Sunday is a sacred day of rest — not for going to church, but rather for recuperating from tearing through Friday and Saturday night. But that’s only if you don’t have another excuse to keep the party going — enter: The Wave. As the brainchild of indie promotions company CLLCTV Boston, the day party at Middlesex Lounge in Central Square has been steadily growing into a monthly afternoon Sunday tradition since debuting in January, including this weekend’s edition with DJs HiFadility, Evaredy and Riobamba (Pico Picante). We caught up with CLLCTV’s Malcolm J. Gray to talk DJs and daytime debauchery.
What’s the concept behind The Wave?
The Wave was created to stand out from the rest of the Boston party scene. After years of overpriced parties with repetitive music and lackluster atmospheres, we know we wanted to make a change. Putting all of our heads together we decided to create a low cost (usually free with RSVP) event that was focused on great music, quality aesthetics, and a comfortable and fun environment. We wanted to create a space where we could interact with new people, wear what we want, and hear music that we liked.
Day parties, particularly in Boston, aren’t really a big thing. Why did you choose this approach and how did you go about making it work?
We were going into unchartered territory, honestly. We heard about day parties in other cities but Boston had never really had it, especially in the winter when we started. We were so nervous when we started but we had our first couple events and started to gain a small following. I think it works because everybody in CLLCTV Boston is pretty laid back and genuine. It started with us just inviting all of our friends and then it kept growing. We all just want to create cool experiences for the city and that’s our main mission before anything else and I think people really believe that. We appreciate Middlesex for taking a shot on us and we’re happy it paid off. We’re just happy people keep talking about our party. Word of mouth marketing is probably the main reason the Wave has grown the way it has in such a short amount of time (10 months). We have also been blessed with some great press as well as being nominated for a Boston Calendar Award for “Best Dance Party” this year. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come.
What is the biggest challenge in making the party work?
The biggest challenge in making the party work is probably the music. We try to book DJs who have a certain playing style. We want to find DJs that can read a crowd and not only play songs that the crowd wants to hear but new songs that they don’t know they want to hear yet. I swear we’re still nervous at the beginning of every party hoping that people show up and keep supporting. We have been blessed so far.
How do you go about curating the music? What do you look for in the DJs?
In terms of music curation, we throw around some names of people and we kind of all collectively agree on them. We have three DJs per event which is meant to help create a flow for the night. Depending on the headliner, we pick DJs that would mesh well with each other and can carry the vibe throughout the whole night. Our event has a specific brand and we only pick DJs that we think fit well into that brand.
The party attracts a multi-cultural demographic, which is can be hard to find in Boston sometimes… Was that part of the intention? How have you seen that aspect of it?
Man, we’re lucky. We really just wanted to create a great event that catered to open-minded people. That’s why we have things like a custom drink menu, giveaways like stickers and pins, and pictures hanging up around the room. We want to grow a community of people just like us who can just be themselves. Great branding creates an environment where people expect a certain level of quality every time they enter the space. We try our hardest to make that happen. We try to attract people with positive vibes no matter where they’re from. We’ve been happy to see the growth of The Wave and how people have reacted to it. It’s humbling. We get a lot of great feedback that we take into account to try to improve the experience every time.
What’s something you’d see at a day party that you wouldn’t see at night?
There’s something special about seeing people in a dance circle with drink in hand while it’s still light out. At night, I feel like it’s a little more uncomfortable because most clubs are dark and sweaty and people are just there to dance or get really drunk. But at The Wave, the party progresses throughout the evening. In the beginning, people are still kind of sitting down and talking to each other and hanging out. Towards the middle, more people are on the dance floor and they’re drinking and taking pictures at the photo wall. By primetime, the room is packed and full of people dancing and having a great time. It’s amazing to see that every time.
Any tips for pacing yourself while day drinking?
Start fast and then slow down. Also, we have food at The Wave so make sure you eat something and drink water. I should probably start taking my own advice though…
What are future plans for The Wave?
As The Wave grows, we would love to expand to new markets in cities like Providence, NYC, LA, etc. But more importantly we would love to keep growing the community and introducing people to the experience. We are trying to combat the idea that Boston parties are terrible and that they are all the same. We plan to only bring in bigger and better DJs, surprise appearances, cooler visuals, and most importantly more value to the people that attend. We would love for The Wave to be a staple in Boston that people would have to come to when they visit Boston.
THE WAVE w/ HiFadility, Evaredy & Pico Picante. Sun 10.26 Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave., Cambridge 617.868.6739. 4pm/$5 (RSVP) $10 (doors)/21+. thewaveboston.com