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Just Jack Founders Tom Rio And Dan Wild Talk 5-0, Outdoor Parties And Building The Bristol House Scene

Tom Rio and Dan Wild

This year marks the 9th birthday of house and techno night, Just Jack, so founders Tom Rio and Dan Wild have come a long way since they begun to build the Bristol house scene, launching what is now recognised as one of the movers and shakers- a title that holds utmost respect for a city recognised internationally for its musical offerings.

We caught up with the big time party guys for a chin wag about their journey and their upcoming out door knees up…

When Rio and Wild met through mutual friends back at university in this very city, there was little house music up for sample, ‘there was lots of other great stuff’ says Tom ‘but no house really’. So after a loan from their ‘mate Rag’ (co-founder Rag Satguru) the pair banded together to create a night that Rio says ‘was somewhere we could play the types of records we loved and book the types of people we respected’. ‘We also wanted somewhere that didn’t take itself too seriously’ adds Dan.

‘Essentially we want to run a bonkers late night sleaze fest that makes you boom boom boom on a magical journey and takes you so far into tomorrow that it becomes yesterday’ -Tom Rio

Speaking of the ethos of Just Jack, Tom says ‘Essentially we want to run a bonkers late night sleaze fest that makes you boom boom boom on a magical journey and takes you so far into tomorrow that it becomes yesterday’ something the group of DJs have whole heartedly achieved. Just Jack nights hold none of the pretentiousness house nights sometimes suffer from, instead harnessing ‘a great crowd of lunatics’ for a party atmosphere that never ceases to disappoint, filling venues like skate warehouse Motion and boasting acts that have included the likes of Derrick May and Ben UFO.

Most memorable moments for the two during their mission to ‘convert people to the music in the city’ have included being met by the 5-0 after an after party on a boat. ‘For me a large highlight is still being met by the police at the docks after running an after party on a barge’ Tom reminisces ‘we set off around 9am after a late night session in Dojos (a basement club located just off Park Street). We literally went round the club at the end and said ‘come with us, we’ve got an adventure for you’ and took everyone to a boat. It was amazing. The cops got wind of things and radioed the captain which ended things a little earlier than planned but it actually made it one of my favourite memories’. ‘Those early Dojo days hold a special place in my heart too’ adds Dan ‘I suppose at the time we were really pushing something forward and forging the house scene in Bristol. It was really exciting seeing our numbers grow every month and a full club going off at 9am. It created a very special atmosphere at the the time’.

It’s good to see that success hasn’t led the guys to only book big names though. ‘It’s a balance between going with something your fans like and also providing them with something different’ says Tom. ‘There will always be something pretty underground on the line up as well as the bigger acts and even for the bigger ones we try to book people who are forward thinking. I don’t think we play it safe.’ he adds.

This effort to keep it fresh is reflected in their upcoming event ‘Let’s Take This Outside‘ for which they are teaming up for their second round of alfresco parties with fellow merry makers, Stamp the Wax. Set in Motion’s Crane Yard and Front Carpark, which Tom says ‘is super special’ and has ‘been on their hit list for ages’, the event promises acts from as far as the U.S. for a ‘futuristic favela’ that the pair reckon could be their best party thus far. Artists hitting the decks include Canadian duo Pender Street Peppers, also know as Jack Juston and Liam Butler. ‘We’re loving the whole Vancouver/ Mood Hut vibe at the moment and these guys epitomise that’ says Tom. He continues excitedly ‘literally everything coming out of that scene right now is on fire!’.

On to the future and the fast approaching one-oh for Just Jack: Dan teases ‘Watch this space! We may be getting on a bit, but we’ve always got a few tricks up our sleeve!’.

Let’s Take This Outside takes place on Saturday 5th June. There are limited tickets left here, so act fast!


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