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Paul Azzopardi - Promotion Commotion

Author: 3D
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Promoting legend Paul Azzopardi has nearly seen it all, but even he admits he couldn’t have predicted Chinese Laundry’s success; 3D enquired how he does it.

Congratulations on Chinese Laundry making it into the top 100 clubs in the world.  
Thank you very much!! It’s really beyond anything we could ever have imagined. A lot of hard work goes into the club and getting the artists we manage to secure every single week, so it’s great to get recognised for this. Plus having the belief and support from Justin Hemmes and Jane English to try and keep pushing the club to new levels makes all the difference. Props to the Jam team for keeping me in line, and also Daniel Bunter for all his continual hard work as well!

How did you get your start in the promoting business-
I started out promoting my own night in Canberra called Friction in 1999, then got my start running the Chinese Laundry three years ago when they had the job going at Jam; which has been amazing as I get to run what is now renowned as one of the best clubs in the world, as well as working on the premier festivals in Australia like Good Vibrations.

You came on board with Jam as the Chinese Laundry promoter many years ago, what was your plan for the club when you took over-
Just over three years ago now, my plan for when I took over was to bring more focus onto the venue as it is a such a unique club/layout, plus to focus on it being known as a weekly party as the music was very serious when I started, so in other words getting loose and getting the crowd even looser.

The Laundry has built a solid reputation for booking credible DJs and acts week-in and week-out – what are your criteria for bookings- Do you just book what you like, or do you have a muse-
I generally tend to book what I am into myself personally as I find it hard to promote something I don’t believe in. At the same time I know that there are loads of other people who like the artists too – this is clearly evident in the success of the club.

How have you seen the club change over the years-
I know its something you probably hear all the time, but the crowd keeps getting crazier every week (in a good way) and the access for Laundry to all the biggest internationals has become a lot easier, as now I’ve proven that the club can hold these names successfully. Additionally, by looking after everyone really well, the DJs remember the experience and everyone wants to play here as their first preference.

You must have seen a lot of fashion changes over the years with the crowds, from Royal Elastics sneakers and three-quarter length shorts to fluro everything, to brogues, flannel and cropped leather jackets – is there any one scene you wish would stay or come back-
Ha, I’ve definitely seen it all over the years... I sound so old! I have to say that I am happy to embrace any style as long as it is means that people are happy and comfortable in the club. Plus hot fluro pink looks good on me.

Out of the many parties over the years, do any stand out as the most memorable-
This is a tough one; there have been so many stand out performances at the laundry such as Gui Boratto, Steve Bug, James Zabiela, Nic Fanculli, all the NYE parties with Stanton Warriors being a massive stand-out last year… I could go on forever I think. It’s just so hard to pick out one particular artist when they are all so good. Plus the best is still yet to come!

We hear the Friday night dedicated to breaks – Break Inn – is set for some changes, what’s happening there-
In June we will be launching a new night, which will be a series of weekly Friday night parties all under the “Yum Cha” banner; the concept is a selection of different tastes and music styles. Break Inn will still feature once a month along with the very cool Wamp Wamp parties and the extremely popular Explicit parties.

Will Club Club continue as it has, or are there changes in store for Saturday as well-

Club Club is peaking right now with huge crowds every week. Coming up we will be doing more BBQ events, where we get special international acts to play exclusive one hour sets for people before the club opens with a free BBQ. And also when summer hits keep your eyes peeled for our mini festival-style events, which will utilize our outside garden area more.

Finally, what’s in store next for you- Do you have a plan to keep the queues of punters winding their way down the ramp and up the stairs every weekend-
First on the list is keeping my girlfriend Stef happy, ‘cause if it was not for her being patient with me working 24/7 on the club I would probably not achieve as much I do! Seriously though, just working really hard on creative ideas and coming up with some cool concept-style parties, as well as just trying to stay ahead musically with the quality internationals. We’ll also keep making small improvements to the club so that our crowd always feels comfortable and happy when they come to party with us!

WHO: Paul Azzopardi
WHAT: Chinese Laundry