A special New Year’s Eve stream event from the Radisson RED in Glasgow sees two of Scotland’s most iconic DJs play back-to-back for the first time ever.
Michael Kilkie and Jon Mancini have each had 30-year careers playing Scotland’s biggest clubs and events – but they have never before collaborated.
The stream is sure to excite fans with the pair delivering their unique set in the Sky Bar with Glasgow ’s most iconic view behind them.
Radisson RED Curator Graham Chalmers, the man behind the series of streams they have staged through 2020, raising more than £11,000 for charity, is excited about rounding the year off in style.
He said: “We are doing something really special with this – it’s a unique opportunity to see two of Scotland’s premier DJs collaborating in a way they have never done before.
“I really want to recreate this when we are allowed to have events again and actually do it in front of a crowd – to let people experience what only I have been lucky enough to see in the flesh so far. Those DJs, those tunes, that backdrop, that room. But for now it’s streams, so we are going to deliver the best one yet.
“I’ve known both Jon and Michael for years having grown up going to see Michael at The Tunnel and Jon at Colours from the late nineties. I’ve always looked up to them as incredible DJs and really nice guys who have always supported me any way they could in my career as well as played at a few parties I’ve organised in previous roles.
“We have formed a really strong bond over lockdown. Ricky organised the first two events and then we decided to do the Prep Cook Eat Repeat and Guilty Pleasure shows on our own. We ping ideas around and see where that leads us.”
“Of course there are a lot of stream events on New Year’s Eve but we think what we have is really special – Jon and Michael playing b2b for five hours with 60 years of combined experience and an impeccable track record. It’s made in Glasgow for Glasgow and the rest of Scotland with a stunning backdrop rather than the studio or bedroom that so many streams come from.
“It’s going to be incredible.”
Michael agreed the NYE stream is shaping up to be something special – largely due to that debut back to back element.
He added: “Although Jon and I have been friends for years and shared billing on many a gig or festival together, we’ve never really played out together, especially as a double act if you like.
“We had different paths, Jon with Streetrave and Colours, myself with the Tunnel and Arches etc.
“So it’s been great to work together all the way through lockdown and get a real feel for what each other does, and have time to appreciate it, rather than passing each other on the way in or out of a club.
“The NYE stream is just a big party, five hours of our favourite dance tracks from the last 30 years. It’s also a big thank you to everyone who has supported us, our streams, our charities through lockdown, this is one for us to give them back something special. And it will be special.
“If I don’t get too drunk and annoy him then I think we will be fine!
“We’ll be socially distanced, the setup will be amazing, the production will be next level and the music will be a magical mystery tour…for everyone including us!
“I think it’s going to be very, very special, especially how the hotel looks and that backdrop behind us of that iconic view.”
The trio agree staging the stream events at Radisson RED over the course of the year has been hugely beneficial not only to the public, but to the guys themselves.
And of course they have raised over £11,000 for five charities – Hospitality Health, SAMH, The Glasgow Children’s Charity, The Benevolent Society and The Catherine McEwan Foundation.
Michael said: “It’s been a huge benefit to me.
“Firstly to get to play music to people albeit virtually has been amazing. Reading the comments throughout the stream and seeing the volume of people watching really lifts your spirits in what have been pretty dark times. Also as all of the streams have been for charity it’s been nice raising a lot of money for those that need it most.
“You realise how important music is to so many people and these streams have been a real lifeline for a lot of people.
“I know that sounds dramatic but the amount of people who have been in touch to literally say it has saved them through lockdown and given them something to focus on and enjoy is incredible.”
Jon said: “Streams were a focus at a stressful time. they kept me connected to people in the same boat. They were an escape for a lot of people at the time.
“I think they were massive in lockdown both for DJs and clubbers, they were a connection to a happy time and the interaction when we did them was great to see. people shared the love with each other during them.
“2020 has been rubbish, we want to get rid of it and look forward to a new year so we thought we’d throw a five hour trip down memory lane to good times and play 30 years of our chosen anthems, party tunes all night.”
Graham said he was really looking forward to offering something different this Hogmanay.
He added: “I’m really proud to have been able to offer something special and support my industry and give something to the public to help them through this difficult year.”
They’re looking forward to developing what the have started in 2020 and of course they are thrilled at the prospect of being allowed to stage an actual event in the Sky Bar in front of a crowd rather than virtually.
Graham said: “2021 will hopefully return to some sort of normality and being allowed to put on live events and let the public enjoy the guys in the flesh.
“It will be amazing to have a crowd in again. I want the night off to attend as a guest.”
Michael said: “I can’t wait to actually be in front of a crowd again, no different to anyone else.
“It will be amazing. I truly think the atmosphere, feeling and emotions will be like the summer of love all over again when we eventually get back to it properly.
“The Radisson RED has become my home form home through lockdown.
“I love it. I love the people who work there, I love the vibe, I love the hospitality, I love the effort they put in, I love how they have supported others through this whilst being in the middle of a hugely difficult time themselves throughout this.
“They’ve already discussed proper gigs at the hotel when we get back to normal. So it’s a given I will be there whenever they let me.”
For Graham, this final stream of 2020 is just a way to say goodbye to a tough year and hopefully put smiles on people’s faces.
He said: “It’s been a tough year for all of us – we even lost our hotel dog Baxter.
“We just want to deliver a good night for guests and friends and raise some cash for good causes.
“To give everyone that has supported the Guilty Crew and Radisson RED a very exclusive, special party that they can enjoy from the safety of their home and have a connection with friends and family not only in Scotland but across the world.”