Party people from Rotterdam and way beyond come together in BIRD on Friday and Saturday night. But which night the perfect fit for you? We asked Guido van Dieren (Friday programming) and Philip Powel (Saturday programming) about the setup, highlights and unmissable upcoming moments.
What makes BIRD’s Friday and Saturday nights so different?
Philip: Saturdays focus on hip hop and R&B. We take these genres as the starting point for our search for sounds and organizers who fit the BIRD profile. In the beginning we mostly hosted ‘90s nights, but today we combine that with contemporary music. We start back in the days (like with The Grapevyne and In Living Color) and end with the now (with nights like Yardbird and Chicken Wings), with nights like THE SCENARIO right in the middle. We keep an eye on the scene to see if there’s any trends or developments we should respond to, like dancehall (which we did with De Danshal). Lately we’re seeing more people organizing successful club nights in different cities, like Rewind and Happy Feelings. We’ve brought those to BIRD too.
Guido: Friday nights are about diving deep and exploring different genres. Our focus is underground culture and music lovers. Gilles Peterson’s sound is a good way to describe Fridays: adventurous, the place to discover up and coming talents and the next big thing. New developments are tested behind the decks and organizers provide a soulful sound that’s still danceable.
How do you select club organizers or artists for specific nights?
Guido: They come to us, or we approach them. Then we have a discussion about which night best fits the concept. The sound on a Friday has to be in line with Four Tet, Theo Parrish and LeFtO. We’ve noticed that it’s harder to find people for this night, which is why we do more of our own productions, like Transistor Rhythm.
Phil: If someone approaches me, I always ask: “Why BIRD?” The answer is crucial. There are enough locations out there. The synergy between the location and the club organization is what makes or breaks a night. If there’s no match, it’s not going to work. I also pay attention to entrepreneurship and if someone has organizational skills. We work with the club organizers to create a massive experience with a small team and few resources.
What were your highlights from the past year?
Phil: That nights like Chicken Wings, Yardbird and The Grapevyne still draw more than 800 visitors. Even after five years, these nights are alive and kicking <3. The organizers have a long-term vision and really built these nights from scratch.
Guido: That there’s more and more successful theme nights, like The Black Disco Reboot. I’m proud of our own productions like Transistor Rhythm, where we combine the afro sound with the perfect night out. And of course Jayda G; what we originally thought would be a club night at a small location had to be scaled up to all the rooms in the venue because of the overwhelming interest.
What are you looking forward to?
Guido: Even more fusion between live performances and club nights (like the LeFtO presents nights).
Phil: And it’s a little too early to talk about it, but the club renovations scheduled for 2019. After 2.5 years of BIRD, we got an extra arch. A new kitchen and the Garden of BIRD came soon after, and now it’s almost the club’s turn. We want to make everything top notch. We might not be the hippest kid in town anymore, but we’ll never stop developing.