It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon, when part of Brunch Bounce met Run The Trap at the Scratch DJ Academy studios in New York City. Brunch Bounce, a collective of creative individuals that joined forces for one purpose (to throw great parties), was originally created in 2012 by the “half awesome, half awesomer” industry-savvy Irvin Benitez. Irv, joined by Brunch Bounce’s Creative Director Klep and Resident DJ/Musical Director and Head of Production Jose “Eauxzown [oh-zone]” Espinal, came through to talk about themselves, how they got started, landing their own stage at Mysteryland USA 2015, their upcoming “Greatest Day Ever!” and much more.
You might remember hearing about a very rare incident back in January, when Diplo and the rest of Major Lazer snuck their way into Washington Heights (the farthest north neighborhood in Manhattan) for a secret performance that was eventually shut down by the NYPD. While it sounds pretty cool hearing “Diplo was in Washington Heights”, how do you think he got there? Lo and behold it was the Brunch Bounce collective that made the connection and brought a different style of music and partying to a predominately Dominican neighborhood. Rewind a bit back to 2012, and these guys will tell you, “never in our wildest dreams did we think something like this would happen.”
In essence, now we’re all like a tiny incubator company that’s really just trying to take it to the next level with our events. (Irv)
The entire Brunch Bounce crew, including the First Lady Farah–who handles logistics and event planning–and the other DJs (ARQ, DJ Schoolboy, Mixa, Adamboy), got together in 2012 to throw a day party because that was the one thing that was lacking in the Heights. “Brunch culture has always been a downtown thing. This dude (Irv), who is big on brunch and goes to it like every weekend, had went uptown one day to have it. He was turned down because it was like 1:40PM and their Brunch ended at 1:45PM” (Klep).
Uninterested in going clubbing every night and frustrated with the lack of daytime activities near his at-the-time hangout neighborhood, Irv came up with the idea to create his own party. Throwing the first Brunch Bounce came as easy as walking up to the manager of the establishment, pitching the idea, and bringing people in to party that Memorial Day Weekend (2012). While it seemed to be a “success”, the intentions were just to gather friends that have not seen each other in a while. Eventually after a dispute with the initial location, Brunch Bounce moved to Apt. 78, where Jose/”Eauxzown” had been DJing at every Tuesday, to throw a birthday party for Irv. After throwing the initial Brunch Bounce at Apt. 78 the parties began to “snowball” in with consecutive parties happening from September to December of 2012.
By the time March 2013 rolled around, the parties would have bodies wrapped around the corner of Apt. 78, patiently waiting to let loose in a “fun, exciting, and uplifting” environment. Even after all of the lines wrapped around corners, memes made about the parties, and massive amounts of crowds that traveled this far up, Irv was still unconvinced that this could potentially be something big with Klep adding, “if we made $100 more than the last party, that was great.” At the time, Irv was a mortgage banker, Klep was working at Def Jam and Jose had his own A/V technology company. It wasn’t until things really started getting large–parties going from 250 attendees to 2,000 attendees–that Irv decided to leave his 100K+ salary behind for Brunch Bounce with Klep joining that decision two months after. Jose, however, wasn’t so quick to leave his job. “You know, I didn’t want to be answering to someone else and asking, when I could take my own vacation; when I could have time to myself. I had to beg this dude. I was like come on, I got you. Just leave your job, come on. Eventually after nagging and nagging he finally quit,” adds Irv.
With Jose fully committed to Brunch Bounce, the team was able to focus on a more serious matter: venue capacity. While the initial venues including Apt. 78 and La Marina worked perfectly, the bigger the name got, the more people showed up; the more people that showed up, the tighter spaces became. Now, it wasn’t about how to get people to come to the parties, it was about how to fit everyone inside of the venue.
After hopping from larger venues in Downtown NYC to venues in Miami and then back to New York, Irv took a break from throwing parties. It was a cold winter night in January 2014, when Irv and Farah were scrolling through twitter and noticed other friends–Apt. 78, World Famous, Henny Palooza, and Suave Haus–throwing parties.
I was like, “YO! It would be dope, if we all came together and threw one big super party.”
And, a super party it was, being the first “The Greatest Day Ever!” of the summer in Brooklyn, New York featuring DJ Sliink, Benzi, Brenmar, Nick Catchdubs, Ape Drums, Pete Rock, Roxy Cottontail and the entire Brunch Bounce DJ collective. Breaking the barrier between Washington Heights and the community’s perception of what electronic music is, The Greatest Day Ever! also broke records, getting 900 people to purchase tickets for the festival within five minutes. “We thought the link was broken or something, we had to call the ticket company and ask what the problem was. They were like, no… 900 people bought tickets and now it’s sold out. So, we were like shit. Add another 250!” (KLEP). By the end of the day, 3,500 tickets were sold for The Greatest Day Ever! without any venue or lineup being released.
As guys that already go to these type of events and festivals, and having Jose who is super knowledgeable about the dance culture, the vision was to make The Greatest Day Ever! a cross-genre type of thing. So, it’s for the hip-hop kid that perhaps likes EDM, but doesn’t feel comfortable going to something like EDC. Then on the flipside there’s the dance head, who also likes hip hop, but feels more in his element at something like EDC rather than Summer Jam (Irv).
“We have Brunch Bounce, which is like our mixtape, and now The Greatest Day Ever!, which is the album,” explains Irv, “This is a very real thing that we’re still trying to build. We’re not out to get anyone for the money… Even me, I still work some jobs on the side to make more money to put back into this. We’re not like Mr. Burns, we’re just trying to make the coolest events. Now, it’s like how cool can we make it? And, “cool” costs a bit more money.” These mixtapes and albums have provided Brunch Bounce with opportunities that many would kill for. Landing their names on several impressive bills including Mad Decent Boat Party and most recently Mysteryland USA, these guys are just warming up to the main stages. Creating organic connections within the music industry is exactly how they’ve simultaneously stamped their name into both the music and event culture world.
Bridging the gap between uptown New York and the main stages, Brunch Bounce has effectively created environments and events that are directly catered to the people. Whether it is hand-picking top-notch food vendors, carefully crafting The Greatest Day Ever! lineups, or providing ticket buyers with early bird discounts, discount codes, and group pricing, the main goal is to “give back to the people.” With all of these events and lineups Brunch Bounce is a part of, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them, but the main thing to takeaway is: Brunch Bounce are the people for the people, and The Greatest Day Ever! is what they give back.
Here at Run The Trap, we know how difficult it is trying to hit all of the events that are out there. If you haven’t seen Brunch Bounce live yet, we’ve got you covered. Five lucky winners will receive a pair of tickets to this year’s The Greatest Day Ever! in Williamsburg Park on Saturday, July 18. Whether you live in New York or not, this event is one you definitely shouldn’t miss; these dudes have a mind-blowing lineup featuring Houston’s Travis Scott, Miami’s DJ Craze, Walshy Fire of Major Lazer, Trippy Turtle, Shift K3y, and Mija.
Listen to Eauxzowns exclusive mix for us below to get a taste of what you should be expecting, then enter to win for you and a friend to come play with Run The Trap at The Greatest Day Ever!
STAY IN THE KNOW! SIGN UP FOR THE RUN THE TRAP NEWSLETTER