A dose of dance floor positivity from Sydney's chief vibe coordinator.
Undeterred on his mission to bring Sydney’s dancers together in the wake of the city’s ongoing lockout laws, Sydney’s Bobby Vibe Positive has been a key part of the resistance, throwing some of the best parties the city has seen in years, while working at the forefront of the Keep Sydney Open movement. Despite the ongoing restrictions, Vibe Positive the party has become a constant fixture of inclusive dance floor euphoria, regularly featuring internationals like Legowelt, D Tiffany and Pender Street Steppers alongside a solid crew of local vibe setters like Nite Fleit, Ben Fester and Andy Garvey in secret rave spaces outside the lockout zones. With his edition to the series, Bobby turns in an uplifting array of sounds channeling that contagious Vibe Positive spirit.
Hey Bobby, what have you been up to?
Been busy, had a pretty hectic run of parties recently and produced a festival for Keep Sydney Open last month.
Regularly transforming unique spaces in Sydney’s outer suburbs into secret rave dens with great sound, lighting, a friendly crew and a constant flow of house and techno acts of the highest order, anyone who’s attended one of your parties would agree the Vibe Positive experience is always a memorable one for all involved. Tell us about the concept behind the party and how it all began..
The name was an accident and the whole party and everything really has grown organically out of that accident, which is that I said positive vibe back to front by mistake. A couple friends heard that and started calling me that, which was fitting as I was really happy at the time. Then I was having a birthday party at Freda’s and Dave the owner asked me to curate a night for it, so I did and called it Vibe Positive. I was always doodling but never finishing any art, so having a flyer to do for the party gave me a reason to finish some of these creative endeavours, and the party a place to start playing music out. So it’s become a full blown creative outlet for me and a very happy accident. Before Vibe Positive I was involved in some very special parties in a particular war bunker called Swami Nights. There were many involved and everybody had big ideas, so once I started throwing my own parties and making every decision, from lighting, to who was playing to making the flyers, I really preferred this.
You do a lot of work with the much needed Keep Sydney Open movement which continues to fight against the mindless Sydney lockout laws.. After over three years of lockouts now, how would you describe the feeling within the movement and the wider Sydney dance community?
With Keep Sydney Open we recently held a festival in Kings Cross to bring some life back to the place. It was multi venue festival which sold out and venues reported their biggest nights since the lockouts. So we are doing things like this and a bunch of behind the scenes stuff, and not giving up. Whilst there is always, I suppose, a sad sense of nothing’s shocking here anymore – venues get closed down, harassed by police, noise complaints are king etc. There are still many positives. I think Australia’s best party is Sydney’s Pavlova Bar which is every Sunday at 77, it’s a great example of the community here, as it is shrinking and we are losing people to Melbourne and overseas, the like minded peeps who stay get closer. The community is super close knit and look out for each other rather than compete. There is not much money in it here so it’s all love and the best thing is there is a great bunch of younger crews who know nothing but the lockouts and are throwing better parties than all of us and have great taste. If you are in Sydney and Umami is on, that’s where you wanna be. Though they are pretty hard to find.
What can you tell us about the mix you’ve put together? Who are some of the artists featuring in there?
There are edits from Simon TK & Jon Watts, a tune from Sydney duo Freda & Jackson and then a real mixed bag of stuff… some breakbeaty, some trancy and a lot of fun stuff that can make you both dance and laugh. I like those ones.
What do you have coming up, both with Vibe Positive and your own musical endeavours?
I just played my first Pavlova Bar on Sunday, which is the pinnacle for me. I go almost every Sunday so was a dream to play there for all the beautiful faces I share my Sundays dancing with. Then back in Melbourne for a ¿Club D’érange? collab in September which are always special, then a few favourites are back in the country for some warehouse parties later in the year.