Niko Zografos Answers Some Questions About PHORIA 3 Year Anniversary

Watch out St. Patrick’s Day, San Francisco has another big event in March! The local trance promotion company Phoria Events will be celebrating their three year anniversary on Friday, the 10th, with REORDER’s SF debut, Indecent Noise’s “Hard Trance Classics,” and the legendary John Askew closing off the night.

We have seen some changes in the scene since the launch of Phoria. So to make sense of our evolution as a premier name for trance in The Bay, Niko Zografos (the head honcho) is here to answer some questions for us.

 

Since starting the company three years ago, did you expect Phoria to gain the acknowledgment and success it has now? Just about how many members are on the team?

It’s definitely been awesome to see Phoria grow. The San Francisco trance fans have always been passionate. The growth has definitely been exciting. We have about 15 promoters and DJs. It’s a small, close-knit group.  

When you first started Phoria, how did you think your company would compare to TFSF? Can you describe your relationship with TFSF?

Well, I work very closely with TFSF, and I think it’s really awesome our end goal is the same: growing SF’s trance scene. We’ve done quite a few of events together over the past and alway fully support each other’s events.

Do you feel that your bookings requirement have changed within the last three years? Would you ever consider booking a DJ that is a little more house than trance? Or, maybe a trap DJ? Just kidding.

Haha, I think my booking ideas have been pretty consistent over the past three years. I want to bring the best trance possible. This includes new artists that have never or rarely played SF. I love progressive, techno, and psy, so you’ll definitely see that influence in the artists we bring out and support.

Have fans ever expressed negative feelings or comments on some of the bookings at shows? How should fans voice their opinions for future bookings or their opinions for Phoria?

I’d like to think there isn’t much negativity overall. I definitely feel it’s important to have a variety of different styles of trance so appease different fan bases. Any fans should definitely reach out and speak out with their opinions, good and bad, because we do this for them!

Have your feelings for trance music change since being in the business? Or, how do you feel the industry is now, considering what you know from working in the industry?

My feelings and passion for trance have grown. I love what I have learned thus far. The behind-the-scene stuff is definitely where a lot of the magic happens. The industry is always evolving and growing. It’s important to stay smart and on top of everything that is happening in the world of trance.

Trance has recently entered more of a mainstream light. DJs who have left the scene are returning. How do you feel about the trance scene now? Will Phoria take that into consideration when booking them? Who do you want to return to take the stage again at Phoria?

This seems to be a question asked a lot lately, and I feel that it’s great more people are getting into trance. This (the scene) is all about sharing music and having a good time. I’m excited to hear about some of the names returning to trance. Good music is good music, and I’m always on the hunt for that. I’m definitely open to booking any artist I think will help create a great experience for trance fans and of course has some great and exciting new music.

What are some of your most fun/favorite memories working at Phoria?

So many great memories! A few that definitely stand out are Open Up 100 with Simon Patterson & Jordan Suckley, Markus Schulz Open To Close, Ferry Corsten on a few occasions, our first event at Slide with Ilan Bluestone, then, of course, our first event at Ruby with him and Jerome Isma-ae and more. Slide was a great start for intimate shows for us, so there was definitely some special times there along with, of course, now countless special times at Ruby, with a few notable ones like FSOE Night at Verso.

What is one of the most difficult challenges you have faced while running Phoria? Did you have any fears?

Definitely, the most difficult challenge has been balancing Phoria Events with my music career. Not really much fears but at the same time, I always want to strive for each event to be as successful as possible.

How do you know when to perform at one of the Phoria nights? Is there a line that separates you as a promoter and DJ?

There is definitely a line that separates me from a promoter and a DJ. I don’t want to play often for two reasons; one is that I’m not a local openers/support act anymore so, two is it has to be the right night. For example, a good time for me to play was FSOE Club Night.

When would you say was the moment that made you realized that Phoria became a name people recognized and looked to for trance events?

Tough to say really because I feel like we’d had success from the start, but at the same time there have been some struggles in the beginning, too. I think it’s important to always be better than you were the day before. And if you aren’t doing that, you have a bigger chance of losing your success.

When fans leave a Phoria event, what is the one thing you want them to take away from their experience?

It’s all about the music! I want fans to have their passion for trance growing or for new fans to begin their journey into trance because of their experience at our events.

Do you have any words for EDM fans out there who are hesitant about attending a Phoria show?

