International Resorts Pt 4: Resorts vs Clubs

A larger than life foam cannon stood beside me, ensuring no inch of pool surface remained anything other than mountains of suds. Water balloons flew up and down the terrace above. Girls battled in fierce chicken fights while staff paraded through the foam pouring shots into the mouth of anyone they could find between the building layers of bubbles.

Earlier in the week fire dancers gyrated across the sand completely covered in body glitter, blasting six foot flames under moonlit palm trees. In competition with my Reggaeton was the sound of crashing waves in the near distance, soft yet as powerful as the ten thousand watt system under my feet..

Each week performed these showcase events. Most of the resort would be in attendance, not daring to miss the kind of parties that only Dominican Republic’s sexy coast could offer them.

The energy would be high for sure. There was a decent percentage of folks in their 20s but a larger portion was in their 40s and 50s, hailing from countries all over the world. Canada, Germany, United States, Argentina, Chile, France. I’d need to put my best DJ hat on and weave together all sorts of varying genres to keep everyone happy.

This is where personal interaction was paramount. Many folks were traveling in groups so I’d ask for a request as they hung out by the pool throughout the week. All you had to do was play a single song emblematic of their nationality and they’d go crazy, taking along the rest of the crowd in the process. Enough of these paired with ‘drop-in’ staples to bail you out of occasional duds and I easily string together a great set working the diverse crowd.

All DJing is is connecting with folks. For most dance floors this will be Pop music because they recognize the songs. For niche dance floors like House music, they connect to the type of music. You just need to relate on some element and you’ve got happy dancers. Maybe it’s lyrics from songs they recognize, or a genre. Once they trust you and your crowd gains momentum you gain the freedom to really get creative.

For the crazy foam parties I largely played music that had EDM and House undertones with Hip-Hop sprinkled in for variation; think Pop EDM Remixes. After my first set a guy my Dad’s age came up and said he had a son that goes “to all these EDM festivals. It always puzzled me but now I get it, why he goes. Thanks for that.” It just goes to show that sometimes folks simply need to be exposed to newer concepts in a way they can connect to. I was playing a bunch of rock songs from the 70s that had EDM builds and drops. He was able to relate to the music on the basis of relatable lyrics and the energy of the environment.

Tips for Beach and Foam Parties

  • Connect with the vibe and don’t be afraid to experiment, look to your surroundings for inspiration and keep the energy fun and elevated
  • Prepare to be on a very shoddy setup with questionable power quality
    • My keyboard stand was shaking around as I danced on flimsy plywood that was the ‘stage’, I had to hold my Laptop so it wouldn’t fall off!
  • Elevate all cables/cords
    • My flight case and audio cables were actually electrified as a result of all the water and foam that splashed near the setup!
  • Set up far enough from the water and use a plastic keyboard cover. 

Now rocking these parties and enjoying the sun is only part of the reason why I came down here. Spinning internationally at a four star resort is a huge opportunity for future gigs. Our last part recaps how I made the most of this amazing trip.