York to the West Coast, Wyatt knows a few things about planning parties. This year he’s planning an event with friends from the Burning Man festival and his long-running club night, DEEP.
His top New Year’s Eve memories include outdoor street parties in L.A. and last year’s show in Hawaii, with an open-air atmosphere offering a special charge. He fondly recalls Christmastime in New York, the city that sparked his love of dance music. Along with the snow in the city, the amount of energy put into building a Christmas vibe is amazing. And, of course, it’s a great place to party.
“People are, again, releasing,” he said. “And if you should be in any city where people release, it’s New York.”