Global Dance has become a household name for electronic music lovers in Colorado. We had a chance to sit down with the brains behind it all — Ha Hau.
If you have yet to attend a Global Dance production, allow me to revoke your electronic music lover’s card. Global has been responsible for bringing some of the biggest names in the industry to Colorado, and the company has NO plans of stopping any time soon.
If you already checked out our coverage of Global Dance Fest 2017, you’re aware of the levels Global Dance has risen since its very beginning. Fifteen years of a festival and it simply continues to get better! We were fortunate enough to sit down with the brains behind it all — Ha Hau — to ask him some questions about Global Dance — past, present, and future.
*Photos Courtesy of ML Hobby Photography
Global Dance Festival just wrapped up its 15th year. Can you briefly take us through the journey of its founding to how it’s grown to today?
Global Dance Festival (GDF) made its debut in 2003, replacing Rave on the Rocks. The festival started as a single day festival that features the greatest EDM artists from around the world. It expanded to two days and then eventually three. For many years it was the only EDM event at at majestic venue. As the popularity in the genre grew, more EDM events took place at Red Rocks. It was time to make GDF special again, so it was time to move it to Sports Authority Field.
What made you choose Sports Authority at Mile High as the new location for GDF?
I’ve always wanted to grow GDF into something bigger and better. There were a only a few locations that could handle the size and vision. Sports Authority was really close to the heart of Denver and had plenty of space. It just made the most sense.
Change is never easy. What were some challenges you experienced moving from Red Rocks to Sports Authority?
Changing an annual experience after 14 years was a shock to many fans. They were so used to dancing under the stars in an almost-magical setting. Many felt like I stole that experience from them. It was a challenge to convince fans that we are replacing it with a bigger, better experience. GDF was becoming more of a real festival.
I wanted to use the south side of Sports Authority Field grounds. It’s just big parking lots and a few small lawns. It wasn’t designed for a festival. I wanted to transform parking lots into a fun festival with many difference experiences. Given the amount of space I was able to add a VIP Village, Art Park, Food Truck lane, Arcade area underground, cool art sculptures, carnival rides and games, and big stage productions. The lineup brought the people, but I wanted to keep them entertained when they are not dancing to the music. I took tedious measures to ensure that everywhere you looked there was something going on; immersed in it.
Which artists were you most excited to book for the festival?
I’ve seen Zhu before, and his live performance blew me away. I knew that this would be a treat for Colorado. Was fortunate to debut the Excision B2B Datsik performance at GDF. Given that Colorado is the Bass Capital, I knew this was going to be something special. There were so many up and coming artists that rocked the smaller stages, too. Asadi, Dabin, SayMyName all drew big crowds. I was excited to see a great reaction to new talent.
You’ve given this city new life with this festival, including the pre-parties and after-parties. What makes Denver the perfect city to host a GDF?
Denver is one of the hottest markets in the country for dance music. You have a number of superclubs and first class lounges in or near downtown. A lot of options for every party-goer. GDF was a festival, but we also made it a Global Week. We hosted pre-parties, after-parties, and closing parties throughout the city. The experience didn’t start or end at GDF.
Should we expect bigger and better Global Dance festivals in the future?
Not sure what I’m doing in 2018 quite yet 😉
While the future of Global Dance and its festivals are obviously shrouded in secret, there is plenty to look forward to until 2018. Most importantly, Decadence New Year’s Eve here in Colorado — the biggest NYE bash around.
The Global Dance social team has been blasting out teasers warming us all up to ring in the new year with heavy bass and dusk-till-dawn dancing. Stay tuned for more information because you can be SURE we’ll be on top of it.