Give Trance a chance! 😉

Do you feel like you have reached some of your original goals for Phoria? What are some goals you still wish to achieve? Any big news we should know from the Phoria team? Maybe we will see a Phoria festival or something?

We definitely have reached some of our goals, and I’m definitely proud that! I think it’s important we grow our events as much as possible and to make them more special each time.

 

Well, there you have it, folks, words from the man himself. The night should be an intense one, as most birthday celebrations are. Make sure you’re there to join us for a dance party that will leave you breathless and your trance-pants soaked with sweat! Let’s also give a shout out to SF’s very own DJ Blurr for providing the local flavor of the night.

 

Grab your tickets here: http://bit.ly/phoria3year

Meet & Greet + Giveaway: http://bit.ly/phoria3yearmg

Email phoriaevents@gmail.com for VIP Bottle Service

 

Phoria One Year Anniversary Recap

By Airec Sype. and Stephanie Q.

It wasn’t too long ago that we at Phoria celebrated our one year anniversary as a premier trance provider in San Francisco. Even though the party is long over, that doesn’t mean we can’t relieve the festivities. Thanks to some carefully blended words and Afterhours.FM recording of the sets Friday night, we can give those who were not able to attend a quick glimpse of what magic occurred at Ruby Skye.

Mr. Phoria himself started the night off for Mental Asylum. It may have been minimal, but it was a proper opening for a night full of talented DJs who were not afraid to tear up the dance floor. Zografos welcomed us with rhythmic house beats that hypnotically swayed clubbers from the bar and onto the dance floor. Towards the end of his set, Zografos introduced techno elements that slowly ushered in Billy Horn.

Billy Horn, another resident Phoria DJ, picked up where the techno left off. Horn spun those electronic snare that was enticing but still courteous to the headlining DJs as he was careful to stay within a respectful BPM. The consistent groove guided people on the dance floor. It wasn’t till the end of his set that Horn decided to kick it up a notch and play some upbeat trance, setting the stage for tech-trance mastermind Mark Sherry.

When it was time for the craziness of Mental Asylum to start, the lights blacken out as a dark figure approached the decks. The intimate trance lovers immediately knew who it was through the darkness and roared. With that signal, the lights flashed on and Mark Sherry emerged with his hard electronic sound. The speakers produced a haste thumping bass, accompanied with underlying synths and snares. It wasn’t quite techno as the trance elements choreographed the beats into something that was borderline uplifting. There may have been people new to the sounds of Mark Sherry, but at that moment everyone felt his presences as he came out swinging. It could have been that techno style loop of familiar beats, thumping bass or the flashing lights but one could have easily gotten lost as Sherry’s music surrounded everyone in an enclosed musical bubble.

Along with his own production, Sherry played tracks like his remix of “Remember This”, “The Evil” and “Generate”, Familiar tracks like those got the crowd revved up as they displayed their gratitude with claps, cheers and chats of Sherrys name. Amongst the hard beats of tech-trance, Sherry wasn’t afraid to uplift it up a notch. The best part of his set was something you don’t see often from trance DJs. If you pay close attention to the beginning of his set, you can hear Sherry ‘play’ with his tracks. It wasn’t exactly scratching, but he looped some beats and played around with the flow of the music, adding to the raw electronic feel of techno. His interaction with the decks kept us on our toes as we were thrown some unexpected DJing! It’s great to see a DJ actually DJ instead of pushing play. His set was energetic and aggressive all the way into the end. It was grand.

After the robotic trance style of Mark Sherry, it was finally time for the man of the hour to make his way to the stage. Indecent Noise approached the crowd and was met with cheers. Getting straight to business, I.N. turned up the speakers to rush the crowd with the dark eerie sounds of psychedelic trance. Compared to Sherry’s frontal assault, I.N. sound flanked the now packed dance floor with bass, psychedelic synths, and soundbites from what seemed to be from sci-fi movies. Nothing says psy-trance like sci-fi stuff. You didn’t know what to believe as the complex melodies that were carefully layered upon one another with a high tempo riff turned the fantasy of Mental Asylum into a dancing reality.

Nothing was safe from I.N. sound. The fan’s were bopping and jumping fiercely as they heard remixes of “Ping Pong”, “Fire Wire”, and the classic of all classics when you just wanna rave, “Sandstorm”. Our very own Niko Zografos was onstage when the crowd went nuts to this 90s hit. Then it was Zografos turn to go nuts as I.N. played Ferry Tayle remix of our home theme “Phoria“. The tunes this man was playing was MENTAL!

