What Makes Chris Burns Burn: How To Throw A Good Party

by CHRIS BURNS · September 17, 2010

I'm glad that fall is here and thankful for the peak party season that comes with it. These past two weeks I've been a part of some great events; nights where everything seems to gel and come together perfectly. I've learned a lot about throwing events in the past four years from lots of good and bad experiences. Throughout the past week, I've helped my friends launch their first party, Deep Secrets, at Suite. Watching them go through the motions made me become more self-aware of the routines and dos and don'ts I go through each week when getting ready for an event. Here are a few elements that I've come to understand in throwing a great soiree

VIBE: The most important element to keep in my mind when throwing a party

What does the venue look like and how is it laid out?

Where is it located?

What is the first impression one gains when entering the room?

How is the lighting?

If something throws you off, then you either change it or don't use the venue.

SOUND: It's gotta sound crisp, clear, punchy and full. No exceptions.


Promotional materials have to look interesting, yet simple enough to grasp the concept in a few seconds.

Email lists, Twitter and Facebook are for your friends, but can't be solely relied upon for disseminating information.

Face-to-face promoting is still the most effective way to attract people to an event. Nothing beats introducing yourself to someone, having a quick chat, and ending the conversation with a personal invitation to a party. Ultimately, people are going to want to go hang out where their friends are going. If you can get a person who is enthusiastic and committed enough to going to your event, they probably are going to get their friends to come along as well. This creates an important snowball effect that is crucial for gaining buzz.

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: You might think your idea for a party is the best in the world, but do others?

How can you attract the ever-important "crowd" to the event?

Don't enter into agreements with bar minimums or rental fees if you realistically can't meet them.

Throwing parties is a lot of fun, but business acumen is always important so that you don't get in over your head.


I'm constantly taking in to consideration the opinions of my close friends and party-goers. I trust their opinions as much as my own. As my friend Benoit Haber (of Deep Secrets) likes to say, "vibe first, people second."


I remember a few years ago reading that during any given event, at least five things will go wrong on some level or another. Being able to remain calm and prepared to handle whatever might be thrown your way is crucial in pulling an event off. On good nights, these situations will be minor, but you’ve got to have a level head to deal with the major issues that come your way.

If you want to see a good party come to life, come to U Hall tonight to see Timmy Regisford!

Here are this week's picks:

Memoryman aka Uovo - Come and get it - Laterra Rec by Memoryman aka Uovo

UNGHHHH.  I can't stop listening to this track. This is the kind of tech house I lean towards and love to play out. Driving beats coupled with a catchy soulful hook. This is one of those tracks that works in both my deep house sets and my harder-edged warehouse party crates.


Karizma is another one of my favorite innovative promoters and his dub  treatments on remixes are always K-I-L-L-E-R. The approach on this  retains that raw, Baltimore club tinged sound with quality, modern  production value. The pianos and the tricked out vocal on this have instant dance floor appeal.

Jean Claude Ades - Vallee de Larmes (Pleasurekraft Sideshow remix)

Tarantula was a great track, but I'm really feeling the bugged out vocal sample on this. These guys are really coming along with a nice, unique approach to sample manipulation and it sounds like FUN. These guys are also the new residents of Glow on Thursdays at Lima and couldn't be a better pick.

[Updated June 12, 2013]