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Monday, 26 March, 2001, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Cross-channel clubbing on the net
The 1999 Internet Fiesta
The 1999 Fiesta linked clubs in Germany and France
Two sets of clubbers could see each other, chat to each other and dance to the same music on Saturday - even though they were in different countries.

A nightclub in Brighton, Sussex, and another in the town of Vesoul, eastern France, were linked via the internet in the first venture of its kind.


I see it as something that is going to be very beneficial to the future of clubbing

James Morris
British organiser
It was the first time that DJs in different clubs have been able to mix records and collaborate together as if they were in the same DJ booth - and organisers say this technology may form the future of clubbing.

A similar hook-up was tried in 1999 between nightclubs in Vesoul and Stuttgart, Germany, and was such a success that organisers wanted to see how much more they could do with the technology.

This time, under the name Internet Fiesta 2, the DJs were able to mix records together, with giant screens showing live pictures from the venues and clubbers able to chat to each other over the internet.

It was all in real time - which means that the music, visuals and online chats happened in Brighton at exactly the same time as they did in Vesoul. And it is this which, according to organisers, is ground-breaking.

"It was mad, and very cool," says James Morris, project manager at One Over Z, the company who organised the technology and visuals for the link-up.

A clubber using a PC at the 1999 Internet Fiesta
Clubbers were able to chat to each other via PCs
"People were confused at the start but by the end when the DJ in England was saying 'Put your hands up in the air', literally as soon as he had finished saying that the hands went up in the other nightclub.

"It was definitely something very cool and very weird."

Morris says that the technology used could help to form the future of clubbing.

"Production costs are cut down," he says. "You do not have to pay for two different DJs to be in two different places - you can have one beaming out to many places.

'Brilliant'

"We all left with a very optimistic feeling about what we could do. We are learning what we can do to improve the concept. We have got many, many ideas on what we are going to do but we know the communication works.

"It was brilliant - it was almost like a TV signal from the other side and it was literally that smooth."

The French organiser, Guillaume Force, who works for Vesoul's mayor, said that the aim of the project was to make the internet and multimedia more accessible.


It's like ping-pong between the DJs

Guillaume Force
French organiser
"Last time, in Germany, they were very sceptical in the beginning," he says. "But at the end of the night they were going crazy.

"The main innovation in this project is that the two DJs are mixing the same music at the same time. It's like ping-pong between the DJs."

But Simon Hawkins, who works for Brighton-based dance music label Tru Thoughts, is not convinced that the idea will take off.

"It sounds like a lovely idea in principle, but I can't really see much point in it after the initial gimmick has worn off. Why pay to hear some French DJ you've never heard of play in a club you're nowhere near?

"It depends on the quality of the acts, really. If you can get, say, Daft Punk in France and the Chemical Brothers in England mixing into each other's records, that might be quite exciting."

The event was also webcast so people not in the clubs could log on to hear what was going on.

See also:

24 Mar 01 | Business
Song blocking hits Napster usage
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