An unexpected remix that I.N. played was “A Thing Called Love”. It was amazing to see the heartwarming lyrics of Above & Beyond transporting the crowd into a euphoric state before I.N. hit the nos button with a harder and darker remix of the crowd pleasr. Even dedicated fans of Anjunabeats appreciated the new rendition of a beloved classic. “I love that these guys are starting to branch out to Ajuna. And I Love it!” Camele, aka Ajunaslut, said.

Not only did I.N. pull classics out of left field, but he also blended the idea of genre. One of the best surprises from his set was when he decided to switch gears and play hardstyle. This pleased professional ravers and weekend warriors alike. It was quite the trip I would say when I think back to his set. So check it out!

As the night started to wind down on Friday night, James Dymond took the stage to a still trance hungry crowd. While still keeping the momentum of the previous two powerhouse, Dymond feed the people below him euphoric trance that was energetic and a flavor only reserved for his own style. His set was musically enriched where only one of a history like his in classical music can deliver. This was definitely the part of the night where fans can hear a style of trance that flowed up and down a familiar euphoric journey.

Hands were in the air and eyes were closed during his set. The club may have lost some attendees due to the late of the night, but everyone who was there was still feeling the music as Dymond conducted the melodies to our ears. If Dymond was a seashell, you could hear the waves of beautiful music crashing into your soul. The highlight of his set was when he played a remix of the trance classic “Castles in the Sky”, adding a few harder bassline in the melody. His set was the perfect way to end a night of hard-hitting music.

And then it was time to bring in the trance legend, Ferry Corsten, for round two with Stephanie covering.

Warming up the dance floor for us was the one and only Niko Zografos. Experienced with opening sets, Zografos nailed his job. He had the perfect opening easing into the night with his cool melodies. Even at the beginning of his set, there were already small groups of people grooving and beginning to get others sitting on the sidelines pumped. As people began to mill into Ruby Skye, I left the floor to meet trance legend Ferry Corsten and I got him to sign my Tomorrowworld flag! Back on the floor, or lack thereof, I couldn’t believe what I had gotten into! I was squeezing through people just to find my friends while everyone was going wild to Niko’s set, the change of pace raising the crowd’s energy and excitement level. Soon Niko closed out his set and it was time to experience a magical 3-hour journey through the night.

Ferry Corsten brought the fire, throwing down some old school trance goodies like “Airwaves” from Rank 1 and surprisingly even throwing in Darude’s “Sandstorm”. The crowd went absolutely nuts! I’ve never heard so many people at once going ‘dudududududu’ and tried stepping on the floor like it was a giant Dance Dance Revolution pad! If you were standing right next to me, you would have probably heard me screaming when Ferry put on his single from 2012 ‘Live Forever’ featuring Aruna. Ferry kept the feels going that night playing sing-a-longs likes his own mix of Kaskade’s ‘Sleep Alone’ and Dash Berlin’s rework ‘Sky Full of Stars’. Then in the middle of the set, Ferry announced that his next track would be the first time it would be played live, his remake of ‘Gouryella – Anahera’! It was truly a moment and night to remember. Ferry continued strong throughout the night, even going past 3am and giving John Beaver only 20 minutes to play before Ruby Skye closed for the night. Beaver continued on strong for his 20-minute set giving it his all.

So there you have it folks, we know it was a thick read but we had to cover four amazing DJs for our birthday party. It was a great night for music and feels. Make sure y’all check out our other events coming up like the Gabriel & Dresden *OPEN TO CLOSE CLASSIC* set. it will be a great one. Before you leave, check out the pictures below of the meet and greet winners of that weekend. Till next time.

Phoria Presents Ferry Corsten, Mark Sherry, Indecent Noise and James Dymond

By Airec Sype. and Stephanie Q.

This weekend will be a special one for us at Phoria, it’s the celebration of our first whole year as a premium trance provider for the lovely fans in San Francisco. Since this is our first anniversary party, we decided that this kind of milestone can’t be crammed into one night. Instead we are spreading the love for two nights of birthday celebrations as Phoria host Mark Sherry, Indecent Noise, James Dymond and Ferry Corsten!!!

