When the Vikings invaded England it as only fair for England to invade Norway and it did happen… only centuries later when Tidy came to Norway. Tidy teamed up with Eventmakers to hold four special parties. The promoters were in fact hardened Tidy fans who has made the pilgrimage to the spiritual home of hard house year before when they visited the Tidy Weekender and other events the label put on. We spoke to Eventmakers promoter Stephan Möbius about those special times when Tidy brought the show to Norway…
Why do you think Tidy was so big in Norway?
Norway has a long history of being party going people, I remember when I was 13 (1995) and wanting to go to Hyperstate, the biggest house/techno/trance event in Norway at the time. So when I finally turned 16 and was allowed in. It was just magical! Just look at the line up! Hyperstate was the big thing in Norway, everyone had heard of Hyperstate and everyone wanted to go. So Tidy fitted in just perfect! With the funky sounds, great website, the funny videos. Remember my first Tidy CD, The Tidy Boys Annual (still have it) So why Tidy was so big in Norway you ask? Well, look at the history, Norwegians love to go to big events, and Tidy had the perfect sound and image, come as you want, be as you want and be loved by everyone. In 2000 there was house events all over Norway, from small club events to huge arena events, biggest one are still Hyperstate and Futuredome. Norwegians could not get enough, so if there was no events in Norway, Norwegians had to look to other places to go, like the UK, Germany and Netherlands. Fun fact, Norway opened the first House Club back in 1990, called Project, it was in Lillestrøm, just outside Oslo, the Crown Princess of Norway was a frequent guest at the club.
How do you think the following grew?
The music, Tidy is and was another style of music, it was funky, fresh and fun. It was something different, it was not like trance or techno, Tidy had their own, unique sound.
Where did he idea for the first Tidy party in Norway come from?
I had done some other events with a friend, small club events, then one day he asked if we should do a big event, like Hyperstate/Futuredome. I would guess it took me about 1 nano second to think about it and say “Yes!” So in 2001 we started to plan out a new big event, Metropolis. We wanted to make an event that everyone would remember, a line up that would bring everyone together. And the line up you ask, well, this was the beginning of Tidy events in Norway.
Godskitchen Arena (16 years area):
Tom Harding (UK)
Kay Cee (GER)
Agnelli & Nelson (UK)
Brooklyn bounce DJ (GER)
Tidy Arena (18 years area):
Miss Behavin (UK)
Gee Moore (UK)
Paul Maddox (UK)
Jez & Charlie (UK)
Superfast Oz (UK)
Alex vs. David S (NO)
Messanin lounge / VIP (20 years area)
Oliver Lang (UK) Live
Gordon Edge (UK) Live
JP Van Horn (UK) Live
Luis Molinari (NO)
This event was in november 2002 in Lillestrøm, just outside of Oslo, venue was Norwegian Trade Fairs, the biggest indoor venue in Norway.
So after this event, Tidy events in Norway were born.
Tell us who Eventmakers are?
Eventmakers started back in 2003, at first it was me and two friends that wanted to have a truck in Summerparade in Oslo, but if you wanted to have a truck there, you needed a company. Eventmakers was born. Summerparade was like Love Parade in Germany, trucks with huge sound systems driving up Karl Johans gate in Oslo. The event was free, since it was in the streets and over 50.000 people attended. Just do a YouTube search for Summerparade/Sommerparade Oslo and have a look, it was just amazing!
At first Eventmakers was, Thomas Franke, Amund Sivertsen and Stephan Möbius. Thomas and Amund wanted to pursue the DJ/producer part more than the events part and Stephan needed to find others to join him in the event business. For the first Keep It Tidy event Stephan joined forces with Ståle Stojanovic, a true Tidy follower, (he has the Tidy logo tattoed on his leg to prove it). Other friends turned up and, in the end, Eventmakers was, Kenneth F. Gravdal, Anders Marcussen, Glenn Sørensen, Kristoffer Blomquist, Kathrine Kronkvist, Halvor Berulfsen and Stephan Möbius.
Did you do any other events apart from tidy events?
We did lots of events, our biggest yearly event was Keep it Tidy. We did lots of club events all over Norway and some big dance events and some school balls. And we did a big Stand up show in Oslo with Michael Winslow (the guy with all the sounds in the Police academy films)
How did you go about organising the party?
the date was set from the start, April 30th, since 1st of May in Norway is a holiday and have been the date everyone remembers from Hyperstate as the Rave date. Then we would need to find a venue that was free at that date, in Oslo there are not that many venues to do this kind of events, so we almost had to book it 1 year in advance. And then it was the big question, line up! This was always up for debate a couple of times, but we wanted to bring in a mix of known DJs and let new DJs have a try.
How difficult was it to ensure the branding was right?
Since Tidy was so well known in Norway, that was the easy part. The event name, Keep It Tidy was known from the Tidy records, so it was a perfect match. We wanted to bring the UK Tidy to Norway, not make it our own. If people in Norway had been to Tidy events in the UK, our Keep It Tidy event in Norway needed to look and feel the same.
