Electronic dance in Perham? Organizers hoping three-day event takes off
This small town about 70 miles from Fargo might not seem like much of an electronic dance scene, but three people are hoping to change that.
This weekend, Eddie Hudson and Matthew Clark, two relocated veterans of the music industry, along with Clark's wife Gabi, are opening the doors of their recently-purchased property - what they have since named "Club GEM" - for a three-day electronic dance music event.
Hudson, from New York City, and Clark, from Houston, have been active in the music industry for years. Hudson says he's recorded and mixed tracks that have won eight Grammy awards, and has worked with artists such as Isaac Hayes and Biggie Smalls.
The men own and operate their own record label, called Simplicity 26.
This spring - two years after moving to Frazee so Clark could be closer to his mother - the group came across a three-bedroom house for sale on three acres of property a few miles outside of Perham.
Clark says they knew immediately the house and property fit their plans.
"It all came together with this property," he says.
Since purchasing the house, the group has adapted parts of it to fit their needs - a chicken coop in the back has been turned into a DJ booth, while a gardening shed has been turned into the bar.
At this weekend's event - which is also a birthday party for Gabi, who requested the masquerade theme - 10 DJs will spin tunes on two different stages, including both Hudson, Clark (who goes by the name "Unspoken Notion"), Gabi (who goes by "Selustive") and others coming from around Minnesota and the rest of the country.
Camping will be available each night, and Clark says there'll be plenty of other entertainment options available during the weekend, ranging from volleyball and horseshoes to a performance by High-Jinx Go-Go dancers from St. Cloud.
This is the fourth - and largest - event on the property this summer, and the group expects anywhere from 500 to 1,500 people this weekend.
Even though that would be a sizeable draw for a fledgling venue, the group hasn't needed to buy special event permits because they still fall under a threshold for number of attendees, says Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schlueter.
"They're well within their rights," Schlueter says, adding that so far he hasn't heard of any complaints about the group's past events (Solmon Security of Detroit Lakes will be providing security at this weekend's event).
And while three-day electronic dance music events like this aren't especially common in the area - particularly near small towns like Perham - Clark says local reaction to the idea has so far been positive.
"For the locals, it's something new, it's different, and there's so much to see," he says.
"This is an area where there's not a lot of what we're doing here," Hudson adds. "But I think it's going to be really great, a lot of people are interested in it."
Beyond this weekend, the group has some long-term plans in mind for the property as well, including utilizing alternative energy as an electricity source, and building a greenhouse to produce fresh fruits and vegetables.
"We want to show that you can turn around and run a business 100 percent independently," Clark says.
And aside from just the property and the buildings, they also have some pretty ambitious plans for future parties - like possibly bringing in rapper Flo-Rida to perform, Clark says.
"We have a few more ideas that we're probably going to kick off next year with," Hudson adds. "We're just trying to make something extremely unique."
If you go
What: Selustive Masquerade
When: Pre-party is 11 p.m. Friday through 9 p.m. Saturday; party starts 9 p.m. Saturday and lasts until 6 a.m. Sunday; after-party is 6 a.m. Sunday through 6 p.m. on Monday
Where: Club GEM, 49083 Hwy 51, Perham, Minn.
Info: The 21-and-up tickets for the pre- and after-parties cost $5, and the main party costs $10 (or free if dressed in full masquerade outfit). Active service members or veterans with military IDs get in for free. Camping costs $10 a night, plus $5 per person, and only tents are allowed. Live webcasts of the musical sets will be streamed online at www.comereproductions.com/simplicity26mix.htm
For more information
Visit http://tinyurl.com/9k88tal, or call (713) 471-7940
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535