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For the first night at Ruby Skye, Phoria presents Mental Asylum. This dark psy-trance themed night is stacked with three DJ’s that are sure to blow your mind with eerie psychedelic sounds of the dark side. Don’t worry club goers, Mental Asylum is the name of the record label; there are not going to be any mental patients running around . . . I think.

Indecent Noise is the head mental man of Mental Asylum Records. Representing Poland, Aleksander Stawierej is the man behind the decks providing that indecent noise that causes unsuspecting club goers to dance their face off. His music is unique as it combines elements of techno with his already hard hitting trance. The perfect combination of melody’s creates a psy-trance bombardment that confuses your senses in a perfect harmony as you dance the night away. His remixes of familiar trance songs will have you question your minds ability to remember the original tune as the new and infused remix stimulates your neurons. The noise of Indecent Noise isn’t just your run of the mil psy-trance, it’s something different that will make you also question the concept of musical genre and blur its boundary. If you like weird electronic sounds and a fast BPM, then this man is your man.

Coming from London, we have James Dymond. This 23 year old DJ is changing the game and sound of trance today. All of his success from producing epic trance can be contributed to his background in classical music. Dymond is a talented DJ who even caught the eyes of past DJ Mag #1 Armin Van Buuren. His bio claims that his music is “emotionally charged” with “uplifting melodies that fills the biggest of dance floors” and has “huge orchestral breakdowns that instantly lifts moods and driving percussion that raises pulses.” Well I can say that this claim is true. Listening to his liveset posted above, I can hear the careful precision of music that only a conductor can beautifully manifest. Dymond has a great ability to combine trance, tech-trance, uplifting breakdowns, progressive, whatever you name it, into a stunning electronic symphony. There may not be any live instruments Friday, but there will be a whole lotta bass conducted by a musical mastermind. So come check him out.

Scottish producer Mark Sherry is no stranger to the tech-trance scene and has been contributing to the rapidly growing world of trance since the early 90s. His remixes and productions are mind-blowingly awesome. Just like his genre suggests, his tracks and everything he touches contains a repetitive techno like beat that pulses throughout the song but rides a wave of feels as it’s trance elements kicks in. The beats goes up and down, in and out, repeating a similar tone that is refined to knock our socks off. You can’t help but jump around until there is silence. There is a sense of raw energy in his livesets that one cannot deny. The energy of synths and bass just keeps coming and won’t stop. Sherry’s tracks have been supported by other powerhouse DJs such as Markus Schulz and Max Graham. So if you’re looking for an energetic set that won’t let you rest, then make sure you catch Mark Sherry!

This is a TRIPLE HEADLINER NIGHT including Indecent Noise, James Dymond, & Mark Sherry!!!
Locals include Billy Horn & #Phoria Founder Niko Zografos (Special Warm up set)

Tickets available here: http://bit.ly/MentalAsylum-RubySkye
Enter to win VIP Backstage Meet & Greet + Merchandise here: http://bit.ly/MentalAsylum-Contest
Email phoriaevents@gmail.com for VIP Bottle Service

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Prepare yourselves, trance legend Ferry Corsten is coming once again to bestow upon us a night of feels and high energy electro music! With his success streaming from songs such as “Gouryella” with Tiesto and his popular radioshow Corsten’s Countdown, there seems to be no end to the possibilities! Ferry even hosts his own stage named FULL ON at festivals such as Tomorrowworld and has his own pick of other producers/DJs that he even plays back to back with. With a perfect mix of trance, progressive house, and electro, Ferry Corsten will take you out for the night of your life! Just like his class track says. “Everything is beautiful.” (Bonus points if you could figure out which song that’s from. And I’m sure that if you attend this Saturday with us and Ferry Corsten, it would be one of the “many ways to change a life.”

Tickets: http://ferrycorstenrubyskye.eventbrite.com/
Email phoriaevents@gmail.com for VIP Bottle Service

Be sure to join us for our one year anniversary celebration. If you can’t make it then don’t worry, we’re very happy & proud to announce that our 1 year anniversary weekend, the first night will be broadcasted live on Afterhours.FM!!! The party starts at 9 PM West Coast time so tune in. Of course it would be better to witness this event live, but if you can’t then you have a way to join the party. Hope to see you this weekend, it’s going to be grand!

Last Minute Chances to Meet Phoria Guest DJs This Weekend

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This weekend Phoria will not only be hosting one, or two, or three, but FOUR DJs for our anniversary celebration. Luckily you can check out on this post for both of the contest for a chance to either win special VIP tickets or a meet & greet. All you gotta do is share on Twitter, like on Facebook, invite your  friends or spam some randoms, and . . . well you’ll see when you click on the link.

