Ahead of Deep Fever’s final outing, Elliot Ryder caught up with the night’s originators Adam Lind and Ryan Kaye to discuss their journey from a music blog, parties at The Musiqarium right up to their impending swansong on January 29th with Move D.
Situated just a short walk from Leeds city centre sits Hyde Park, a densely terraced residential area which is home to the large portion of students living in Leeds for the best part of the year. To the naked eye it would appear to some that it is just any other highly populated student area. To those that have been charmed by experiences in the inner city area, Hyde Park is a unique social hub for the thousands of students living and studying in the city. Weave your way through the jungle of graffiti laden 3 storey terraces and you will find your way to Hessle Avenue, the birthplace of Leeds brand Deep Fever (and on a separate note, Hessle Audio also). Having progressed steadily since its inception in 2012 to one of the most loved nights in the city, Deep Fever is set to hang up the turntables and mixer and hand out its staple watermelon for one last time as their party at Mint Club on the 29th of January with Move D will be their last.
Unlike many nights that spring onto a city’s events calendar, Deep Fever never actually started out with the intentions to begin throwing parties in Leeds. The brain child of Adam Lind and Ryan Kaye, Deep Fever began life as a music blog, providing an outlet for the pair to share tracks they were listening to at the time. Much to their surprise, the Deep Fever page soon began to acquire a following. This resulted in local DJs getting in touch via email and sending across mixes asking if they would be able to play a set at the next Deep Fever party. “At the time we'd have to respond thanking them for their interest but explain that as it stands we are currently just a music blog. After receiving more of the same messages we thought we may have been missing a trick! This is when we made the decision to throw our first party” Adam explains. Being based in Hyde Park, Deep Fever was in the perfect surrounding to get itself off the ground as the area itself provided a hospitable base before venturing out and entering the world of events. ‘[Hyde Park] it has a fantastic vibe and generally offers its residents the freedom to be creative and throw parties like we wouldn't have been able to in our residential area back home in London. I'd say some of my favourite Deep Fever parties were actually the afters- most notably the first few where we'd have 150 or so people crammed into a hyde park house of pure madness all night long and often well into the next day” Ryan recalls.
Having sampled some of the nights on offer in Leeds around 2012 such as Louche, mono_cult and Teknicolor, it was time for Adam and Ryan to pool together their experiences and for Deep Fever to throw its first official party. “As we became more immersed into the Leeds scene it became evident that there were elements from each party that we would adapt or change if we could” Adam recalls. With that, Deep Fever took to The Musiqaurium, a venue situated a short drive from Leeds city centre, for their inaugural party. Despite initial fears about the venue’s location and a lack of big name booking on the lineup, the first party was a success and proved to be a solid building block for the parties to come.
"It was quite a risk for us launching a party in a fairly unknown venue outside of the city centre with only upcoming DJs that most people hadn’t heard of… By the time Will Eastlake closed to a still packed out club with Chic’s Everybody Dance, you could really feel that something special was born."
As the following for Deep Fever increased, natural progression was made, and with that Deep Fever moved from The Musiquarium and into one of Leeds’ most revered clubs, Mint. Since celebrating their first birthday at Mint Club, Deep Fever has frequented Leeds favourite Wire as well as ambitiously throwing a party in an empty loft space, no easy feat Adam informs. “This was something we’d always wanted to do, take an empty intimate art space and transform everything ourselves to throw a party. It was without doubt the most stressful party we’ve thrown as we probably underestimated how much time and work it would need to make it perfect, but after seeing it all come together and the amazing feedback we received after, it was definitely a memorable one”.
Ensuring the brand didn’t get lost in amongst the many regular parties that were calling Leeds home at the time, a strong ethos was ensued from the beginning providing Deep Fever with a recognisable character. Deep Fever set out with the intention to be an independent platform to create their own party; an incentive to make money was never at the forefront of the night’s thinking. “The DF ethos is to try and throw the most desirable and enjoyable parties for anyone that attends them. We love to show people the music we're digging through the music blog and for the actual events we strive off throwing banging parties whilst mainly showcasing up-and-coming talents from Leeds and beyond” Ryan explains. Small touches such as dressing the parties with unique décor, art provided by friends and handing out slices of watermelon at their parties are the kind of features that have endeared Deep Fever to its fans. “We've always planned each night by combining everything that we would like at our ideal party and recognising the real significance of all the smaller details that people often forget” Adam added. As well as going that extra mile to ensure Deep Fever stands out visually, the night has strived to support local talent and coming DJs on the circuit in Leeds; another element that is pivotal to the Deep Fever ethos. Along with welcoming the likes DJ October and Henry Wu in recent months, Deep Fever has played host to a number of residents from fellow parties in the city including Hamish Cole of Butter Side Up, Annie Errez of System and Matt Long of mono_cult. Providing a blend of established artists along with their own residents and local DJs is always something that could be enjoyed at a Deep Fever party.
"The DF ethos is to try and throw the most desirable and enjoyable parties for anyone that attends them. We love to show people the music we're digging through the music blog and throw banging parties whilst mainly showcasing up-and-coming talents from Leeds and beyond. An important ethos for us was to not be like most other nights and to exist to generate money, but instead to be an independent platform for us to create our ideal party for the people."
While the past three years has seen Deep Fever achieve so much more than was expected when starting out, the next party will sadly be the last. January 29th will see a Deep Fever favourite in the form of Move D on hand to provide the soundtrack. Although it would appear to be an occasion of sadness for Deep Fever’s resident dancers, both Ryan and Adam believe it is the right time for things to come to an end. “We never imagined that we would of achieved even half the things that we have done over the 3 years We’re still flattered by all the opportunities we’ve had but we feel that now is the right time for us to take a step back and focus on some other projects.” Over the 3 years Deep Fever has partnered with the likes of Beacons Festival and The Garden Party as well as welcoming the likes of Jon Talabot, Midland, Gerd Jansen and Barnt, not bad for a music blog that started out with no intentions of throwing parties. Although no more Deep Fever events appear to be on the horizon, the brand will continue on as an entity for all things musical in the form of their blog as well as exploring new ventures in the community. So, as Leeds prepares for life without another one of its favourite parties, it is time for the dancing shoes to be laced up one last time before being hung up for good as Deep Fever bid farewell at the Mint Club Friday the 29th of January.
"The final party will be a memorable celebration filled with mixed emotions! The atmosphere at our parties is always one that gets pointed out by regulars and first-timers as you can literally feel a sense of euphoria in the air. I may sound bias, but the ‘Deep Fever atmosphere’ is one that’s hard to explain and something that we’ve carried through from our very first party at The Musiquarium up until now, so I can’t even imagine how it’s going to feel at the final party! There was literally no one better to soundtrack it than Move D, we’ve admired him for years and his diverse sound and party starting aura is one that matches Deep Fever perfectly."
Words by Elliot Ryder
Main Photo courtesy of Deep Fever