What started as small rooftop gatherings in Brooklyn hosted by underground dance titan Lee Burridge has evolved into an annual worldwide phenomenon that spans more than 50 dates this year alone. Returning to Hellman Hollow in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, June 30, All Day I Dream is a unique event that runs day to night, with a heavy emphasis melodic dance music with support from Öona Dahl, and Gorje Hewek & Izhevski. There will also be yoga, an opening ceremony with sound healing, massages, face painting, and live art.
Founder and producer Burridge spoke to SF Weekly about the event and his upcoming release.
This is the third edition of All Day I Dream at Golden Gate Park, and it looks to be the biggest yet. What initially got you to start these events in 2011?
Yes! It is the third Golden Gate Park event for All Day I Dream. I was originally inspired to start these events for various reasons. I felt the parties at that time in New York, for me, were missing certain key elements. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it. I took it upon myself. My crowd has always been slightly older, so some didn’t want to go out every weekend anymore — but, obviously, still loved music and dancing. Girls had become few and far between at many events, and the crowd was literally 95 percent young white males. To me, the best events were always a mix of male, female, gay, straight, Black, white, green, pink, and blue. And everything in between.
Music is a fabulous equalizer and the dance floor a brilliant place to step outside your usual group of friends. … The music in the previous years had become somewhat of an insular experience. Once again, I felt it was something that should connect people. It had also become really stripped-back. I’m not criticizing it at all, but it wasn’t for me. I’d been exploring and playing melodic music in a minimal world. I wanted to put everything I was doing and everything I knew into an event, so the only person at the end of the day to blame if it didn’t work was me.
Were there any unexpected challenges you encountered while expanding the event? How have you retained the intimate feeling of ADID while growing?
There were so many challenges and there still are. Fortunately, I have a great team around me who work really hard to make it happen. I’ve gotten things really wrong at times, as I’d never really employed or worked with a team in this way before. There’s a conscious effort to make sure we do retain a more intimate feeling at the event even when we’ve grown the numbers in the way we have. I want the party to feel personal as it is personal. It does in many ways belong to everyone as they add to the experience through the way they dress or the positive attitude they bring to the event.
Your new EP with Lost Desert sees its release this Friday. What can listeners expect?
The EP is finally out. I’ve been playing the tracks since last year which, hopefully, means they have longevity. I worked once again with Lost Desert and our wonderful vocalist Junior Akwerty. The tracks are really summery and pretty catchy. Even though Junior sings in Congolese, people always seem to be mouthing the words and singing along. Who knew so many people spoke Congolese? The third track, “Float on,” is an instrumental but really very pretty and emotive — beautiful music for a summer day.
What’s your favorite thing about the All Day I Dream event series?
My favorite thing is and always will be the crowd. Seeing people smile so honestly and allowing their emotions to shine makes me very happy.
What can we expect from Lee Burridge and All Day I Dream in the future?
We’ve been working towards doing a full weekend festival. Initially, it was supposed to be in May but there’s so many more moving parts that I want to make sure we get right that it felt better to wait. I’ve also finished an album with Lost Desert too. We are hoping to release it in September.
In addition to Lee Burridge, All Day I Dream fixtures Oona Dahl and Gorje Hewek & Izhevsky are sure to bring a mix of hypnotic and sublime sounds for the daytime partiers. Unlike Outside Lands or Hardly Strictly, the crowd is refreshingly small, and perhaps more eager to let loose.
All Day I Dream, Saturday, June 30, 12:30-7 p.m., at Hellman Hollow. $35; alldayidream.com