2009 Sea Change

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PART 1

“2009: The inception of the Sea of Dreams collaboration between Sunset SF + Anon Events! My how time flies when you’re working your ass off. In this inaugural year, we also partnered with dear friends, BlastHaus, who we’d often conspired with back in our early experimental SOMA art gallery days.

We were all overdue for a changing of the guard, so our chosen theme was a celebratory nod to our new President Obama who was just on the cusp of taking office and the flyer art, portraying an empowered mermaid with a defiantly raised fist was designed by artist, Andrew Jones, to mirror the spirit of this long awaited shift.

This was our very first Thievery Corporation headlined show, and the now legendary Bassnectar (Lorin no more!) was a bright feather in our cap. LA’s Mutaytor caravaned north with their 120-piece techno circus, and Anon Salon’s Love Parade float band, BLVD, mashed it up with Boca Do Rio and The Brazillian Allstars.

Erotic sideshows by Dakini Vortex and the Tantric Circus titillated our burning crowd, while our veteran crew once again converged to convert the elongated Concourse into a labyrinth of art, costumed playgrounds, sculpture gardens, video waterfalls, interactive islands, inflatable wonderlands, and fantasy forests. Out with the old, in the newbie, we made sure our national Sea Change would kick off proper!”

~ Joegh Bullock, Founder & Artistic Director, SEA OF DREAMS NYE & Anon Events

PART 2:

One does not simply “jump” into something as profound as Sea of Dreams without a bit of trepidation. It seems strange to say now, but Sunset-SF used to absolutely hate the idea of doing an NYE event. We felt that New Years created so many impossible production and customer service challenges, that we’d be better off hanging with friends and let others do the work. Then in 2007 we got a hot avail on a little-known DJ named Diplo and presented him on NYE at a brand new club called Temple. The show was a raging success and we realized that though NYE was a challenge, it was a challenge that would be very exciting and satisfying to overcome. Early in that year we starting discussing the idea of a Sea of Dreams collaboration with Joegh and his team. We felt that SunsetSF and Anon filled in eachothers gaps quite nicely, and that together we could take the event to a higher level. And did we ever.

Due to the incredible confluence of Thievery at the height of their popularity and Bassnectar at the start of his massive leap to stardom, the turnout was something truly unexpected. The upside was that the show itself was a smashing success, from the performances, to the decor to the the sound, lights etc… The downside was that we were absolutely unprepared to process so many people at the gate and the lines, waits, and confusion was (I humbly admit) unacceptable. It was my department, and entirely my fault. I spent most of my first night as of producer Sea of Dreams outside in the lines, putting out fires and frankly, getting my ass kicked. Beginning the next day I personally communicated with every single person who had an issue with the event.  Some of those conversations went on until long after the next Sea of Dreams as I sought to make sure that there wasn’t a single person who felt unsatisfied. The lessons we learned that year have informed every aspect of our planning, preparation and execution ever since. By the following year, the entry was a breeze and the folks who had been upset became some of our staunchest fans. Sea of Dreams is one of the tightest-run, smoothest, best -produced largescale events in the USA now, and has won many awards to that end. This obessive focus on execution is a direct result of the very difficult night I had on the frontlines in 2009.

~ Robbie Kowal, CEO, Sunset-SF