At the first Ruckus show in January, we had a great cocktail bar. Dennis Clark and Orlando Klass volunteered their considerable drinks mixing skills to help give the evening a touch of class, and a touch of revenue.
Thanks to their work we managed to break even on the night, even covering travel costs for our out-of-town performers.
Building a cocktail bar from scratch in a communal kitchen on Flatbush avenue was no mean feat, but we managed to serve up old-fashioneds, whiskey sours complete with egg white foam, aviations, champagne cocktails, and a personal favorite: champagne cocktails spiked with gin.
At Cooper Union in September we probably won’t have a classy bar like this for you, because there are rules about food and drink. But a cocktail bar is a great addition to any cultural event. It makes everyone feel that little bit more classy, and it really helps pay the bills.
RUCKUS began as a multimedia variety night in January 2012. We brought together a bunch of amazing performers in a coworking space in Brooklyn and put on one hell of a show.
There was a huge crowd. Everyone had a blast. We had a cocktail bar, Occupy Wall Street fed us dinner(!) and we filmed it all for the web. And at the end of the night everyone — performers and audience alike — demanded to know when the next one was going to be.
But we realized something: a variety night with this big a cast meant that two dozen extremely talented artists spent most of their day just waiting to sound check. Why not do something better with that time?
The result: RUCKUS NYC, a conference and concert happening this September. Instead of making our artists stand around, we’re getting them to tell their stories — and bringing in leaders from the tech world and the arts world too.
But we’ll still put on a killer show, don’t you worry.
[Photo of Sylvana Joyce and the Moment from January’s RUCKUS]