The afterparties of Detroit’s Movement festival are a unique component to the three daylong Memorial Weekend festivities. They are the facet that separates Movement from it’s other North American counterparts, creating an opportunity to break away from the hectic concrete jungle of the Hart Plaza. These parties allow attendees to become immersed in a different type of underground Detroit experience.

The festivals best afterparties, official and unofficial, are the ones that will easily make you forfeit precious hours of sleep in order to attend.

Last year, after attending several of the best parties that Detroit had to offer, one in particular managed to stand out. The “Ok Cool!” party, with its excellent production in a beautiful outdoor venue, had a stacked line-up and the vibes to match. This year Ok, Cool! is back for it’s third consecutive year and promises to again show attendees how to throw a proper Movement Festival afterparty. Before we head to the event headlined by Seth Troxler and Tom Trago, we sat down with the promoters to discuss how an ethos created an institution.


Freq: How did the concept for the OK, Cool! parties come about? And what’s behind the name?


DAX:  After the BPM Festival in 2013 I had several friends in the industry suggest that I start hosting an after party in Detroit because they felt my vibe and ethos were really compatible with the city and what it stands for.  As a huge fan of Movement and everything that Detroit has contributed to the electronic music community it wasn’t a hard sell.


My first call was to Ted Krisko from Ataxia, we had known each other for a while but had become much better friends after 10 days of BPM together and I knew that Ted would be a great local partner.  Ted and Josh – manager of TV Lounge – were going to be hosting their own night at TV Lounge for the first time during Movement and they invited me to team up with them instead of competing.  It was an easy decision!


TED: The name came about from me being a bad listener and “ok cool”ing people when I wasn’t paying proper attention to the conversation…party co-founder Josh Guerin would mock me by repeating “ok cool” every time I would say it. As a catch phrase amongst friends in Detroit it seemed to stick.

We teamed up with Dax and started brainstorming on a name that could sum up the party’s spirit. Because we are a come as you are, be who you want kind of gathering, we landed on the name “OK Cool!” because everyone is ok and cool in our book.


Freq: When reading the Ethos for the OK, Cool! party it states that the party is about “top notch production and talent – without any vibe destroyers like velvet ropes or bottle service”, can you expound?


DAX: We feel that an important part of the magic that goes into creating a night like this is to treat everyone equally and to not separate people into different groups with like bottle service or VIP areas tend to do.   You may be rich, you may be poor – none of that matters on the dance floor!


TED: It’s ok to indulge in the finer things and experiences in life and to live it up. But the OK Cool! crew strives to make our guests feel at home and completely comfortable. No need to keep up with the joneses at TV Bar, it’s simply a dance crowd.


Freq: How has the party evolved over the last 3 years?


DAX: We continue to attract a wider audience from around the world each year. The addition of Seth Troxler has created a buzz in the past couple years that results in a crazy early turnout of people that didn’t get pre-sales wanting to make sure they can get in.


TED: The mix of people tends to be a great turnout of Detroiters and TV Bar loyalists. We have a strong San Francisco contingency from Dax’s West Coast entourage. A lot of New Yorkers, Chicagoans and DC crew in the house each year. Many industry folks and hardcore enthusiasts from overseas join us as well.  Plus you’ll see every international DJ and industry person in town come through the doors to hang with the people on the dance floor as the sun rises and Eddie C takes over the patio.


Freq: What are some possible mistakes that you made in year one that you would never make in year three?


TED: Initially I was working the guestlist due to a staffer arriving late during year one. I’m the wrong person for that gig, and we switched me out for my music partner, Eric Ricker from Ataxia.


Who would’ve known that he is the best guestlist door guy in the biz. If you think you’re somebody and try to show it, get ready for a roast you wouldn’t expect. But hey, it’s Detroit.


DAX: Being out too late the night before.  :)


Freq: When you are curating the line up what kind of vibe are you trying to create and how do the DJs that play help add to the vibe?


TED: Our vibe is simple: Fun. We don’t want anyone that takes themselves too seriously involved in our programming. It’s actually a very complicated party to book a lineup for.


DAX: We generally book friends and friends of friends.  People we want to be listening to and partying with. We’re going for an inclusive, family vibe and feel that the easy camaraderie behind the scenes translates to good vibes on the dance floor.  Usually our artists show up early and stick around long after they play.


Freq: From some research I see that you are usually based in San Francisco, how does a Detroit party differ from and SF party?


DAX: There’s a lot more techno at a Detroit party! That being said it’s hard to compare the scene in Detroit during Movement to anywhere else in the world.


TED: As of late last year we are coast to coast now, with my recent move to NYC. That puts the OK Cool! crew in 3 cities, Detroit, San Fran and Brooklyn. Working on sharing the vibe across the nation!


Freq: How does the context of TV lounge and Detroit frame OK, Cool! And it’s ethos? What would you say is your favourite thing about TV Lounge?


TED: TV Lounge is the perfect venue for the initiation of Ok, Cool! Joshua is the club manager there, as well as a partner with Dax and I. Ataxia have been residents there for 5 years and Dax has been hanging out there with us for at least that long. Our relationship with the staff is top notch, and they really let us make our dreams for everyone come alive. TV is such a beautiful, eclectic place with such a free energy about it. The best thing about it is the people, hands down.


As far as Detroit goes, my favorite part of the city is the musical heritage. The culture of underground music worldwide has seen such an impact because of what has emerged from our brilliant city.


Freq:What can we expect at OK, Cool!’s 3rd consecutive Movement afterparty?


TED: Magic moments, music and mischief. Oh, and lots of love!


DAX: A lot of happy people



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