This year has been jam packed with events for Arizona music lovers. There’s another major event happening in the month of May, and this time attendees are going to get down and dirty. Dirty Disco has been a highlight of the underground scene for the past few years and provides quite the desert experience. Sam Groove is the founder of Dirty Disco and one of the most influential EDM icons in the Arizona scene. He was able to talk with me about this event’s origins, struggles and successes, and his position in the industry today.
How did you land yourself in the EDM business?
I’ve been a DJ for ten years now. Started playing vinyl records in warehouse raves and desert parties, and then branched out into the club scene. I always knew that dance music had serious potential for growth, so I began throwing my own events in 2008 and I’ve been pushing the underground sound ever since.
How did Dirty Disco get started?
In February of 2010, I put together a small one stage party and took it out to the desert. I couldn’t have picked a worse day, because a flash thunderstorm hit Arizona and a lot of people didn’t want to drive out in the mud. The event still did pretty well considering the weather, so I decided to do another party in May of that year. I was in complete shock to see over a thousand people show up to a renegade desert party. I won’t ever forget overhearing someone say “I never thought I’d ever say this, but the desert is packed!”. The rest is history.
Speaking of history, tell us about the evolution of this event over the years.
Dirty Disco has grown bigger and better every single year. We started as a renegade desert party with local DJs, and now we have a fully legal outdoor event featuring major international headlining artists. Fire has always been a major production aspect of Dirty Disco. Every year we add more to the event and change how it’s presented, and that’s one thing that people love so much about Dirty Disco. Each event that comes is different from the last, but it still follows the same tried and true formula: One dirty stage, one dirty vibe.
What are some of the struggles that this event has brought?
Each year there’s something. In the beginning, finding venues was tough because Dirty Disco used to be a renegade event. Dealing with the police has always been tricky. One year we had a shady promoter call the cops and sent a paddy wagon for us. Luckily we had a map point set up at the Jack In The Box, so the only thing the cops picked up was a bag of tacos. The first year that we made the event legal, the cops actually shut us down. After about 20 minutes of inspecting the safety and security of our event they gave us the green light to continue the party.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened at this event?
Oh boy I’ve got so many stories over the years, but most of them are NSFW so I’ll have to stay quiet on those. Let’s just say that when you do a renegade event out in the middle of nowhere, weird stuff happens. Each event is a different and unique experience, and they always end up being the craziest nights of my life.
Dirty Disco will be held on Saturday May 16th, 2015 at Rawhide Rodeo Arena. Infected Mushroom, Zomboy, Camo & Krooked, Ghastly, and AC Slater will be headlining, with tons of local talent supporting this stacked show. Below, Sam Groove has created a special promo mix for the event to get event goers hyped up for what’s to come. You can check out more information about this event and buy tickets on the Dirty Disco official website.