If there’s one thing we can agree to be grateful for coming into the new year, it’s that music production is still finding a way to deliver. Local production company Hurricane Nightlife, based in Portland but with arms in Seattle and the Chelan area, has been around the PNW scene for a handful of years, and they’re swooping in to help bring back live dance music.
We spoke with owner Adrian Herrmann about the story of Hurricane Nightlife and what they’ve got on the docket for the coming year.
Beginning in 2016 in Portland, Hurricane Nightlife (HNL) was founded by Jarret Vogel. At the time, Portland’s dance music scene was sparse. Clubs and promoters like HNL began cropping up around the city, and bigger artists began to take notice.
Adrian discusses how he got involved with the endeavor, saying, “I contacted Jarret in 2017 to produce some music for me for a small upcoming film. During the course of our conversation working on that project, we decided to start bringing in small headliners. The first of which was Fransis Derelle in December of 2017.”
As HNL began to grow, they steered course back to their Seattle roots with Hermann now spearheading their efforts. Adding on a handful of core administrators and establishing a strong brand presence online continues to be an asset for their company. Now approaching the 5 year mark, their team roster is complete with merchandising, advancing/hospitality, video/photo, and about 30 extended members who assist with marketing and promotion.
Elevating bass music in the PNW
Bass-heavy artists fall into HNL’s wheelhouse, as they racked in shows with impressive names like veteran Downlink, Barely Alive, and a planned show from riddim kingpin Monxx before the pandemic crisis began.
“My favorite HNL event was Dec. 28, 2018 with Barely Alive at the Star Theater in Portland. We announced our show, and within hours Bear Grillz was announced at 45 EAST [in Portland]. Sometimes it happens like that, and everyone was worried except for me. I said both shows will sell out, and they did. It’s just simple numbers at that level,” recalls Adrian.
But beyond pulling in big headlining talent, HNL also focuses on elevating local and upcoming artists. PNW natives Majora and Glenny frequent the HNL family of talent. Both heavy bass artists had significant years of growth in 2019 and 2020, as Majora opened as direct support for Downlink and Akylla, and Glenny opened for the Barely Alive and Bandlez Halloween show.
Adrian sings their praise, saying, “we are very proud of those two, and between the two of them; they sell more tickets than any local I have ever seen. The benefits of having these two with us are huge; and I would assume they would say the same about us. I told them when we get to the top, you’ll be right there too…and that’s what happened. We’re just helping each other make our dreams come true.”
What’s on the horizon for Hurricane Nightlife?
Giving upcoming artists a platform of opportunity is a great example of long-term planning for HNL. When most companies would retreat to shelter through the storm of the pandemic, they’re preoccupied with making big plans for this year and beyond.
Fans around the globe can look forward to broadcasted daily live streams via “HNLTV.” With an illustrious goal of 4 hours of original content a night, every night, the undertaking of this project is enormous. Segment ideas vary from interviews, guest DJ mixes, and tutorials to everything in between. Be sure to follow their page for a schedule as it’s available.
Additionally, as gathering restrictions are lifted, HNL promises, “we also are going to do old school raves (fully permitted) once a month in the craziest locations we can find across the state with today’s music. We’ll be bringing in top local talent and fresh young talent from across the U.S. to headline these events. They will have full production, a full bar, and the event itself will be 18 plus.”
A flagship festival, “A NEW BEGINNING,” is also on the horizon for HNL. Hosted in Chelan, Washington, the bass-heavy event promises a load of talent. Working on the inside to build the appropriate infrastructure for the event, Adrian is lining up the event for success with the help of his fellow city council members.
Planning events without a concise guess of dates feels like a challenge many companies are not willing to rise up to, but Adrian shares, “of course we’re still under COVID restrictions. But as soon as they’re lifted, we’ll be ready.”
Out of adversity and a pandemic comes a Hurricane
Through successes and failures (and now a pandemic), HNL has remained a fierce champion for the PNW live electronic music scene. Adrian shared his start into the scene nearly two decades ago, recalling losing a significant amount of money over a show only 150 people attended.
Nearly breaking even at a few shows around the same time, he stepped back for a few years before returning around 2010. He said, “I tried again, but the economy was crumbling at the same time; and I was a single father with full custody of my 5 year old, so that took priority.”
“The one thing I hope that people learn the most from us, is that anyone; even with extremely limited resources, can rise to the top of this thing. For me personally, it was to always share my dream with others. Eventually you’ll get enough pieces to the puzzle to give it a shot. If I got here, anyone can!”
It seems that now, with different circumstances a number of years later, HNL has been built from those closed doors. Even through uncertainty and obstacles, they’re committed to elevating live dance music. We’re excited to see what fruits Hurricane Nightlife will bring to the Pacific Northwest.
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