Some years ago, Kevin Mitchell's fervor for music had him stumble upon a warehouse party on the outskirts of Atlanta. It was here he first experienced the emerging electronic music scene, and "energy unlike anything experienced previously." Instantly hooked, Mitchell poured all his personal savings into booking DJs and renting clubs, even though he wasn't even old enough to enjoy a drink there. Mitchell has since spun his passion for the warehouse party scene into a profitable promotion company, Sugar Society, which he founded in 2003 after relocating from Atlanta from Charlotte.
Creative Loafing: How has the Charlotte music/nightlife scene changed since you started working in the industry?
Kevin Mitchell: Five years ago, things were a lot less competitive for the venues than they are presently. The boom period led to an overabundance of clubs, venues, etc., which has resulted in "the rise of the Promoter." Five years ago I could count the number of known promoters in Charlotte on one hand. The rise of social networking has given just about anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account the capability to influence the nightlife choices of others.
What genres do you see rising in popularity?
2009-2010 has seen an unprecedented era of collaboration amongst artists of differing genres. More specifically, electronic music artists like David Guetta, Tiësto, Steve Aoki, etc., have spent a lot of time in the studios with their more mainstream counterparts such as the Black Eyed Peas, Three Six Mafia and Lil Jon. Along with the flourishing of massive electronic music festivals, these collaborations with the mainstream have made electronic dance music as viable as anything on the commercial airwaves. In other words, it's not being referred to just as "techno" anymore.
What events are you looking forward to?
That's always a tough one. Sugar Society events are like kids if I had any — I love all of them! But if I had to choose a few coming up soon, I'd have to say I'm really looking forward to Marcus Schossow at Marigny [Nov. 6] and Paul Oakenfold with Chuckie at Halo [Nov. 16]. You'll find me on the dance floor at any of these parties!