Why did you choose the line up you did for the first party?
The line-up for the first Keep It Tidy event was all Ståle’s idea, we did not have a lot of money to do anything big, and doing events in Norway is not cheap. But we wanted to make it happen, and we did. So, selling out that event helped us on the way to do bigger stuff along the way.
How did you decide which Norwegian talent support the DJs?
Supporting DJs was actually almost as hard as finding the perfect main line up. But one pair of DJs was a sure bet, Alex vs. David S. They were known in the clubs in Oslo, and we they would bring some crowd on their own. Then we wanted to give unknown DJs a chance to play at big events. So, we got lots of mix CDs from all over Norway from DJs wanting to play, we checked them out and when we heard a great mix, we invited them to do a test gig at a small club. If it worked out live as well as on a mix cd, we put them up on the line up. And one of them ended up as resident DJ at Tropicana in IBIZA and is now a known name in the trance world. DJ Robinson aka DJ NiCe.
What do you remember from that first party?
What do I remember, well, that it was great fun to see that we managed to do something out of an idea and that people actually came. That the event was a huge success and Norwegians wanted more. Looking back at pictures and videos from back then I’m very glad that I was a part of it. It made me happy to see other be so happy and have a great time.
The show featured well-choreographed dancers, how did you choose them?
Well, this is where Kathrine did an amazing job. We wanted it to feel legit and safe for girls to dance at our events, so that’s why we wanted a girl to take care of this. Kathrine is an old friend of Stephan and she had been a raver from the day she could walk. And she could dance, so who else would be perfect for the job of finding dancers for the event than a raver girl that could dance!
Did it go how you expected?
From the first Keep It Tidy event until the last, we almost sold out every time. We did have some technical problems at the last Keep It Tidy event, but all the events where all a great success.
What kind of feedback did you get from the clubbers from the first party?
Since the first Keep It Tidy event was way back when, actually the same year that Facebook was created, we had to search forums to get feedback. Read what people had written, if anything. But what we found was that people wanted more and bigger.
How many of these do you think had ever been to a tidy event in the UK?
If I would guess a number, maybe 20-30% of them had been to a Tidy event in the UK. Since most of the clubbers in Norway was into Trance, since Trance, Techno and House was the most popular back then, but more and more got their ears open for the harder sounds, and that’s where Tidy came in, Hard House.
There was a two-year gap between the first and second party why was this?
This had all to do with finance, we wanted to do it bigger than the last one, and we all had Eventmakers just as a hobby, so we needed to save up all the money for ourselves to do it.
What was it live having the tidy boys play in your country?
Having the Boys over for the first time was a magical moment. This was what the Norwegians had waited for and wanted the Boys to do a gig in Norway. Bring the faces of Tidy to the stage, the goofy guys on stage doing what they do best, be amazing for the crowd.
What do you remember about their set?
To be fair, almost nothing. Under events im all over the place, everything must be perfect at all time. Remember, we are only 4-5 people doing the events and one of them are on stage dancing. But one thing I do remember, meeting the boys at the airport with a H2 Limo, think even the boys remember that. And even at the Airport, there where fans waiting. Since this Keep It Tidy (2007) was huge, people even came over from Sweden and Finland.
Do you think Norway was behind the UK when it came to hard house?
At first Norway was way more into Trance and Techno than Hard House, talking about 1998, but in the 2000 and on, I think hard house was on the same level as Techno and Trance.
What is the Hard House scene like there now?
I don’t think it’s the same as it was, I think it’s more tropical house, electro house. But hey, it’s still house in there, so we only need to get them back to the Hard House again. The biggest thing in Norway now is Palmesus. We would love to have a Tidy arena/stage at Palmesus, that would be sick!
How do you think the sound has changed since tidy played Norway?
For me the sound of Hard House is Tidy Boys Annual! Oh my Lord, just putting that on now gets me back. Just want to go to find some glowsticks and party like it’s no tomorrow. I want that sound back, the fun, funky, hard house.
Will here be any Norwegian clubbers coming to TW25?
Since we now are in the times we are, it’s hard to tell. If there was no Covid-19 and everything had been back to normal, yes, then I would think a lot of old and new clubbers would travel over to TW25.
If you had the opportunity, what would you have done that you didn’t back then?
Had a beach event, we were planning it a couple of times, but it was too hard to do and would cost more money than we had. In Norway promoting alcohol is not allowed so it is now difficult to get sponsors to finance an event. We were running Eventmakers just as a hobby and we did not find the time to do it back then.
Any tidy party’s planned for the future?
We were actually talking about it just before this Covid-19 thing came crashing down on the planet. So for now everything is on hold, but we would love to bring Keep It Tidy back, as an old school theme. We would love to bring back the old sounds at a vinyl classics only event. And yes, the DJs would have to play vinyl only.