Back in December, I was invited to pop along to a little London launch party of Birmingham night, Magic Door. The press release sounded fun – after all, I’m a sucker for sparkles – but I went ahead with the intention of checking it out for a couple of hours and getting a decent feel for it. Little did I know I’d have one of my favourite nights out I’ve had in a LONG time. It was completely bonkers, the music was great, and the people were lovely – not your typical night out in Shoreditch, for sure.
Here’s the interview with Jit, co-founder of Magic Door:
For those that haven’t had the privilege of attending a Magic Door party, tell us a little bit about the history of it and how it came about?
There were a few loose ideas floating around between us involving doing a party that gets everyone fully involved, no passengers. There was another involving excessive amounts of glitter and another that let us play quite bendy disco-edged house and techno (which we now call discotechno & spooky house!). The underlying link between all of them was that we wanted a party that made people smile. Over time we tuned all the ideas into one party, and created Magic Door.
I recently came to your London party at Red Gallery, and was totally converted! How has the 2015 tour been going so far? Any highlights?
It’s not quite started yet, our March event is our first party of 2015, so no highlights yet! We took a little planned break after a massive NYE to brace ourselves for a hectic year. There is some one-offs around the country in the pipeline at a few of our favourite cities, plus we are hosting areas at a few festivals. We were quite close to releasing details on all a couple of weeks ago but, some more festivals which we quite like the look of have been in touch with a view to getting us on board, so we may need to juggle what was planned if we do them. Details on all should start dribbling out in the next couple of weeks.
Half the people I talked to on the night were Brummies that had made the trip down, or were already living in London. You seem to have an army of loyal followers. Who are some of the biggest characters in the MD team?
Half the people were Brummies? Statistically according to our ticketing company it was more like 30%! It probable felt like more cause we are a pretty friendly bunch. If we are talking big Magic Door characters then there is no bigger then G.o.D/Andy Watson and a very dishonourable mention to his nemesis, the Devil/Kev Doody. Effectively these guys control who goes in and out of the actual Magic Door and Magic Area in the most fun, larger then life way possible. The level of creativity on their outfits is also constantly going up to ridiculous another levels. Kev Doody is also the creator and wearer of the quite famous LED helmut which pops up at Magic Door and is also our actual profile picture on Facebook. I think a blanket nod has to go to all the Crafty Girls too. There is now about 60-70 girls who, on and off, work as Crafty Girls behind the Magic Door and they are all super lovely and do an amazing job in making every single person who comes through feel welcome and leave smiling. I’m not going to single any out for special praise as I may get lynched!
You guys never announce the special guests. Why is that?
We see our whole party as a bit a antithesis to a lot of what is going on in clubland. It has all got a touch serious and a small part of that is the guest driven way parties are presented, so we really wanted to avoid doing that. As you know, we do have guests, but they are purely booked because we love what they play and enjoy partying with them. We do kick ourselves sometimes as we really want to tell people who is on, but overall we like the format of our events. I think we are quite lucky though. There is a level of trust that has been built where people are confident in the party we will be putting on and in the the music they will hear that gives us the luxury to be able to do this.
Can you give us any clues about who the guest is for the Birmingham party in March?
I have to be careful here as it’s quite an easy one… London based, one of the UK’s most recognisable, respected and loved DJs, a true club/festival icon.
On your Resident Advisor bio, you say, “this is not a sex party” – what’s the story behind this?
Whenever I see this line of text or get ask about it I can’t help but have a little giggle. It stems from the first ever Magic Door. We had these little enveloped invites which only went out to friends and friends of friends. The whole thing was quite mysterious and covert and the wording on the invite was even more ambiguous. When I initially wrote the copy and read through again, it actually sounded like it was for a sex party, so I just added a little tongue in cheek disclaimer. I had also recently wound up a mate, Tom Craven, who runs Illusion Records, saying that I ran underground sex parties in Birmingham and lots of people we both knew were involved. He completely fell for it and it was weeks until I told him it was all made up, so was a little cheeky nod to him too. It turns out though, it was possibly the best promotional line on a bit of event marketing ever. It constantly gets talked about and gets the odd saucy wink! It was supposed to have only ever been on that first party invite, but it makes us all chuckle, and people who read it chuckle, so it has now pretty much become a permanent strap line.
What are you most looking forward to with Magic Door in 2015?
Tough one. I always look forward to our Birmingham parties. The scale, decadence and aftermath goes into epic proportions. But away from them, returning to London to do a bigger scale Magic Door is something we are all massively looking forward to. The festivals we are doing and the ones we are in talks with to do are all pretty exciting too but I think overall for 2015, at this point, club or festival, the one we are most excited about, and deservedly so, is hosting our own boat part at The Garden Festival in Croatia in what is their 10th anniversary and last ever year. It is going to be an absolute mecca for discerning party heads this year. It’s such an amazing location and they have pulled out all the stops for their self imposed, finish on a massive high, last ever year.
Finally, what track sums up your mood right now?
I wouldn’t say it sums up my mood, but I’ve been deciding on which backing track to put on the video from Magic Door NYE, so have listened to ‘Keep on Running’ by Downtown Party Network on Futureboogie Records about 20 times in the last day. Fair to say, that’s the one I’ve picked.
Interview with Jit – co founder of Magic Door & 1 half of Magic Door resident DJ duo, Jukes of Hazard.
Tweet me @EdnaskiMusic
Magic Door @ Boxxed, 104-108 Floodgate Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 5SR
Fri 6th March
Doors: 9pm – 6am
Secret Guest DJ TBA
Secret Guest DJ
Jukes of Hazard
Magic Door Crafty Girls / GoD (Guardian of Door) / Devil / Magic Door photo booth
+ Glitter, face paint, wigs, headbands, feathers, moustaches, capes, masks + all manner
props & disguises