Win a Mental Asylum VIP Backstage Package

To celebrate Phoria’s one-year anniversary on the first night, TWO winners will receive:

– Backstage Wristbands for You and a Friend for Mental Asylum at Ruby Skye
– Meet & Greet with THREE DJS: Indecent Noise, Mark Sherry and James Dymond
– Free Mental Asylum Merchandise

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Tickets: http://bit.ly/MentalAsylum-RubySkye

Meet & Greet with Ferry Corsten at Ruby Skye

For the second night of Phoria’s one year anniversary, the legendary Ferry Corsten will be taking the stage with two of SF stars, John Beaver and our very own Niko Zografos. TranceFamily SF has provided at special meet and greet for one half of big room trance sensation New World Punx.
With a little more than 24 hours left to enter, there are 13 ways to enter. So make sure you do ’em all.
We hope to see you all there for our first birthday, because we all know you remember your first. If there are any complications make sure to contact us at

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Phoria!

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It was one Tuesday a year ago that Niko Zografos started Phoria Events. What started as a dream that a young trance music lover had manifested into a colorful and magical promotion company that continuously brings great talent to the decks in San Francisco’s nightlife.

Zografos shares some words with us via Facebook about Phoria’s first birthday:

Exactly 1 Year ago today I started Phoria Events! Wow so much has happened since then. Extremely thankful for an amazing first year. I’m also very excited for what’s to come. To the amazing DJs that have performed, to the Ruby Skye & Slide SF staff, to the fellow promoters & organizers that have helped with every show, to the agents who book out the artists, and of course the thousands of attendees that show their support at every show… I just want to say … THANK YOU! We wouldn’t be here without any of you! Cheers to many more amazing things coming our way! ‪#‎PHORIA1Year‬ ‪#‎PHORIA‬ ‪#‎PHORIAdark‬ ‪#‎PHORIARadio

Despite Phoria’s young age, Zografos has brought many talented names to the stage at Ruby Skye and Slide SF. However that momentum doesn’t stop there. Phoria’s anniversary celebration will be celebrated on May 29 & 30 with big names like Indecent Noise, Mark Sherry, James Dymond and FERRY CORSTEN!

In honor of Phoria’s 1 Year Anniversary, we bring you Phoria Radio‘s very first podcast featuring our very own Niko Zografos! We were close to 1,000 listeners on just the first episode! Phoria Radio will be airing every 1st Sunday of the month on AH.FM at 12pm PST, 9pm CET.

Hope you all enjoy the VERY FIRST episode of this radio show. Also there is some big announcements about some LIVE broadcasts from shows very, very soon! In the mean time, stream the show here:

Setlist:
1)) K&LC – One Night (David Rull remix) [Ternary Recordings]
2) FRED BAKER – Rebirth (Adam Ellis Music remix) [Kearnage]
3) Darren Porter – Cause & Effect (Original mix) [Monster Force]
4) Majai – Phoria (Jorn Van Deynhoven remix) [Tetsuo]
5) Aly & Fila – Underwater [FSOE Recordings]
6) Mitka & Niko Zografos – Phoria (Original mix) [FSOE]
7) Zahir – Celestial (Dmitri Reign remix) [Cloudland Music]
8) Niko Zografos & Dmitri Reign – Midnight Skye [Tangled Audio/Alter Ego]
9) Robert Nickson – Spiral 2015 (Original mix) [Who’s Afraid Of 138?]
10) Aly & Fila, Roxanne Emery – Shine (Club Mix) [FSOE]
11) Markus_Schulz ft. Delacey – Destiny [Coldharbour Recordings]

Also, be sure to party and celebrate with us the last weekend of May for the first of many birthdays!

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#Phoria1year anniversary weekend!
May 29th – #MentalAsylumNight with #IndecentNoise, #MarkSherry, #JamesDymond
Tickets: http://bit.ly/MentalAsylum-RubySkye
May 30th – #FerryCorsten, #nikozografos, #JohnBeaver
Tickets: http://ferrycorstenrubyskye.eventbrite.com/
#PHORIAdark #MAYGOESMENTAL #trancefamilysf #trance #trancefamily #woa138 #psy #corstenscountdown #flashover #spundae #anniversary #PHORIA