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Social living is the best!

We catch up with Bugged Out!'s Johnno Burgess to find out more about 3’s Seriously Social competition to curate your dream party


Ever wanted to run your own club night? Ever discussed all the endless possibilities of what you could do with a sack of cash and your vivid imagination? In that case, 3’s Seriously Social competition is for you: a chance to make all your most outlandish dream party ideas come true.

After a successful launch last year, which saw the winner Michael O'Shea granted £25,000 to devise a lavishly appointed, 1920s-influenced event, the competition is back, bigger and better for 2009, with Johnno Burgess, Bugged Out! promoter one of the judges, and £30,000 up for grabs. The rules are simple — just submit your ultimate party manifesto to the Seriously Social Facebook page facebook.com/3seriouslysocialparty

The entries will be whittled down to the best 25 at the end of November by Johnno and the panel of 3 judges, after which, Seriously Social’s Facebook fans can select the winner by voting for their favourite. Those voting for the winner, whose party will be made a reality in January 2010, will be in with a chance of attending. DJmag.com snagged Johnno Burgess to find out a little more…

How did you get involved with the Seriously Social competition?

“This is the first year that they’ve involved a mentor. Previously it was judged by three of the Amplified team.”

Is there more of a dance music focus this time out?

“No, not at all. I think they’ve asked me to mentor it because I’ve been involved in lots of different clubs and nights over the years. I’ve been involved in Guilty Pleasures, in silly concept nights, I did a power ballads night, and I do a night called High Fidelity where I get loads of DJs to play their five favourite records. I think that’s why they’ve involved me, because they want people to be really original and creative with their ideas, rather than booking a load of DJs.”

 What kind of ideas are you looking for that will make those dream party ideas stand out?

“I’ve been involved with so many different things over the years, that you always think you’ve seen it all. I’m hoping that we’re gonna be blown away by something, we’re looking for originality, that feeling where you think, 'Why have I never thought of that before, that’s brilliant'. The location might be what blows our minds, the idea, the use of the music, originality really.”

Which particular club night that you’ve experienced sticks in your mind as epitomising this originality?

“Over the last five years, when I’ve been involved in Guilty Pleasures as a DJ, I’ve seen it grow from a 100 capacity night in a Hammersmith working men’s club to what it is now at Koko, it’s like a pop rave every month. It’s been one of the most influential nights in London, on things like White Wedding and Smash ‘n’ Grab.
“Seeing that grow from a really strong but silly idea, to something that’s really captured people’s imagination, it’s been really influential, even though it’s come from a pop angle rather than a dance music or rave angle.”

Bugged Out! just celebrated its 15th birthday, where do you want to take the club in 2010?

“We’ve had a lot of fun moving around London this year. The End closing has forced us to do this. It’s been quite interesting, finding the right places. When venues aren’t available it makes us use carparks and unusual places. 

"We're also working with artists a bit more, we just did a night with Little Boots last Saturday, she helped curate the line up with us. We’re going to be doing more of the same next year.”

What else have you got coming up?

“We’re involved in Field Day, even though that’s not until July we’re already starting to book that up with certain acts. I think this year we really cracked it, after a few teething problems previous years. It’s definitely become part of London’s festival calendar and it's fun to be involved with that.”