Meet the maker – Deco team UBV
UnderBraVidunder are event organizers and deco team who put on underground psy-trance parties in Stockholm since 2005.
Tell us about UBV, who are you and what do you do
UBV are a bunch of friends who, in 2005, realised they were sick and tired of what the “psytrance scene” had become after the big crash of the famous rave club “Docklands”.
Many event organizers had quit making parties because of this and what was left were only a few small crews making really small parties that was usually in a white pavilion tent, with bad speakers, and same artists every weekend.
We felt that we had to do something, so we got together for a meeting and planned our first event, which took place in November 2005. We are now a core crew of 5 people but the “UBV family” is much bigger than that, and we have the best ‘brothers and sisters’ that help us out at our parties.
How do you describe UBV and your style?
We are a family and each of us has their own “super powers”. We all work together and help each other out and the combination is great. We aim to make things ourselves as much as possible; from deco, artist booking, chill out, lights, sound etc. Our style is described as cosy and welcoming and with unsuspected details.
What’s a typical event like
The location or venue is often far away from the city, so only the most dedicated of party goers will come. The main signature of our events is the vibe. The majority of our frequent guests don’t even look at the line up.
Since we originate from a chill crew, chill outs have always been more or less mandatory for us. People want to interact and the chill out is the perfect place to meet new friends in a magical atmosphere. So, at 85% of our parties you will find a chill out.
The indoor dance floor deco is colourful to make the mind happy. We use fluorescent black light to make the colour pop and to create a dreamy effect. On the outdoor dance floors, we like to use natural materials to create more symbiosis with mother nature.
How do you differentiate from other deco teams and event organisers?
Most organizers are one or two people mainly managing bookings and promotion but they don’t lift a finger at the actual party. Everything is hired and paid for.
UBV is the opposite. Our aim is to make as much as possible by ourselves in our HQ. We are 100% non-profit and we are in control of everything that happens at the party, working schedules, crew, food, rigging up, sound, lights and deco, working the shop & door, cleaning the venue after, and guards. Everything!
Our parties are always private and for members only, as we want our guests to feel safe and relaxed. You should be able to leave your bag unattended all night without anyone touching it. That is a golden rule!
We usually sleep at the venue / location from the night before the party and work from late night/early morning, putting the party together with our lovely family members. When everything is set up and ready, it’s also us that is working at the party and after the party, it’s us that restoring the venue to its original state.
What are the challenges of doing both deco and music at your own events?
Of course the biggest difficulty with working as we do is time and energy. We all have day jobs and families so there is a lot of effort and late hours put into every event to make it possible. We often have to take days off from work to make it happen, which means that we’re actually losing money privately making parties.
We’ve also put a lot of private money in the events that is not always paid back. There is always a big challenge in balancing what we can afford with what we want to do. We do not want to make those huge events with thousands of people, but would love to book some of those popular artists that usually only play at the biggies.
Luckily most artists in the Psy-Scene are really humble and can adapt their price to size and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to work with so many awesome artists throughout the years.
The benefit is life-enrichment, to work for free, together with awesome people, to create something beautiful that makes people happy. That is an addictive feeling! It’s all for “The nod” (*from movie Groove)
We want to make people enjoy life. To, for a couple of hours, just forget the 9 to 5 life; forget subway stress and television and just be in the present moment.
What do you try to achieve with the experience you create?
Surrounded by people that make them feel safe and relaxed with who they are. Enjoying the music, the art and the people.
It doesn’t matter where you come from, how you look, your age or what you do for living. At our parties we are all equal and we are in this together. Hopefully our guests can take that feeling with them home and spreading that love further.
What are the challenges when it comes to creating deco?
Except for time and money, its SIZE. Even though our storage has grown from a small basement cage to a big room it seems to be over full all the time. It’s never ending cleaning.
We want to make big decorations but we always have to think “will it fit in the storage?” and “will it fit in a truck?” Other challenges are skills. We are constantly teaching ourselves new techniques in cutting, sawing, sewing, painting, spraying, gluing, drilling etc.
Never ending googeling and youtubing for sure!
What’s the situation like for deco artists in your scene? Any difficulties?
In Sweden, there are not many that are actively making these kinds of decorations any more.
That makes you, of course, think that it would be a great business for us but it’s usually pretty under paid if you would count in all the hours behind it. Sometimes we have to say no to deco jobs because multiple organizers want to book us at the same time.
Due to the lack of deco, many organizers have started to book deco teams from other countries which is amazing! We’re so happy that the people has started to demand more than a killer line up at their parties and so happy that Sweden gets to enjoy so many different set ups. It is a BIG difference from where we began.
Sweden’s Psy-Scene is pretty small compared to countries like Germany or Switzerland, so sometimes we also take deco jobs at private parties, weddings, night clubs and TV events, which is al lot of fun because then you get to show this kind of art to people who is not used to it.
(Example: *Melodifestivalen, *KTH, *Lavvo Terasse Oslo)
If one would like to try out your field, what’s your advice?
As a party organizer: ask yourself first- WHY- do I want to make parties, and am I ready to take consequences if anything goes wrong? As an organizer you have great responsibility for A LOT and you have to be able to multitask and not lose your head.
Start small, don’t have the vision that you can go from 0 to hero over a night as you will need to build an audience first. Quality before quantity! Stay humble and other organizers will help you.
As a deco artist: Just do it! If you have an idea, make it real! When creativity knocks on your door, you open! Chase inspiration and try to find your own signature touch. Give yourself time to learn how to make whatever you’re interested in. Dare to try new things.
What do you have got planned for the future?
We recently had our annual Halloween party, which is running for the 5th year in a row and it was epic. Everyone dresses up and *poof* we had living (dead) deco. We have a slogan “We create the playground and you make the party” At Halloween, wow, the people really makes the party. The level of creativity of some costumes is amazing!
We have some of our own parties cooking, so can’t reveal much about them yet either but there will be more UBV parties in 2016 / 2017 do not worry! We also have some deco bookings that is not yet confirmed so we can’t reveal where just now, but it looks like next summer is going to be a great one!
Thank you UBV for chatting to us – We wish you all the luck on your future adventures!