“Sea of Dreams had been forever fortunate booking its ultimate “wish list” and in 2013, we finally got GoGol Bordello! We’d been saving the theme “LunaSea” just for them and went on to make it one of most theatrical years yet, with the combination of Quixotic multi-media acrobatical dance and Vau De Vire’s erotic midnight circus on the west stage.
I’d met Simon of Spongle back stage at the Warfield and we invited him to headline along with exclusive sets by Glitch Mob and Trentemoller. Diego’s Umbrella returned with their gypsy funky mash-ups and the Realistic Orchestra created their chaotic symphony of zaniness. Pumpkin had also become a new Sea favorite, and returned to grace our stages along with Opulent Temple. Opel created a sound garden with their founder Syd Gris on the decks, Plaza de Funk, and Sunset’s Motion Potion.
The Dirty Bird team moved to the mezzanine maze with a new BassCraft system + Little John, Worthy, Christian Martin, Dax Mozaic, and Digital Honey.
Our art zones expanded too, with the fractal forest becoming an interactive world of digital sculptures, and Will Chase Arts turned the art labyrinth into a playground of visionary masters. We’ve always believed in the relationship of art and music, and the Concourse’s largesse really allow our imaginations to run wild. Sadly, it was to be our last Sea in this location and it’s been slated for demolition this year. They said we could always produce another event there as long as we had an act like Mel Torme as future headliner. Say what?! Ummm, pass. Onto bigger and better venues we go…”
“People assume that it’s easy to book an event like Sea of Dreams. That every artist would WANT to play an event like this. But there are a number of contributing factors that make the job of talent direction at Sea of Dreams a major challenge. For one, many artist tour all year so they want NYE off. Others like to play the same place every year, perhaps they have something special in their hometown, like the Flaming Lips Tulsa thing, or the Roots in Philly. So we pursue some artists year after year after year in the hope that they will eventually be available. Case in point was Gogol Bordello, one of our all time faves, and an artist we had always wanted. When they confirmed I think I literally did a back handspring. Eugene Hütz is a hero to our entire community and was as fun as advertised both on stage, and behind it. Another interesting aspect about this year was the collaboration between Shpongle and Quixotic, who had only met once before this show. There was little time for rehearsal but they were able to pull off a spectacular performance. And then finally, there was Robert DeLong, who was a very talented unknown artist at the time. His agent started asking me to put him on the show maybe 6 months out and we truly didn’t have a good set for him. We said “no” for literally months before finding a late late late set time for him (which he rocked). Now Robert DeLong is yet another of the past Sea of Dreams performers who has gone on to incredible heights. Which is yet another reason why booking the event is way more complicated than people can imagine.
~ Robbie Kowal, CEO, Sunset-SF